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Now that forced induction is on the most prosaic of modern vehicles, it is easy to forget that it was a rarity back in 2003. So, when Ford’s John Coletti and his mad band of engineers at the Special Vehicle Team bolted the Eaton supercharger from the F-150 Lightning onto Ford’s modular 32-valve 4.6-liter V-8, the resulting 390 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque made the nickname Terminator appropriate.
A compact modular independent rear suspension was developed to bolt into the unibody hard points of the solid-axle suspension still fitted to regular Mustangs. A total of 19,140 Terminator Cobras were produced for 2003–04.
[Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared as part of the 25 Greatest Mustangs cover story in the July/August issue of Hagerty Drivers Club magazine. You can find the other entries here.]