1996 Ford Mustang Cobra

1996 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra: Ultimate Guide

Now with a Brand New, Hand-Assembled, All-Aluminum DOHC 4.6-liter V8

1996 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra

Now With a Brand New DOHC V8

For 1996, Ford finally did away with the aging 5.0 liter V8 in the Mustang, replacing it with a new aluminum 4.6 liter, DOHC, “modular” unit that was smoother and had slightly better fuel economy. While controversial at the time it was clearly the change needed.

While the GT got a SOHC version of the new 4.6 liter V8, the Cobra got a DOHC setup. The Cobra’s block, cast by Teksid of Italy, was an aluminum, cross-bolted block. The heads had split ports and huge valves. The DOHC meant 4 valves per cylinder for better aspiration. Equipped with a dual 57mm throttle body and an 80mm MAF the engine is definitely speed ready. Built into the engine was a oil cooler.

This engine produced 305 hp @ 5,800 rpm and 300 lb/ft of torque @4,800 rpm, making the new Cobra capable of 0-60 in 5.50 and a 14.0 second quarter miles. While the headline numbers sound similar to the old engine this was an entirely new unit that also changed the character of the Cobra. This was more of a high-revving engine. To compensate for the relative lack of low end response associated with these kind of cylinder heads, SVT also put an intake manifold with dual runners on the Cobra, with the secondaries not opening until around 3000 rpm, making these early modular Cobras very responsive at low speeds.

New to the ’96 Cobra was the domed hood, necessary for the 4.6L engine to clear.  Also redesigned were the taillights which now had three horizontal bars resembling the old Pony Car Mustang.  “COBRA” lettering was now placed on the rear valance panel and the spoiler was redesigned.

Also changed in 1996 were the rack and pinion system, the tires which were one size smaller from the previous year, the new 4.6L modular engine, and a new transmission which had a torque rating of 320 ft/lbs.  Also new was the Mystic paint option which contained four major metallic colors:  green, amber, gold and purple.  The light intensities of the paint also varied depending on which angle the car was viewed.

In 1996 Ford also introduced the Mystic Cobra which featured color shifting paint manufactured by BASF. The paint was green based and depending on the angle it was viewed, 7 different colors were viewable with emerald green, purple and amber/gold being the most prominent. Two thousand 1996 Cobras were produced with the Mystic paint option (LF), each accompanied by a distinguishing certificate along with the SVT certificate. Because the paint has special proprietary uses, any remaining quantities are very tightly controlled thus requiring a VIN verification through a complying Ford body shop to properly repaint damaged areas.

Specifications & Performance

Built at: Detroit, Michigan, USA
Engine: 90-degree, DOHC 32-Valve V8
Displacement: 4.6L / 281 CID
Bore: 3.55 in
Stroke: 3.54 in
Power: 305 hp @ 5800 rpm
Torque: 300 lbs.-ft. @ 4800 rpm
Compression: 9.85:1
Front tires: P255/45ZR-17
Rear tires: P255/45ZR-17
Front brakes: 13 in. vented disc, PBR twin-piston caliper (Bosch, three channel, four-sensor system)
Rear brakes: 11.65 in. vented disc, single-piston caliper (Bosch, three channel, four-sensor system)
Front suspension: Modified MacPherson strut type with separate spring on lower arm, 400-505 lbs./in. linear-rate coil springs, 29mm stabilizer bar
Rear suspension: Rigid axle, upper and lower trailing arms, two hydraulic links, 160-265 lbs./in. variable-rate coil springs, 27mm stabilizer bar
Wheels: 17 x 8 in. 5-spoke cast aluminum
Tires: BFGoodrich Comp T/A P245/45ZR-17
1/4-mile @ MPH: 14.00 seconds @ 101.6 mph
Top speed: ~225.3 kph / 140 mph
0 – 60 mph: 5.5 seconds

Retail Prices

Cobra Coupe, P47: $24,810
Cobra Convertible, P46: $27,580

Production Numbers

Total Produced: 10,006
Total Coupe Produced:
7,496
Total Convertible Produced: 2,510

Colors & Numbers

Exterior Colors

Black Clearcoat UA: 2,122 (Coupes), 1,053 (Convertibles)
Laser Red Tinted Clearcoat E9: 1,940 (Coupes), 962 (Convertibles)
Crystal White ZR: 1,435 (Coupes), 494 (Convertibles)
Mystic LF: 1,999 (Coupe)

Exterior & Interior Combos Colors

Coupe

Black cloth Interior + Black Exterior: 13
Black cloth Interior + Laser Red Exterior: 16
Black cloth Interior + Crystal White Exterior: 10
Black cloth Interior + Mystic Exterior: 9
Black leather Interior + Black Exterior: 1,376
Black leather Interior + Laser Red Exterior: 926
Black leather Interior + Crystal White Exterior: 739
Black leather Interior + Mystic Exterior: 1,990
Saddle cloth Interior + Black Exterior: 8
Saddle cloth Interior + Laser Red Exterior: 4
Saddle cloth Interior + Crystal White Exterior: 10
Saddle cloth Interior + Mystic Exterior:
Saddle leather Interior + Black Exterior: 725
Saddle leather Interior + Laser Red Exterior: 994
Saddle leather Interior + Crystal White Exterior: 676
Saddle leather Interior + Mystic Exterior:

Convertible

Black Exterior + Black Top + Black Cloth Interior: 2
Black Exterior + Black Top + Leather Interior: 664
Black Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 158
Saddle Exterior + Black Top + Leather Interior: 5
Saddle Exterior + Saddle Top + Cloth Interior: 1
Saddle Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 222
White Exterior + Black Top + Leather Interior: 1
Laser Red Exterior + Black Top + Black Cloth Interior: 2
Black Exterior + Black Top + Leather Interior: 362
Black Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 36
Saddle Exterior + Saddle Top + Cloth Interior: 1
Saddle Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 536
White Exterior + Black Top + Cloth Interior: 1
White Exterior + Black Top + Leather Interior: 13
White Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 11
Crystal White Exterior + Black Top + Black Leather Interior: 144
Black Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 11
Saddle Exterior + Saddle Top + Cloth Interior: 1
Saddle Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 220
White Exterior + Black Top + Cloth Interior: 2
White Exterior + Black Top + Leather Interior: 59
White Exterior + Saddle Top + Leather Interior: 57

VIN Decoder

The VIN is stamped on the plate which is riveted to the driver’s side of the dash, visible through windshield; the certification label is attached to the rear face of the driver’s door. For full details see our 1996 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra VIN Decoder page.

VIN Decoder Cobra 1996

 

 

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