This Is The Best Ford Mustang You Could Buy 20 Years Ago

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The SVT Cobra R has less than 400 horsepower.

It's amazing how powerful many new vehicles are today. Take the 2020 Honda Civic Type R, for example. It has 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque courtesy of its turbocharged four-cylinder engine. A stock hot hatch like that was unheard of 20 years ago, the year when the Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R hit the market. The 2000 model year SVT Cobra R was essentially the ultimate Mustang one could get at the time directly from Ford.

The built-for-the-racetrack Cobra R was already a rare variant, having been offered only in 1993, 1995, and 2000. There were regular Cobras in between those years, however. But the 2000 Cobra R was special for another reason: it was the only SVT Mustang produced that year, limited to just 300 units.

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Mecum Auctions

Power came from a naturally aspirated 5.4-liter V8 with 385 hp paired to a six-speed Tremec manual gearbox. The engine, interestingly, was based on the then-current Ford F-150 block. In fact, the SVT Cobra R's heads were later modified for use in the first-generation Ford GT, which debuted in 2005. For it to be track-ready, Ford's SVT team added Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks and struts, Brembo brakes, Borla side exhausts, and even a Fuel Safe 20-gallon fuel cell. The front splitter and rear wing were also designed specifically for the track. Front-seat occupants enjoyed Recaro seats for extra support.

To shed as much weight as possible, creature comforts like air conditioning, an audio system, rear seats, cruise control, and sound-deadening materials were removed. They weren't even optional.

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This particular SVT Cobra R also set a major precedent for future Ford performance vehicles: the SVT team took advantage of some aftermarket accessories instead of doing everything in-house. For example, Brembo brakes and Recaro seats are common fixtures, with the new 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 being a prime example.

Given its place within Mustang history, the 2000 SVT Cobra R is definitely a collector's item, and the example pictured here is set to cross the Mecum Auction stage this June, though all bids will be online only.

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Mecum Auctions
Mecum Auctions

This car is build No. 52 of 300 and it has only 480 miles on its odometer. Aside from all of those performance modifications, there are also 18-inch five-spoke wheels, tinted headlights, Cobra R and SVT badges inside and out, and that wicked cool Cobra R-only domed hood. Also included in the sale are the original window sticker and an SVT certificate.

Pricing? No mention was made but we wouldn't at all be surprised to see it surpass today's best stock Mustang, the Shelby GT500, which begins at nearly $75,000.

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Mecum Auctions
Mecum Auctions
Mecum Auctions
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Source Credits: Mecum Auctions

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