Not many people would jump at the opportunity to drive a vehicle without a radio and air conditioning. Unless that vehicle just happens to be one of the rarest most popular Mustangs ever created! The 2000 Cobra R was one of the most unique special edition Stangs produced by SVT. Ford’s SVT team took 300 Performance Red Cobras and turned them into corner destroying monsters! Below I will break down some of the most popular options that came on the super popular 2000 SVT Cobra R.
The exterior of the 2000 Cobra R is by far one of its most noticeable features. Three simple yet drastic changes created this iconic Mustang. First being the massive rear wing. It is a non-adjustable pedestal style wing that creates much needed down force on track. Second being the exclusive cowl hood that features a large bulge to give more clearance to the monster engine hiding underneath. Lastly the truly distinctive front chin spoiler that is attached to a 1999 Cobra bumper with Dzus fasteners. The chin spoiler features an air splitter designed to help create down force and feed cooler air into the engine compartment.
While the exterior featured a custom look, the interior at first glance doesn’t look drastically different from its non “R” code counterparts. The major enhancements include a set of Recaro Race Seats to help keep both the driver and the lucky passenger firmly planted in their seats. Speaking of passengers, you only get one in the 2000 Cobra R. The rear seats have been deleted from the factory. The SVT Team saw it fit to remove most of the un-needed options and materials such as sound deadening material, under coating, stereo and air-conditioning. The speedometer reads out a whopping 180 MPH to let you know this factory race car means business. The dash still has the A/C control knobs to keep stealthy factory appearance. One of the few power control features that remained are power windows, locks and mirrors.
The 2000 Cobra R is powered by one of the most iconic engines to ever grace a Mustang - the special built 5.4L DOHC V8 engine. Now if you are rolling your eyes at that statement, let me see if I can change your mind. This naturally aspirated mod motor produced a claimed 385 horsepower and 385 ft/lbs of torque thanks to some of the rarest mod motor parts ever seen. To feed this 5.4L beast, the SVT team developed a custom two piece intake manifold that was only used on the 2000 Cobra R. With its unique “R” on top and massive inlet opening, it allowed for plenty of air to enter the reworked DOHC heads. These heads flowed roughly 25% more air than the 1999 Cobra cylinder heads. To further allow more air to enter the engine, SVT turned to K&N filters to supply a high flow air filter and used a single bore 80mm throttle body.
The internals on this engine were not your “off the shelf” Ford production parts. It featured a set of performance camshafts that featured high lift and improved durations. With its 9.6:1 compression ratio that came from the flat top pistons, you know only premium fuel can be pumped into the massive Fuel Safe 21 gallon fuel cell. These pistons were attached to Carrillo billet-steel connecting rods. Due to the taller deck and massive intake manifold, SVT had to develop custom motor mounts and crossmember to lower the engine 12mm. To help keep this engine cool SVT used a massive aluminum radiator.
The 2000 Cobra R gets the exhaust gas out just as effectively as it pulls air into it thanks to a custom high flow exhaust system. The SVT team turned to some of the top Mustang exhaust companies in the industry to help develop the exhaust on the Cobra R. Starting at the cylinder heads, the exhaust gas exits via a custom tubular steel exhaust manifold and enter a catted X pipe. The X Pipe for the 2000 Cobra R was built and developed by Bassani Exhaust. It does incorporate 99 Cobra catalytic converters into its design. From the mid pipe, the exhaust gasses exit via a custom side exit exhaust kit built by Borla Exhaust. The side exit exhaust is a necessity due to the large Fuel Safe fuel cell located at the rear of the Mustang.
To help stop all this power the brakes received a major upgrade in the 2000 Cobra R. The fronts feature 13” rotors with massive Brembo four piston calipers used for stopping. The fronts feature Galpher racing brake pads to further help slow the R down. In the rear you have 11.7” rotors with single piston calipers. The brake pads are upgraded to a Akebono racing pad. To help keep your brakes cooling during grueling race sessions, the SVT team incorporated factory cooling ducts. The brake cooling ducts pull air from the fog light opening and attach to custom carbon fiber heat shields.
The drivetrain was significantly beefed up and improved to help ensure the power made it to the pavement without issue. The SVT engineers used a Tremec T-56 transmission in combination with a B&M Ripper Shifter to ensure gear changes were smooth. The final rear gear was upped to 3.55:1 for slightly improved acceleration over the 3.27 rear end gears found in the 99 Cobra. The half shafts in the independent rear suspension are also hardened for further strengthening.
To further ensure this power stays connected to the road/track, the SVT engineers created the iconic 2000 Cobra R wheels. Their massive 18x9.5” five spoke design allowed for a wide tire to be used. These Cobra R wheels are wrapped with a 265/40ZR/18 BFGoodrich g-Force radials. These tires were built for track and street use. The 2000 Cobra R did feature a full sized spare just in case you need a backup at the track. Not to mention that GT/V6 Mustang spare would never clear the massive brakes!
The 2000 Cobra R was a purpose built factory race car and to live up to that claim it had to have a suspension to back up that claim. The SVT engineers did just that with the help of Bilstein shocks and struts. These were paired up with custom Eibach Lowering Springs. The front springs featured a 800 pound per inch spring which was a huge jump over the 500 pound springs used on the non “R” code Cobras. The rear featured 750 pound per inch springs compared to the 470 pound springs used on non R Cobras. Lastly they reduced body roll with the use of 28mm front and 26mm rear roll bars.
All of this modification and engineering created one of the best late model Mustangs ever created. Having driven one on the track, I can honestly say there hasn’t been a factory Mustang since that has ever come close to track performance and feel you get in these rare pony cars. That is why LatemodelRestoration.com is so proud to own one of these iconic Mustangs!
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