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Ford Mustang Cobra and SVT Cobra



  • >no way are true ls1 fans going to buy a 36G ford. <

    Perhaps not, but there are plenty of casual LS1 fans out there who will readily switch, given the alternatives that they will have after this year. And the car has enough pop to attract the attention of a few Vette buyers as well. And even at $35K it is about 12 to 15K less than a Corvette. In fact I would say Chevy is going to have to up the power ante on the Vette 'cause at 390 HP Fords new Pony is just too darn close to a base Corvette.
  • According to this months MM&FF, Ford has announced they are pushing back the introduction of the new Mustang platform until 2005. I knew as soon as GM dropped the F bodies, it would take the pressure off of Ford and we would stop seeing continuous improvements in the Mustang. I for one am and have always have been a Mustang owner, but I never doubted for a minute that the only reason Ford kept improving the Mustang was because of the Camaro and Firebirds. Now that GM has decided to drop those units, it is unlikely we will see the same level of concern by Ford about Mustang upgrades. The loss of the F bodies, should be mourned as much by Mustang fans as F body fans IMO. Next thing we will hear I suppose is the disbandment of the SVT Group. Ford Jr is a tree hugger, so I doubt that the SVT group has a friend in Court with him at the helm.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    The current mustang is on a platform how old? The reason it does so well is that there is nothing else with the performance for the price. (there was the F bodies, but GM so poorly packaged and developed them that they were not that desirable) With new cars entering this segment soon, ford could fall way behind. They would do well to engineer the next mustang to compete with the new 350Z. It should lean more to the sports car side rather than just being muscle car.
  • From a price and performance stand point, I think the top end 2003 Mustang (Cobra) will blow the top end 350Z so far into the weeds they won't even both with comparison tests in magazines. The 2003 Cobra with an advanced IRS, 6 speed tranny, a DOHC 32V V-8 equipped with an Eaton blower pumping 390 HP is going to be one mean machine. It is going to take a Z06 Corvette or Viper to put it on the trailer. So I think a better comparison will be the Mustang GT, against the 350Z, from both a price and performance stand point.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    As much as I appreciate import engineering, I have to agree. Even in its current form the Mustang does not have too much to worry about from cars like the Z. A standard Bullitt GT will have no problem keeping up with a 350Z while drawing as much attention, having space for two more in the back, and costing a lot less. Obviously it will suffer in some other areas, but the sheer discrepency in power vs price makes the Mustang a seller for years to come. The 350Z would have to get to 60 in the mid 5s and do the 1/4 mile in the mid 13s stock off the lot to have a chance of competing against Mustangs in the minds of the typical GT buyer, given what the 350Z costs and given the expected dealer gouging that isn't there with the GT and Cobra trims.
  • the Fbods have long exceded the mustangs in performance/price, and look where they ended up?
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Yes, and we all know why. Mustang was a much more livable car.

    It also happens to be a more livable car than almost all 2+2 import coupes on the market, especially when it comes to rear seating. It's far more livable than the 350Z, which as a two-seater automatically gets relegated to the specialty aisle of the mass market.

    This is not a knock on the Z by any means. Rather, I am saying that the Mustang has a few inherent strengths (utility + torque + low price) that in combination make for a very strong package that the 350Z isn't going to steal the spotlight from, since it's likely to be inferior to a Mustang in all three.

    Put differently, Mustang will probably outsell the 350Z 3-to-1 or 4-to-1. Why threaten that by turning it into a dedicated sports car and narrowing its appeal? The beauty of the Mustang is the extremely large range of folks that it appeals to. That's also the bane of the 350Z an in fact of the old Z, RX-7 and Supra as well - the very narrow audience.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    The highest spec 350Z might compete with the cobra and on the lower end the GT.

    I am not saying change the whole formula of the mustang. I just think that they should work the dynamics a little more so the GT mustang can gain a whole new segment of buyers. (those who might get a Z) You could sharpen up the handling and response without losing your audience, you might even make a bigger fanbase. They are still selling the soft tuned V6's to satisfy the masses.
  • TO revdrluv ~~~>>>>They are still selling the soft tuned V6's to satisfy the masses.<<<<<

    And they will continue to do so. It's their bread and butter vehicle that has allowed Mustang to survive and partially support the SVT group that turn out the "Fun" cars for Ford. It all makes sense to me. I don't think the Japanese have figured this one out yet. If the ergonomics and quality issues had not been so pronounced and glaring with the "F" bodies, I think GM would not have discontinued this model. GM was basically following Fords formula for the Mustang. They just didn't have the proper low end product that Ford had to offer. You are never going to sell enough SS Camaros and/or Mustang Cobras to keep the production lines going profitably. Hence you better have a highly desirable "Peoples Car" in the model line-up to carry the day. Long live the V-6 Secretaries Mustang coupe. It has allowed Ford to continue to offer the Mustang model and more importantly the Mustang Cobra.
  • The mustang GT does have many traits that allow it to sell well, but I think you are under estimating how well the 350Z will do. Nearly everybody who has seen it has liked the looks, and for a few people, their only athstetic complaint is the looks of the door handles. I also believe this is what makes the V6 mustang sell so well. It is a very attractive car!

    While the price/performance of the Cobra is far exceding the top 350Z trim level, the base models are competitive very well in performance. Both models are very good lookers too, which will only allow them to compete better. what I think you are failing to see though, is that once you get into the driving enthusiasts territory, which would mean the cobra and the 350Z track model, you have two completely different cars that appeal to two completely different people. And the small numbers of these sold wont be nearly as significant number of base models sold.

    I think because of this, the sales will be very competitive, if Nissan can keep up with demand.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I'm sure Nissan will make a decent amount of them, and will sell all of them pretty quickly. I'm also certain that they won't even try to make nearly as many 350Zs as Mustangs, and that if they did they'd find those cute cars sitting on lots in short notice, especially with that price tag.

    Everyone keeps calling the 350Z inexpensive. It's not. It's a bargain, but that doesn't mean that it's cheap. It starts at $26k, probably won't be bargained down from that much, which means that once you throw on tax and typical financing interest the base 350Z with no options is already a $30k car. More specifically, a $30k two-seater with no moonroof and no convertible top, but a really big engine. That's going to appeal to a very small group of people. Option it up and throw on tax and financing, and the 350Z approaches $40k. A lot of posters here throw around MSRP like it's the standard by which car prices are interpreted. It's not. People make decisions to buy or not buy a car not when they see the window sticker, but when the dealer tells them exactly how much the car is going to cost them, and how long it is going to take them to pay it off. The 350Z in most trims will be as pricy as a Cobra. That's going to make it a very hard sell for the typical Mustang GT aspirant.

    This is simply because the 350Z is not very practical in the same sense that a S2000 or Miata aren't practical. It's a two-seater with relatively small cargo space, and unlike virtually every other two-seater in production it has neither the convertible top nor a moonroof or sunroof. The people shopping for a Mustang are looking for the size and utility that a car like the 350Z simply cannot provide, and those interested in a car of this style are already quite saturated with other 2-seater alternatives. I can understand someone cross-shopping something like an ITR (with two useless back seats) with a 350Z. However, the Mustang is a much more roomy all-purpose vehicle. I think the majority of aspiring Mustang buyers are going to look at the 350Z and think, "too small" or "too expensive to insure." Those who seriously cross-shop these two cars will be in the minority.

    I'm still not convinced about how popular the 350Z will be in the long term, if Nissan tries to push five-digit production of it. It's a small, expensive and impractical car that markets itself as a stylish car that is a relative performance bargain. I think that would work wonders as a strategy if the 350Z cost as much as a Miata (or a Mustang GT) and could therefore appeal to younger people without much $$, or more established people who could afford a second car to complement a high utility daily driver. However, at $30k, you have to be a real enthusiast to be willing to make the sacrifices necessary to drive a Z around as your only car, and that's the big buyer market that cars like the Mustang or 350Z need to compete for. I don't see a lot of Mustang GT buyers paying $6-8k more for the privilege of less torque and less room but slightly more refined steering and braking. This is why folks like myself are a lot more interested in a convertible 350Z. After all, if it is the enthusiast in me that's supposed to jump for the 350Z, why would I jump for it when I can get a S2000 with better handling, similar acceleration and an automatic convertible top for about the same money?

    Never underestimate the power of two rear seats, or of a convertible top. To my knowledge, the 350Z is going head-to-head against Corvette coupe as a two-seat non-convertible. That's rough waters to be in.
  • ralf2ralf2 Posts: 1
    Yes, i agree with you.the value you received with a MUSTANG is great. most all purpose for money.maybe not the best workmanship but really a lot of car and a lot of torque/power for the money.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    I agree with what you say sphinx. What I am saying is that Ford should address the things that the mustang falls behind on with the redesign. I think they could sharpen up the handling and driver feedback (and the few quality niggles) with out raising the price too much if at all. This way the mustang wouldn't just be seen as the best-power-for-the-buck car, but it could also be seen as a viable alternative for driving enthusiasts who want more than just high hp.

    Don't get me wrong I think what you get for the money is great, (where else can you get it?) but if the Mustang was a better overall performer I think the car would be an even better bang-for-the-buck. It seems with the revised chassis and suspension of the next GT that this has already been considered anyhow.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Well, I can't argue with that. I would love a Mustang with more linear pedal response, sharper steering and a lower hood so that I can actually see the road. That would be a fun car at an amazing price.
  • atlanta4atlanta4 Posts: 51
    Anybody heard anything from Ford about the new Cobra? I've not seen much in the way of pre-release hype from Ford.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I am late to this thread so excuse me if i repeat things that have already been said.
    Looks like the weight increase is fairly large.
    I heard from somebody that the T56 weighs a full 75lbs. more than the T5.
    The difference between iron and aluminum in the block is usually 80-100lbs.
    The IRS weighs more too. Probalby another 75-100lbs.

    That is 275 lbs even before the supercharger and additional frame bracing is added.
    Reminds me of the BMW M5 that weighs 4000lbs! while the standard 540i weighs 200-300lbs less.

    The Mustang continues to selel well because it is just about the only 2 door car Ford sells.
    GM has the gp, cavalier,saturn, fbody etc.
    So it is unfair to compare the Mustang to the fbody only.

    I have owned 5 camaros but never bought a fourth gen due to the large size of the car vs. a complete lack of interior room, catcon hump, low windshield rake, poor visibility etc,
    Plus the fourth gen is just not as good looking as the third gen. I have heard countless people say this.
    The light really plays off of every body panel on the 3rd gen. The fenders, the sail panel, the rocker panels.
    The fourth gen is an amorphous blob.

    Part of the Mustangs appeal is that it is a more upright sedan looking car. There is something cool about taking a fairly plain 2 door sedan and getting the right amount of bodywork and performance improvements inatalled.
  • Autoweek cover story on 2003 Cobra - SVT claims it will be under $35,000 and Autoweek estimates 5 second zero to sixty time.

  • boomn29boomn29 Posts: 189
    For me, $35k is out of my price range. Plus, I'd want a few extra options that'll raise that price up! With an SVT model, the dealers are NEVER going to come down on that price - they know they can get it.

    It would be nice though...
  • ballparkballpark Posts: 41
    I wonder why Ford would only make 10.000 Units?
    The more I read about this car the more I want to forget about the Mach-1 and just pony up the extra dollars for the Cobra
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Posts: 417
    Ford did the same thing with the SVT Focus. It has something like 7500 models. I know exclusivety helps build excitement, but this still seems low.
  • texaszachtexaszach Posts: 119
    One of my customers is in top level management of the number 2 volume Ford dealership in the nation. I've purchased several trucks from him including the '01 Supercrew currently residing in my garage. This particular dealership happens to be SVT certified. I spoke with him yesterday regarding the new snake. Their allotment of '03 Cobras is a total of 6. They have a waiting list for these cars despite a rumored premium of $10,000 above MSRP at their dealership.

    In my opinion, Ford could choose to limit production on the Mach 1 as well, which will result in customers paying MSRP or above. Hopefully, the unvieling at the N.Y. Auto Show this week will shed some light on production numbers. I was leaning toward purchasing a new Mach 1, as the last one I purchased new was in 1973. It would be cool to buy another one 30 years later!

    There is no doubt that I'm a Ford fan, but what really chaps me is that the blue oval guys choose to limit production on the pinnacle of their horsepower offerings while GM does not. The rival cars which Ford is targeting are readily available to the masses. I can understand Ford limiting production of the upcoming GT40, but have never understood this approach on the Cobra.

    While exclusivity may build excitement, it can also build resentment from the premiums being charged. Of course we all have the right to vote with our wallet and refuse to pay "the market adjustment" premium.
  • b4zb4z Posts: 3,372
    I doubt if Ford's suppliers can make too many more than 10,000.
    Thats 10,000 superchargers, intercoolers, hoods, etc.
    SLP doesn't mnake 10,000 SS's and Chevy held back on the first year of Impala SS's due to suppliers unable to make that many sets of wheels.
  • texaszachtexaszach Posts: 119
    The story is in from the NY Auto Show, good article on The Mach 1 production will be 6,500 units. The new Mach will revive the shaker hood scoop design which made the 1969 Mach 1 unique and like it's predecessor, the scoop will be functional. Horsepower is rated at 300 on the new Mach. With production numbers this low, a new GT is looking better all the time.
  • ccasey2ccasey2 Posts: 2
    I don't typically follow trends in rebates, incentives, etc.... Does anyone have any thoughts on whether introduction of the 2003 Cobra will put downward pressure on prices for new GTs. I see that ford is currently offering a 1500 rebate but the program ends soon.....future?

    Also, how "real" are some of the predictions about dealers pricing Cobras ~10k above MSRP (and lack of availability). I could probably be convinced to go 35k for a top of the line mustang.....but mid-40s...that seems pretty steep. Of course, my only experience with mustangs was my sisters '77 (4 cyl) which was a dog and I had a '79 5Lit. Capri when I was a teen(which moved pretty good) but fell apart when it hit 85000 miles.

    Sorry for the "wandering" nature of the post but some you folks seem pretty knowledgable about these cars.
  • in_sa_nein_sa_ne Posts: 1
    Hello all,
    I am currently a Cobra owner and it is an awesome driving machine. Yes, I am biased. But if you drove one you would know why.

    This is the true American car.

    The 03 Cobra is expected to be a BIG hit. This car is already fully loaded, the only option available for upgrade is chrome rims. Everything else is standard on this car.

    The average dealer mark up is around 2-5k above MSRP. Although I really want to get in to this car I will not pay the mark up. I think the price will come down. In comparison to Vette, this car is in a totally different class.

    The Vette is a sport car, the Cobra is a muscle car. Sure the Cobra may keep up, but that is not Ford's intent. The only reason people are comparing these cars together are because of the hiatus of the Camaro and the Firebird.
  • I think that no matter what the curent cobra is fat fat fat, I dont care if it has close to 400hp, it is overweight. Wait for the next mustang instead.
  • texaszachtexaszach Posts: 119
    The current incentives on Mustangs have nothing to do with the upcoming release of the limited production Cobra. GM, Ford, and Chrysler are offering incentives to boost sales, which has consistently been the case in our post "September 11" economy.
  • Hi everyone I'm new but i thought I'd share this info, seeing as I'm in the market to buy a 2003 Cobra and I just got a quote from th dealer 1000 below sticker or about around 33500 before tax of course. Just thought this would be helpful since I've been reading a lot of posts claiming that sales wouldn't budge on the price. Also the number they gave me of cobras produced for 2003 is 5200, that's it.
  • That's a rather impressive hp-per-dollar ratio.
  • I never noticed it before - you are correct -$87 bucks per horse! That is very impressive.
This discussion has been closed.