|1996 SVT Mystic Cobra
Below is an article originally published by USA Today written by James Healey
Ford Motor has a hot paint job that goes on black and also looks green, purple, or gold, depending on the light. Ford calls the color Mystic and will put it on 2,000 1996 Mustang Cobra coupes, no convertibles, then quite using the color, to make Mystic Cobra keepsakes. A Mystic Chobra is on display at the auto show here at McCormick Place through Sunday.
Mystic, a still $815 option, goes into production this week, Ford will quit using the color in April and has no plans to use it again, says Tim Boyd, marketing chief of Ford's Special Vehicle Team. SVT develops immage enhancing niche models.
Ford makes a small profit, Boyd won't say how small, on the Mystic option becaue it buys the expensive paint in bulk from BASF. But a body-repair shop would have to pay about $1,000 a gallon for Mystic, roughly 10 times the cost of conventional car paint. It takes about 1 1/2 gallons to paint a car Ford says.
Chameleon colors aren't new, but Mystic is most dramatic . Other paints change within a narrow band of hues: yellow-white-beige, for instance.
Ford says it's easy, albeit costly, to repaint damaged Mystic Mustangs. The body shop doesn't need fancy techniques or layers of different colors.
Cobras are limited production, hot rod versions of Mustangs devoloped by SVT which also plans to sell a hot rod SVT Ford Contour compact sedan in April 1997.
Cobra coupes start at $25,310. Convertibles start at $28,080. Only 7,500 Cobra coupes and 2,500 convertibles will be produced during the 1996 model year.
SVT models are sold by just 702 of Ford's 4,400 US dealers. To be eligible, Ford dealers must take special training, have a good record of customer satisfaction, and pay Ford a fee to sell SVT vehicles.
Cobras feature a 305 horsepower version of Ford's 4.6 liter V8, the automakers most powerful V8. The engines are partly hand assembled by two person teams at Ford's Romeo, Mich plant. Key upgrade: high performance cylinder heads that help the engine breathe better and burn fuel more explosively.