Well mine is supercharged making 449 RWHP but only 380 RWTQ. With a 13% drivetrain loss, it's about 516 HP at the crank. For some reason, this car feels weak on torque. I've got stock headers, high flow catalytic converters and a Mac catback. The 4.10 gears helps the torqueless feeling by ramping the RPMs up much faster, but then...I lose the use of the lower gears much sooner and end up running out of gears. And I'd rather not shift into 5th (OD) during a high rpm race due to the T-45 transmission being a weakspot on these cars. Although I have a rebuilt T-45 with metal synchros upgrade. This is my first impression of being in an early DOHC Cobra. Not as torquey as the numerous pushrod 5.0s that I've had that were highly modified (ie. heads/cam, etc).
Aerodynamics is not that good. With the top down and all 4 windows up and doing 90+ MPH, the seatbelts start beating me at by the left shoulder area like it was Ike Turner. Stock height, it looks like a 4x4. So mine is lowered with some Steeda springs. But now the car bounces around when going over small dips and bumps. Clearance is horrible. Taking away from that comfy, relaxing cruise feeling. The seats are very mushy and soft. Very poor support for a top of the line high performance car. The headrest is total garbage. It doesn't naturally touch the back of your head so when you do those neckbreaking launches or even just sudden, heavy acceleration...your head will whip backwards...and you'll start getting back pains when you get home and wonder where it came from. Trust me, the pain is very uncomfortable and lasts for days.
If you really want a 96-98 Cobra, then ok, get one. But if you're shopping around in the similar price range, I'd buy a '98 Fbody Z/28 or Trans Am with the LS1 motor instead. It's better in almost every aspect with the exceptions of a few minor details...ie. the Fbodies are big and boatlike, while the Mustangs are more compact (but not necessarily better handling). Cobras holds their value better, but if you're buying then it's not to your benefit. Cobras are more likely to become collectibles, but plenty of 96-98s were made (unlike the 93s). The brakes are good though. The interior is not bad. Lots of plastic, but expected for the price and power. The Mach sound system is decent for that year.
I bought mine because it was fully built and supercharged....and I got a killer price for it. I always liked Mustangs (after about 12 of the 5.0s) and feel naked without one.
Amount Paid (US$):
1997Model and Options:
Ford Mustang Cobra Convertible Supercharged