Would you actually drive this 886-mile Mustang SVT Cobra R?

Have you ever seen such a big front lip spoiler?

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The Ford Mustang's nearly 60 years on the U.S. auto market has seen it evolve through several generations, body shapes, and powertrains. That means that if you're shopping for a used Mustang, you've got a huge variety of cars to choose from. Making things even better, Ford and its performance partners have created some truly impressive special editions of the car over the years.

2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra RThe Cobra R got a prominent rear wing.Bring a Trailer

Back in the 1990s and 2000s, Ford's Special Vehicle Team had a big hand in building the Mustang's recent performance legacy. One of its coolest cars was the Mustang SVT Cobra R, which debuted in 2000 as the fastest Mustang ever built. That pedigree set the Cobra R apart from others in the crowded Mustang catalog, and this car's nearly $100,000 current auction price shows that the R is still quite desirable today.

2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra RA six-speed manual transmission was standard.Bring a Trailer

The Cobra R wasn't a common car to begin with. Ford only made 300 for the 2000 model year, so this car would be quite a find even with ten times the mileage. The R was SVT's only Mustang for 2000 and put down some impressive numbers for the time. The cars got a 5.4-liter V8 that produced 385 horsepower when new, but many outside performance tests showed that the R was capable of putting down more power than advertised. The engine was paired with a six-speed manual gearbox. Ford claimed the powertrain could propel the Cobra R to 60 mph from a standstill in just 4.7 seconds and noted that it could go on to reach a top speed of 170 mph.

2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra RThe car is in nearly brand-new condition.Bring a Trailer

To the average person, the Cobra R could be written off as just run-of-the-mill Mustang with an aftermarket body kit, but there are subtle indicators that help identify it as the beast that it is. The Cobra R has a tall rear wing spoiler and an insanely long front lip spoiler. The hood has been bumped out with a large power bugle and there's a side-exit exhaust with chrome tips.

2000 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra RThe 5.4-liter V8 was rated at 385 hp when new.Bring a Trailer

As cool and rare as this particular car is, it's hard to get too excited about it. With around 890 miles on the clock, the temptation to continue hiding it away in safe storage somewhere is strong. A large part of what makes this Cobra R special is its condition, so driving it might suck some of the fun out of ownership. That said, the R generated quite a bit of interest. There are just a few hours left for the car to crest the $100,000 mark, but regardless of its final selling price, we hope the next owner is willing to add some miles.

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American muscle cars

Ford Mustang continues sales dominance

2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford has good reason to be proud of the Mustang. Now almost 60 years on from its introduction, Ford continues innovating with new versions and performance upgrades. It's all good news for buyers, as it's hard to find a "bad" Mustang in Ford's current catalog. The efforts have paid off, too, as the automaker just announced that the Mustang outsold its competition for the seventh year in a row.

2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Mustang continued outselling the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger, and did so without help from the Shelby GT350, which was discontinued. The Mustang Mach 1, with its 5.0-liter V8, led the charge, but Ford notes the performance of its most powerful Mustang, the Shelby GT500.

Ford says Americans are the most prolific Mustang buyers, representing 76 percent of the car's worldwide sales. Mustang sales in New Zealand grew 54 percent and Brazil saw sales climb 37.3 percent, so the car is a global effort for Ford. The automaker notes that retail orders, where a customer places an order for a car instead of shopping for one off the lot, almost doubled last year.

1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Photo courtesy of Ted Fontenot

The 2022 Mustang may mark the last year of the car's current generation. Spy photographers have caught next-generation cars testing in the wild, and the current-gen cars have been on sale since 2015. Ford also expanded the Mustang name in 2021 with the addition of the new electric Mustang Mach-E, which was met with huge demand and several awards from around the auto industry.

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New manual transmission option

Ford Mustang could get clutch-less manual gearbox

In 2018, Ford filed a patent for a new manual transmission that does not require a driver-operated clutch.


Yes, you read that headline correctly. Ford filed a patent for a clutch-less manual gearbox a few years ago, but it wasn't published until late last year. Muscle Cars & Trucks uncovered the filing earlier this month, and the possibilities from such a component are exciting to think about.

Ford MustangThe Mustang is currently available with a traditional manual transmission. Ford

As MC&T points out, the patent includes language that describes how the transmission will do its job. A control module designed to automatically actuate the clutch allows drivers to shift gears without using their left leg or a clutch pedal. The driver simply moves the shift knob in the direction of the gear they want and a sensor inside the knob communicates with the module that a gear change is imminent. The clutch is disengaged and remains so until the shift is complete, at which point the system reengages the clutch.

The interesting thing here is that, while Ford's patent means that vehicles don't need a clutch pedal, the automaker may still include them. Instead of the pedal being directly attached to the clutch master-cylinder, it would connect to the control module, like modern throttles and brakes are not always directly connected to the components they control. Approaching the shift this way (no pun intended), Ford could appease purists while offering a novel way to interact with a car for folks that aren't keen on three-pedal driving.

Ford MustangSome Mustang Models came exclusively with three pedals, but automatics are prevalent in the Mustang lineup now.Ford

While it's not the first time we've seen such a funky new technology (Kia did a while ago in Europe), the auto-manual shifting system could be a game changer, if it makes it into a production car. MC&T speculates that it could show up in the next-generation Ford Mustang, which will be here soon. If it becomes a reality, the shifter would allow drivers from the entire skill spectrum to enjoy an engaging driving experience without the fear of stalling or damaging their car.

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