On Thursday, Ford Motor Company pulled the wraps off their new Mustang Cobra Jet factory drag racer with all-electric propulsion. The Dearborn automaker is projecting that the Ford Performance prototype can crush the quarter-mile in the low-8-second range at more than 170 mph. The battery-powered Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype is projected to deliver over 1,400 horsepower and over 1,100 ft.-lbs. of instant torque to demonstrate the capabilities of an electric powertrain in one of the most demanding race environments, on the drag strip.
While the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 is just a prototype, it joins the likes of the last year’s 2019 Chevrolet eCOPO Camaro Concept, a concept race car featuring an entirely electric-powered drivetrain. While the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 prototype puts down around 1,400 horsepower, the eCOPO Camaro had an output of 700 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, Chevrolet estimated quarter-mile times in the 9-second range with the car.
It has been making us wonder if Mopar and Dodge//SRT engineers will step up to the plate and test a similar all-electric powertrain in one of the brand’s Challenger Drag Pak packages. You might remember, that Mopar and Dodge//SRT rolled out their fourth-generation Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at last year’s Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. That car is powered by a supercharged 354-cubic-inch HEMI® V-8 engine and is fitted with a T400 three-speed transmission with a Kwik-Shift manual shifter, and a bunch of other lightweight goodies. While Mopar and Dodge//SRT do not release official power numbers or quarter-mile times, the last generation of the car has shown it can run in the high 7-second range, with the same powertrain.
With the next generation of Dodge Challenger expected to come in 2023, there has been a lot of talk about Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) future plan of the car and the possibility of the car offering an electrified variant. Last year, at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, FCA CEO Mike Manley was asked several questions regarding the integration of electric powertrains in the company’s future Dodge products.
“The reality is those platforms and that technology we used does need to move on. They can’t exist as you get into the middle-2020s,”, Manley said to the Detroit Free Press. “New technology is going to drive a load of weight out, so we can think of the powertrains in a different way. And we can use electrification to really supplement those vehicles.”
So while it seems that all forms of FCA vehicles will be adopting some form of an electrified powertrain in the future, could drag racing – the motorsport that the Dodge brand is most known for be a testbed for future electrification? We wouldn’t be surprised if it was.