1982 Mustang Specs

1982 Mustang Specs

Last Updated February 28, 2020 | Meghan Drummond

The Ford Mustang’s Fox Body era began in 1979, and just a few short years later, in 1982, it received its first major overhaul. Though the 1979 Fox had debuted to a great deal of enthusiasm and acclaim, the loss of the 5.0L V8 and the lack of new features had caused reactions to cool a little. So, for 1982, Ford came out with significant changes to the Mustang.

The 1982 Mustang’s biggest changes were the return of the GT (after a thirteen-year hiatus), a complete restructuring of trim packages, and the return of a 5.0L V8.

Ford’s Special Vehicle Operations team was also created this year, though it would be an additional two years before there was an SVO trim added to the Mustang’s lineup.

On a more curious note, this was also the first year that Mustang engines were painted a gray instead of the traditional “Ford Blue.”

1982 Ford Mustang Specs
Performance
Engine HP Torque
2.3L 4-cyl. 86 hp @ 4,800 RPM 118 lb-ft @ 2,800 RPM
3.3L 6-cyl. 87 hp @ 3,800 RPM 160 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM
4.2L V8 120 hp @ 3,400 RPM 194 lb-ft @ 2,200 RPM
5.0L V8 157 hp @ 4,200 RPM 240 lb-ft @ 2,400 RPM
Retail Prices
Model Price
L Coupe $6,345
GL Coupe $6,844
GLX Coupe $6,980
GL Hatchback $6,979
GLX Hatchback $7,101
GT Hatchback $8,308
Production Numbers
Model Quantity
L/GL Coupe 45,316
GLX Coupe 5,828
GL Hatchback 45,901
GLX Hatchback 9,926
GT Hatchback 23,447
Production Numbers by Color
Color Code Quantity
Black 1C 12,910
Silver Metallic 1G 8,066
Medium Gray 1P 339
Medium Red 24 11,881
Bright Red 27 871
Dark Blue 3D 266
Medium Blue Glow 3H 158
Medium Yellow 61 154
Dark Curry Brown 69 61
Medium Vanilla 6Y 124
Pastel Vanilla 6Z 57
Bittersweet Glow 8G 137
Dark Cordovan 8N 157
Polar White 9D 270
Available Two Color Combinations
Primary Color Secondary Color codes
Medium Gray Metallic Silver Metallic 1P/1G
Dark Blue Metallic Medium Blue Glow 3D/3H
Medium Vanilla Pastel Vanilla 6Y/6Z
Dark Cordovan Metallic Bittersweet Glow 8N/8D
Silver Metallic Black 1G/1C
Medium Gray Metallic Black 1P/1C
Red Black 24/1C
Bright Red Black 27/1C
Dark Blue Metallic Black 3D/1C
Medium Blue Glow Black 3H/1C
Medium Vanilla Black 6Y/1C
Pastel Vanilla Black 6Z/1C
Medium Yellow Black 61/1C
Dark Cordovan Metallic Black 8N/1C
Bittersweet Glow Black 8D/1C
Polar White Black 9D/1C
Interior Trim Colors
Color Code
Black A
Vaquero Z
Red D
Wedgewood Blue B
Opal/Red N
Opal/Black W
White/Vaquero 9
Opal/Blue Q
French Vanilla V
Dimensions
Curb Weight (lbs) 2,568-2,636
Length (in) 179.3
Width (in) 68.3
Height (in) 52.1
Wheelbase (in) 100.4

Performance Improvements

For 1982, Ford offered a 2.3L four-cylinder engine as standard across all four trim levels. There were a grand total of three optional engines though: a 3.3L straight-six, a 4.2L V8, and, returning to great acclaim, a 5.0L V8.

The 5.0L only had a two-barrel carburetor, but even so it was still able to produce 157 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. This engine was listed as the high output, or “HO” option, so it had a few additional features to boost it to performance glory. These features included a more aggressive cam and double-roller timing chain, as well as stiffer valve springs.

Unfortunately, even with the HO 5.0L engine, you had to deal with a very restrictive single exhaust.

For the transmission, the four-speed single-rail overdrive transmission, or SROD, was the standard manual transmission in use at the time, but Ford did offer a five-speed manual transmission as well. Car and Driver took the 1982 Mustang out to review, expecting to be excited about the five-speed transmission. While they were disappointed with the shifting pattern, which required shifting upwards to neutral from fourth, before returning back down for fifth instead of putting fifth gear across and to the right from fourth. Everything else left them relatively enthused.

A Fox Body Mustang with 5.0 badging in dark red

Exterior Options

The 1982 Mustang didn’t look substantially different from the previous years. It was still a four-eyed Fox Body, and it came in either a coupe or a fastback model. A flip-up open-air roof allowed you to open the roof part way or could be completely removed, which was not as good as a convertible, but close. Likewise, a T-roof allowed you to remove one or both side sections.

Your body style choices did become a bit more limited if you wanted the GT option, however. You could only get the GT in a hatchback, though for 1983 a convertible option became available. Selecting the GT package also limited your color selection to Black, Red, or Metallic Silver.

The most popular color across all 1982 Mustangs was Black, and the least popular was “Pastel Vanilla,” which only had 57 orders in total. Tu-tone colors continued to be popular, and these are still sought after today.

A fox Body Mustang in a red-orange color

The Boss Is Back

The Cobra package was retired temporarily following the 1981 year, which by all accounts was a good thing. The recent reviews of the Mustang Cobra had been increasingly negative, primarily because of a lack of a high-powered engine. Another year with a weakened Cobra could have negatively impacted the nameplate permanently, and it could have faded away much like the Ford Pinto.

For 1982, Ford ads ran the line “The Boss is Back.” The line referred to the return of the Mustang GT and the simultaneous return of the 5.0L V8 engine. For muscle car enthusiasts, it was like a siren. Finally, the Mustang was returning to its performance background.

The GT nameplate blended in perfectly with the new trim naming system. 1982 was the first year that Ford used the L, GL, and GLX terms to describe the trim levels of the Mustang, and having GT as the fourth and highest trim level worked perfectly. The GLX took the place of the Ghia, acting as the Mustang’s option for people who cared about having all of the luxury features.

Most of the GLX’s features could have been copied straight from the Ghia. It featured color-keyed accent stripes, remote control mirrors, and fully reclining low-back bucket seats. These seats could be outfitted in vinyl, cloth, or even leather.

SSP Special Edition

The 1982 Fox Body was exciting enough (and powerful enough) that the California Highway Patrol purchased 400 notchback models to use. These “Special Service Package” or SSP Mustangs were based on the GT package but included a more powerful automatic transmission so that officers’ hands could be free. Some were still manufactured with a manual transmission though, and these are especially collectible.

These Mustangs would continue to be manufactured for the next eleven years, and roughly 15,000 total SSP Mustangs were created. Very few of these are four-eyed Fox Body models, though. Four-eyed SSP Mustangs are seen as being particularly collectible due to their combination of great performance options and scarcity.

Modifications

Though the 5.0L V8 was exciting for its time, Ford pretty quickly started increasing the horsepower every year after that. 157 hp is a little low-powered for a V8 Mustang, but fortunately they left enthusiasts a lot of room to modify the Fox Body to suit themselves. For example, the 5.0L engine came equipped with a two-barrel carb, but there’s no reason not to upgrade it to a four-barrel carburetor.

The biggest difference between the 5.0L engine produced in 1982 and the one produced in 1983 was that the two-barrel carburetor was swapped out for a high-performance four-barrel carb. The result? 1983’s engine is able to produce 175 horsepower in comparison to 1982’s 157 horsepower. It’s a pretty significant improvement for a small modification.

Considering that even the most powerful engine of the 1982 year had a single exhaust, it’s no surprise that Fox Body Mustangs see some of the most significant performance improvements from exhaust modifications. Coupling long tube headers with a cat-back exhaust is one of the easiest ways to give your Fox Body Mustang an aggressive sound while simultaneously removing one of the factors limiting its performance the most.

Because 1982 Mustangs do use a carburetor, they are in the group of Mustangs most likely to see substantial performance benefits from using a throttle body spacer. Throttle body spacers’ ability to assist in creating a more balanced air-fuel ratio for combustion is especially useful in these scenarios.

Improving your engine isn’t particularly worthwhile without also improving the transmission, and transmission upgrades are a popular modification for Fox Body Mustangs. Any T-5 transmission would be a substantial improvement from the SROD manual transmission, and modern T-5 transmissions have torque capacities that were unheard of in the ‘90s.

All Fox Body Mustangs are improved by a strut tower brace, but in particular it’s the triangular-shaped strut braces that really show the most improvement in terms of stability and body roll.

These changes will all improve the performance of your 1982 Mustang, but there are also countless ways to improve the looks. As many have discovered, cowl induction hood scoops really create a performance-focused look for Fox Body Mustangs.

Perhaps one of the biggest changes that people make though is changing out the wheels. Giving a Fox Body larger wheels is one way to truly change the entire look of it, and while engaging in this process, it’s fairly easy to upgrade the Fox to five-hub wheels and disc brakes. Because it changes the posture of the Fox while also improving its stopping power, this is one modification that is great for performance and appearance.

A black Fox Body Mustang with a hood scoop

Perfect Project Car

Though many dismiss the possibilities for the 1982 Fox Body Mustangs because of an absence of easy-to-find OEM parts, there’s no shortage of options on the aftermarket scene that will not only fix a Fox Body, but can make it better than it ever was when it first rolled off of the assembly line so many years ago.

The 1982 Mustang is a great pick for a first-time project car. It’s substantially better than the previous year’s Mustang, but really shines when coupled with just a few modifications.

Image Credit: sv1ambo, Kieran White, Sicnag

1982 Mustang Specs

1982 was a big year for the Fox Body Mustang. It saw the return of the Mustang GT, a 5.0L engine option, and an entirely new lineup of trim options. Though the specs were a huge improvement over the 1981 Mustang's tragic offerings, there's still a lot of room for improvement with the right modifications. These are the factory specifications as well as what you can expect from just a few minor tweaks.