For a car that makes minimal sound, the 1400-horsepower all-Electric Mustang Cobra Jet made a significant bang in the drag racing world on Thursday at the NHRA U.S. Nationals.
Mello Yello Series Funny Car driver Bob Tasca III and FoxSports coverage analyst Tony Pedregon prepared for a battle of traditional versus the future with the former driving the electric version.
Prior to Friday’s head-to-head competition, the electric car had run as quick in the quarter-mile as 8.27 seconds at 168 miles per hour.
“Since revealing the car, we’ve continued to fine-tune it and now know we’re just scratching the surface of what we may be able to achieve with this much electric horsepower in a drag racing setting,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports.
Ford Performance collaborated with Cascadia Motion to power the Cobra Jet 1400. With four PN-250-DZR inverters coupled to a pair of DS-250-115s, giving four motors total and spinning at up to 10,000 revolutions per minute. These motor-inverter packages run at 800 volts and up to 700 amps, with a maximum output of 350kW per motor.
To manage such a potent propulsion package, AEM-EV and Ford Performance jointly developed an advanced data and control system that features a control algorithm unique to the Cobra Jet 1400. The sheer amount of power has also required a different approach with chassis tuning strategies, which MLe, Ford’s build and integration collaborator for the project, has delivered with input from Ford Performance’s longtime Cobra Jet build collaborators at Watson.
“It’s been a great but challenging project for all of us at Ford Performance,” said Rushbrook. “The opportunities to learn with the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400, as well as the Mustang Mach-E 1400 we recently introduced, gives us great insight into what may be possible in high-performance all-electric vehicles for Ford going forward. We are very interested in continuing to work with NHRA to determine how electrification can be part of the sport and to show off the Cobra Jet 1400 at max power in due course as regulations develop.”
Tasca considers himself of those classified as a traditionalist. He’s now a traditionalist willing to see the other side of the performance fence.
“I think what people need to get over, me included … and I’ve already kind of switched the switch, because I’ve driven these cars before. I’m a performance enthusiast,” Tasca explained. “That’s what I am, and I love performance, I love acceleration, and if I can get more performance out of an electric vehicle that is absolutely a joy to drive, fun to drive, lower cost of racing, so many benefits that come with electrification, and then see what Ford can do with it at the highest level.”
Just how pumped is Tasca? He’s already made his first call-out.
“I called out Elon Musk there,” Tasca revealed. “He didn’t respond back, but I told him to bring his fastest Tesla and let’s race here at the U.S.onals. I mean, what Ford can do with this technology is amazing.
“I’ve driven that vehicle. It’s just so fun to drive and the performance and the instant torque. So I guess to some extent, I’ll always have a piston in my heart, but I want to get in something that’s fun to drive and fast, and these electric cars are certainly at the top of the page right now.”