The Ford Mustang has certainly evolved in many ways since it first hit the streets in the 1960s. Each year has many subtle and not-so-subtle changes in terms of design, engine configuration and style. A number of limited edition Mustang models have also been introduced along the way, including the Mustang SVO, a lightning-fast muscle car that was only available from 1984 to 1986.
A Product of the Special Vehicle Operations Department
SVO stands for “Special Vehicle Operations,” which was the name of the department created by Ford in the early 1980s, in large part to breathe new life back into the muscle car. The oil crisis of the late 1970s and the resulting increase in fuel prices, along with stricter emissions and safety controls, caused Americans to lose interest in muscle cars, and Mustang sales diminished accordingly. Ford believed the time was right to rejuvenate the muscle car format to offer an American response to the rising popularity of entry-level European sports cars.
Key SVO Features
The Mustang SVO featured a uniquely designed front grille and hood, smooth side panels, thin side moldings and a distinctive biplane spoiler among its many exterior upgrades. The SVO also offered a 2.3 inline four-cylinder engine equipped with an intercooled turbocharger system and a technologically advanced computer-controlled fuel injection system that combined to deliver a significant increase in horsepower. The 1984 SVO provided a 175 hp output, while the 1985.5 SVO reached 205 hp, and the 1986 offered 200 horses under the hood. This made the SVO the fastest and most powerful Mustang model available at the time. Buyers only had the choice of charcoal gray for the color of the interior.
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