What is a 1993 Cobra?
Hey everyone! I’m Landan with lmr.com! This time around on our “what is” series of videos, I’ll be talking specifically about one of my favorite Fox Mustangs, the 1993 Cobra.
With the Fox Body Mustang nearing discontinuation, Ford and their newly-found SVT division wanted to say fare-wall to an incredible 15-year run of the Fox Mustang.
They did so by developing the iconic 1993 Cobra.
For those of you that were unware, 1993 was also the debut year for Ford’s SVT division and that acronym stood for Special Vehicle Team.
This team was a special group of engineering and marketing personnel that were responsible for designing, developing and marketing limited-edition, high-performance vehicles for enthusiasts based on existing Ford models.
SVT’s focus and philosophy was on design refinement all while improving vehicle performance and handling.
Out of all of the areas on the car, the exterior is what makes the Cobra stand out from other Fox Mustang models.
The ’93 Cobra was built with the hatchback body and its notable characteristics included a Cobra rear bumper, side skirts, rear spoiler, emblems, SVO style taillights, and a special grille insert.
Not to mention the one-of-a-kind directional wheels which meant that there was a left and right wheel because of the orientation of the 7-spoke fan-blade style design.
The 4-lug Cobra wheels were 17x7.5 inches and had specific offsets from other Fox wheels because of the rear brakes that widen the car’s track width.
From the factory, the ’93 Cobra rolled out on Goodyear rubber.
The interior in the 1993 Cobra was very run-of-the-mill Fox Body. The only thing separating it from a LX or GT was a set of Cobra-specific floor mats.
The (2) color options for the upholstery were either black or opal gray.
Standard equipment was cloth seats that were available in either black or opal gray and a leather seat option that could only be had in the opal gray color.
Like other areas on the ’93 Cobra, the engine wasn’t all that different than the regular push rod five-liter.
What made the Cobra engine unique was its GT-40 cylinder heads, GT-40 intake manifold and a revised camshaft.
The GT-40 heads featured 1.84-inch intake valves and 1.54-inch exhaust valves.
Accentuating each valve were a set of Crane 1.7 ratio roller rockers that had a pedestal-style mount design.
Feeding air into the engine were the GT-40 upper and lower intake manifolds. They received fresh air from a larger 70mm mass air meter versus the 55mm that was present on the non-Cobra five-O.
Along with the larger mass air meter was a larger throttle body at 65mm versus the 60mm on standard Fox Body 302s.
The ’93 Cobra also received 24-pound fuel injectors and a recalibrated EEC which would support the larger injectors.
Other small tid-bits included retuned mufflers that offered less restriction and different diameter crank and water pump pulleys.
During development, SVT undersized the crank pulley by 14-percent to achieve more power, but the drawback was a slower spinning water pump. To counteract the slowdown in coolant circulation they made the water pump 14-percent smaller as well.
As far as power output goes, the Cobra-specific five-O engine was rated at 235hp and 280 ft/lbs of torque at the flywheel.
Behind the Cobra-specific five-oh was a “world class” Borg-Warner T-5 five-speed manual transmission which was a touch stronger than the standard-issue T-5.
The “world class” transmission featured phosphate-coated cluster gears and a steel bearing retainer.
The ’93 Cobra was only available with a manual transmission.
Joining the “world-class” T-5 was an upgraded clutch that provided more clamping force all while reducing clutch slip and pedal effort. Along with that, gear selection was nice and easy thanks to a short throw shifter.
Another small area of improvement was the front driveshaft yoke… it was hardened, but served as useless since the regular yoke in the non-Cobra models had already held up to plenty of power throughout the years.
It did utilize an 8.8 rear end which was loaded with a traction-lock differential and 3.08 rear gears.
Since the Cobra utilized a similar rear disc brake setup as the 1987 and 1988 Thunderbird turbo coupes, the axles were three-quarters of an inch longer… hence the specific off-set wheels mentioned earlier.
The suspension underneath the ’93 Cobra was Fox Body through and through with the exception of just a few minor tweaks.
It had a smaller front sway bar than the GT models which was 28.5mm versus 33mm, but the Cobra did share the same rear sway bar with was 21mm in diameter.
Springs with softer rates were used in order to accomplish a more modest ride when comparted to the GT model.
The front spring rate on the Cobra was 425 pounds per inch versus 530 for a GT and linear four-cylinder rear springs that were rated at 160-pound per inch.
The shocks and struts were valved by Tokico, but they did carry a Ford-specific part number.
As far as the braking system on the ’93 Cobra, there is definitely some unique stuff.
The front brakes are almost identical to the regular five-oh except for the front rotors.
The rotor “hat” was three-quarters of an inch thicker to accommodate the rear disc setup and the specific wheel offsets.
Each front rotor was 10.84-inches in diameter and the calipers used a single 60-mm piston.
Out back, the brake setup was the same one that was used in 1987 and 1988 Thunderbird Turbo coupe.
The axles were three-quarters of an inch longer on each side and each rotor had a diameter of 10.07-inches. The rear calipers were a single piston design.
Because of the rear disc setup, 93-cobra specific parking brake cables had to be used as well.
Other braking system specifics on the ’93 Cobra was a larger brake booster and 2-port master cylinder versus the 3-port version found on regular five-Os.
SVT engineers also recalibrated the proportioning valve since the rear disc brakes more pressure than brake drums.
Performance & Other Info
The ’93 Cobra did have a few options to choose from which included leather upholstery, rear window defroster, sun roof which would flip-up, 4-way power driver’s seat, AM/FM stereo with CD player, and a super sound system.
Although the sound system was listed in the sales brochure, it was never installed on any production vehicles sold to the public.
According to Car and Driver, the ’93 Cobra could reach 60mph in just 5.6 seconds and trap the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds at 98mph.
1993 Cobra Specs & Colors
The one-year only Cobra was available in black, teal, and vibrant red which was seen with clear coat and without. Non-clear coated vibrant Cobras are pretty rare.
Of the 4,993 Cobras that were built, 1,854 were black, 1,784 were red, and 1,355 were teal.
Technically, there were 5,100 total 1993 Cobras built, but 107 of those were equipped with “R” Competition option and wore vibrant red paint.
According to online data, the rarest Cobra was teal and had black cloth interior… Ford only produced 185 cars with that combo.
So long Fox Body…
Seemingly enough, it appeared that Ford dealt their final fox body-hand and saved the best Fox Mustang for last.
The 93 Cobra was the beginning of a new performance era for Ford and their Special Vehicle Team.
This particular car here is a really good example of clean, low-mile Cobra with only 70-thousand miles. It is owned by our CEO Scott Springer, who has actually owned several ’93 Cobras and at one time had the Cobra tri-fecta which was a 1993 Cobra in all (3) colors and not-to-mention… one of the many reasons why we coined our “real” enthusiast tag-line.
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