By the early 1980s, the most notorious optimists in the auto industry did admit that the future of brands’ prosperity lies in fuel-efficient cars, and North America’s canonized V8 is not a big help!
However, savings are savings, and fans of fast cars did not go anywhere and they needed to sell something, so in 1984 Ford made an attempt to bring to the market a high-performance modification of the Mustang with a … 4-cylinder engine.
The search for a balance between power, fuel economy, ecology (the American authorities thoroughly tightened the screws) and the Mustang legacy took place with the involvement of specialists from the sports division of Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) – hence the model index. It was decided to use the 2.3-liter Ford Lima four-cylinder engine, known from the Pinto model and the second generation Mustang (not the most outstanding models, but chosen from what was), modified for better performance!
The engine has been completely redesigned with a turbocharger, electronic injection system and an EEC-IV computer control system (I don’t know what that means, but it sounds promising). As a result, the engine developed a solid 175 hp. – The same in 1984 was in the 5.0-liter V8 Mustang GT, while the Mustang SVO was distinguished by better weight distribution, due to the lower weight of the engine, and a significantly more progressive suspension. The torque was 285 Nm! By 1984, the engine output had grown to 200 hp. and 325 Nm, which was more than decent in the mid-1980s. Already with a 175-horsepower engine, the car exchanged a “hundred” in 7.5 seconds!
The engineers understood that the car could not be “pulled out” by one engine, as the Ford management expected the SVO Mustang to compete with the best European sports cars. Therefore, the suspension was seriously modified, adding a front and rear stabilizer, adjustable Koni shock absorbers, a rack and pinion power steering system, a self-block and ventilated disc brakes in a circle. There was an aggressive hood with an air intake, and at the back there was a spoiler and a wing – insane and merciless aerodynamics! SVO Mustang became the best Mustang in terms of handling, but buyers were not impressed with all these European things. SVO lacked the main thing – a charismatic American V8 under the hood. Besides, SVO was expensive.
For 2 years of production, less than 10,000 copies of the SVO Mustang were released, which is a drop in the ocean against the background of the giant circulation of the “Stallion”, nevertheless, they are still quite common and available in the USA. Pictured is a 1984 car in good condition with air conditioning, stereo, power windows and 5-speed manual transmission. Such a Mustang costs around 15,000 – 20,000 dollars. The car is quite interesting, but without a V8 it cannot become a collector’s value …