The second generation of the Mustang was about to die, and its successor was on the pipeline. But Ford still had to sell the car, even though it was not that appreciated by its fan-base since it was based on the infamous Pinto platform. The Mustang 1978, with its King Cobra version, was not the same thing as the rest of the range.
While it looked more like a stretched Pinto than a fastback Mustang, the King Cobra featured some specific design elements. Moreover, it was available as a targa body version, which was considered nicer than the regular, rag-top versions. Its sloped rear end with a tailgate that opened the trunk caused a mixed feeling among its regular customers. But the nicest part of the car was the hood, with its dome in the middle.
Inside, the car featured sport-bucket seats for the front occupants and a bench good only to store a sandwich. Ford designed the car to be useful as a commuter car, not a long-travel cruiser. Its wheelbase was way too short for that.
Under the hood was one of the lowest-power 5.0-liter engines from its times. The V8 unit provided three ponies less than the European BMW 323, which featured a 2.3-liter displacement. But Ford tried to convince people that the car was sporty and could handle better than its competitors.