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No longer a joke, Ford’s new Mustang King Cobra bites hard with over 600 hp

Back in 1978, Ford launched the King Cobra edition of the Mustang II. Bascically an appearance package featuring scoops and a big cobra decal on the hood, it was a way to compensate for the Pinto-based car’s lack of charisma.

Ford has nothing to compensate for with the new 2015 Mustang, so when it reintroduced the King Cobra name at the 2014 SEMA show, it didn’t sound like a joke.

The King Cobra isn’t a new model, but rather a parts package available from Ford Racing that turns the 2015 Mustang GT into a drag strip dominator.

Underneath the snakeskin exterior, the King Cobra sports the “Super Pack” supercharger kit. Co-developed with legendary Mustang tuner Roush, it pushes the 5.0-liter V8’s output to over 600 hp.

Ford says that was enough to get a prototype King Cobra down Michigan’s Milan Dragway in 10.97 seconds.

Related: 2015 Ford Mustang RTR slides into SEMA with 725 hp

The King Cobra is also equipped with Ford Racing’s “Drag Pack,” which adds heavy-duty half shafts and a traction-enhancing rear suspension setup to make those sub-11 second quarter mile runs easier.

Rounding off the list of features is the “Handling Pack,” which lowers the car one inch and includes its own rear shocks and stabilizer bar.

Mustang owners can replicate this car by ordering all of those parts from Ford Racing’s catalog. They’re available at certain Ford dealers and other retailers.

2015 Ford Mustang King CobraThat actually makes the King Cobra a little more down to earth than some of the lavishly modified Mustangs that littered the SEMA floor this year.

While the Mustang has always been popular with the aftermarket, the car’s 50th anniversary and the launch of the new 2015 model meant Ford’s Pony Car was out in force this year, with dozens of cars on display featuring both the 5.0-liter V8 and 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engines.