From an extremely reliable inside source at SVT
(who is best friends with my sister's husband), this is supposedly the gospel of a lot of what we will see in the new Cobra. This car is already scheduled to debut at the Detroit Auto Show in January of 2006 with delivery available in mid (May/June) 2006 as a MY2007. Prototypes that are on the streets today are almost indistinguishable from other SN197's other than tires and exhaust note. There are a couple using unorthodox hood arrangements but these are supposedly not the cars with the drivetrains we will see. Here is what I was told will be the heart and soul of the next Cobra. Time will tell...
5.4 Supercharged, 3 valve heads (with HUGE valves), forged internals similar to the 4.6 (Crank, rods, etc), modestly rated (under rated actually) ~465 HP/495 lb ft Torque, using a twin screw S/C similar to that on the Ford GT but pullied differently, hence the lower HP. This motor was supposedly made official (in house only) just in the last few days. It will NOT be rated the equal or even close HP-wise as the Ford GT exotic for exclusivity reasons. It will have more restrictive intake/exhaust systems than the Ford GT which is partly to blame for the lower performance numbers. Also, a cold air induction system will purportedly being looked at as an option but may be standard if it can get past the bean counters.
6 speed manuals standard with a heavy duty 5 speed auto (the tranny used on the Ford Superduty but programmed/geared differently) as an option in late '07 or the '08 M/Y.
A re-engineered, heavy duty IRS will be an option with a modified 3 link/panhard bar-live axle setup as the standard rear axle. SVT will be going for the Road Race buyer as well as the straight line racer with both axles optional. However, the Axle options are not set in stone as of the moment but look highly likely to be approved. The Cobra will be lowered about 1.5" from a stock GT.
The retro theme will continue with a serious nod to the '67 Shelby. The fenders may be flared more than the standard '05 but that is not for certain as of now. The ducktail will be factory installed. Also, no convertible is planned for now but no reason was given other than concerns over chassis reliability due to the torque volume.
According to "John Doe" (he does not want to get 'relieved' of his assignment), only 3 of the Cobra protos built so far have the S/C'd 5.4 in them. There are actually 6 or 7 on the streets now, not all at the same time but there are similarly painted versions of different cars. There are also supposed to be three Protos with 6+ liter motors in them, 2 with blowers, one that is N/A but these will not be used in the next generation Cobra.
Supposedly, the 6+ Liter motors (he does not know the precise specs on them) are a Hurricane based engine with radical camming and a "first for Ford style of fuel delivery." I have no idea what he means by that and he would not elaborate to my sister either - apparently he was only repeating what he was told.
Alledgedly, the 5.4 S/C'd cars are running 315's on the rears, 275's on the fronts using 18" rims. Similar setups are on the other Protos. However, the 315's may only be optional with 295's being the standard fare.
The 5.4 S/C'd cars have been clocked in the very low 12's (12.10-12.25) in the quarter at nearly 120 mph and have been traction limited, according to "John". They are also supposedly able to pull over 1 G in handling.
Per "John", SVT is also adding enormous brakes and will be using an air cooled Intercooler, opting away from the water cooled version used previously due to reliability concerns (?). Other touches will possibly include some form of active/adjustable suspension as an option but he did not know much about it.
Supposedly, we should expect a price to be in the very high $30k range (base price - 6 speed, live axle, base tire/wheel combos) according to his sources in the know.
Also - prototype Mach 1's are also on the streets. These are supposedly running N/A'd 5.4's, tuned for 370hp with the 6 speed transmissions for now and debate still ongoing about which auto to use. None of the proto Mach's are running the Shaker hood to keep them cloaked to spying eyes. This car is supposed to appear for the '06 M/Y with some final tweaking to be set in stone by Jan/Feb 2005.
"John Doe" is considered to be an extremely reliable source. He said that Ford will rely heavily on already built/designed components rather than exotic pieces.
He also said that Ford is hoping to stymie the rumored F-body's comeback sales numbers with more powerful engines in the V6/GT Mustang in M/Y 2007 cars, perhaps as high as 20% increases in HP/Torque with 10-12% increases in fuel economy. If true, we could be seeing 320/325 HP GT's in 2007! Purportedly, GM is planning to use detuned LS2's in the F-bodies and Ford wants to head them off early with upgraded 3v motors.
I believe this info to be highly accurate based upon the source.
To me a v6 sounds like it might have the HPWR of the current GT's at that rate...