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Apr 18

Future Classic: Terminator Cobra

The Terminator Cobra is the stuff of legends, you take a Mustang, have the wizards at SVT work it over and the result is an icon of the early 2000s. The Terminator is a 2003/04 Ford Mustang Cobra that was produced back when SVT was still making the Cobras. It’s the baddest of the SVT Cobras. We think it is a future classic because they did not make a whole lot of them, just 19,140 Cobras where made. Aside from the relatively low number they were quick from the factory with 390hp and some of the best drivers running a mid 12 second quarter mile. It is certainly worth taking a closer look at so let’s do that and see just why we think the 2003/2003 Terminator Cobra is a future classic.
20013 Mustang Cobra



Why is the 2003/2004 Cobra called the Terminator?
Generally cars are called by their name in this case the Mustang Cobra, however the Terminator is a bit different. SVT code named the car “Terminator” during the development process and the name stuck. There is much debate on why the nickname was Terminator. Some say it’s because of the movie, the Ford fans say it’s because it terminated the competition, while others say it is because of the grueling testing regiment the 4.6l engine had to pass and it terminated all of it. What ever the reason the SVT guys are not telling just yet.

Cobra engine

The Cobras 4.6l supercharged V8
At the heart of the Cobra is a cast iron supercharged 4.6L 390hp V8 engine. The Supercharger is a Eaton M112 unit boosting to 8 psi. The Supercharging system has an air to water intercooler to help fight off the heat of boost and the whole engine is mated to a T56 six speed manual transmission. The Cobra was good for 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and a quarter mile in the mid 12s. That was pretty impressive for the early 2000s and it’s quite respectable today.

The Cobra was hot with the horsepower junkies as some simple mods like a smaller pulley on the supercharger led to nice horsepower gains for little money. The engine was built stout enough that many guys go much more extreme with the add ons pushing the car to upwards of 500hp to the wheels and more.

The 2003/2004 Cobra featured an independent rear suspension which was nice for the corners, but the drag racers hated it. Many Terminator owners swapped a live rear axle in the rear for drag racing. This was fairly easily accomplished with numerous aftermarket kits that were available.

Why it’s a future classic
The Terminator Cobra is a future classic for several reasons. Namely it isn’t a high production number car. There were a little over 13,000 2003s and 5,664 2004s. That is pretty low by modern standards but production numbers alone do not make it a classic. The 2003/2004 Cobra is also very sought after. They still fetch a hefty price on the used car market and typically when one is for sale it is not for sale long. Lastly though it has that x factor that we look for here at IG. Your average person probably won’t realize it is not just a normal Mustang but if you know, you know. With it’s great factory performance, and serious after market potential the 2003/2003 Ford Mustang Cobra, the Terminator, is a sure in on our list of future classics.

Other Future Classics:
RX7

Photosource: wikimedia

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