In the early ‘80s, Ford reassured Mustang enthusiasts that performance was a priority. 1982 saw the return of the Mustang GT, and the 5.0 engine was brought back in ‘83. But in 1984, the first SVO Mustang was produced, making it a special year. This performance-oriented package showed the true potential of a turbocharged engine. The 1984 Mustang’s specifications are an improvement on years past.
1984 Ford Mustang Specs
||88 hp @ 4,800 RPM
||118 lb-ft @ 2,800 RPM
||112 hp @ 4,000 RPM
||175 lb-ft@ 2,600 RPM
|2.3L Turbocharged 4-Cylinder
||145 hp @ 4,600 RPM
||180 lb-ft @ 3,600 RPM
|2.3L Turbocharged SVO 4-Cylinder
||175 hp @ 4,400 RPM
||210 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM
||175 hp @ 4,000 RPM
||245 lb-ft @ 2,400 RPM
|5.0L EFI V8
||165 hp @ 3,800 RPM
||245 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM
||Adj. for Inflation
|Turbo GT Hatchback
|Turbo GT Convertible
|GT Turbo Hatchback
|GT 5.0 Hatchback
|GT Turbo Convertible
|GT 5.0 Convertible
|Medium Canyon Red
|Light Canyon Red
|Light Academy Blue
|Dark Academy Blue
|Light Desert Tan
Interior Trim Colors
1984 Mustang Appearance
1984 Mustangs were unchanged from 1983’s basic body style. It was still a four-eyed Fox, and available in notchback, convertible, and coupe styles. Body style and engine availability depended exclusively on the trim level.
1984 Mustang L
The L was positioned as the bargain trim. Only available in notchback and coupe models, it also had a 4-cylinder engine. However, you could add a V6 or V8 to an L model as an option.
L Mustangs also didn’t get the full fold-down rear seat other models got.
1984 Mustang LX
The LX Mustang option was meant to be a middle of the road package between the L and GT. Available in a convertible, notchback, and coupe body, only the convertible got a different standard engine. Convertible LX Mustangs got a V6 while all others received the same 4-cylinder as the L.
With the exception of the convertible LX, features were very similar to the L.
1984 Mustang GT and Turbo GT
The Mustang GT could come with a 5.0L engine or a 2.3L turbocharged engine. Other than engine selection, the options were the same. The GT was available in notchback and convertible body styles.
The GT got a functional front air dam which added a sporty vibe to its appearance. This was complemented by a single wing rear spoiler.
The suspension system was also altered slightly for GT Models. Gas-filled struts offered additional dampening for a smoother ride.
1984 Mustang SVO
The SVO package was by far the most interesting. Designed to be a performance Mustang, it had a unique aesthetic. Not only did it get its own badging, but it also received a functional hood scoop, biplane rear spoiler, and unique taillights. These could only be ordered in Black, Dark Charcoal Metallic, Canyon Red, Silver Metallic, and Oxford White.
SVO stands for Special Vehicle Operations. Eventually it would be renamed Special Vehicle Team (SVT). This team was designated to focus exclusively on the performance models. The 1984 SVO Mustang was the first time this team got to work on a Mustang.
Many find it surprising that the SVO used a four-cylinder engine. The team selected this engine to demonstrate a balance of power and fuel economy. When coupled with a turbocharger and intercooler, the SVO’s engine held its own against V8s that were twice as large. Both the V8 and turbocharged four-cylinder were capable of reaching 175 peak horsepower.
The engine would have been exciting on its own. But the SVO team gave this Mustang a host of other upgrades including:
- Large front and rear anti-roll bars
- Front and rear disc brakes
- Koni adjustable shocks and struts
- 16” wheels
1984 Mustang Performance
1983 Mustangs got a litany of upgrades and improvements. That meant, for the most part, things were unchanged for 1984. This wasn’t a bad thing though.
Most of 1984’s engines were carryovers from 1983. Because the trim levels had changed, their availability had also changed.
1984 Mustang Engine Availability
||Standard on Convertibles
The 2.3L available in the Turbo GT differed from the one found in the 1984 SVO. It wasn’t intercooled, and it made significantly less horsepower. 145 compared to 175 in the SVO. The Turbo GT had received poor reviews in 1983, and that didn’t change much for ’84.
The L and LX ‘84 Mustangs would continue to be equipped with a four-speed manual and three-speed automatic.
The T5 manual transmission was introduced in 1983 and would be used through 2010. Between 1983 and 1984 only one small change was made. The fifth gear ratio was dropped to 0.63 from 0.73.
The AOD automatic transmission was used in mid-1983, but by 1984 it was the only available automatic transmission. Unlike the C4 transmission used in previous years, the AOD had an overdrive gear. Overdrive gears are great for conserving fuel on the highway.
1984 Mustang Transmission Ratios
|Transmission||First Gear||Second Gear||Third Gear||Fourth Gear||Fifth Gear
20th Anniversary GT350
For the Mustang’s 20th anniversary, Ford released a special GT350. This wasn’t a Shelby GT350, since Carroll Shelby was uninvolved. But it did pay homage to the 1965 Shelby GT350. All 20th anniversary GT350s came with Oxford White exteriors and Canyon Red interiors. A grand total of 5,260 were built. Though it may not be noteworthy for performance reasons, it’s looks definitely make it a collector car.
Other than special badging, the GT350s were simply GTs and turbo GTs.
1984 Mustang Modifications
The 1984 SVO Mustang offers a look at the possibilities for ’84 Mustangs. Improved anti-roll bars and disc brakes are some of the most frequent modifications for these Fox Bodies. If you want, you can even badge it like an SVO.
Fox Body Mustangs receive frequent criticism for their handling. They suffer from pronounced body roll and “boat-like” handling. Stiffening the chassis with strut bars or subframe connectors can reduce body flex and improve these issues.
Improving airflow is a great way to improve your 1984 Mustang’s power and performance. While some do a cylinder head swap, adding a functional hood scoop or cold air intake is also effective.
More extreme modifications, like building a drift Fox Body or doing a Coyote swap, are more challenging but worth the effort.
The addition of the SVO made 1984 a noteworthy year for Ford Mustangs.This was one of the last, and best, years for four-eyed Fox Body Mustangs. For collectors, this makes 1984 Mustangs very desirable. Even the L and LX are great finds and may even have an upgraded engine under the hood.
In addition to being highly modifiable, many choose to instead restore these Mustangs to their factory specs. Whether you’re interested in serious modifications or perfect restorations, check out our Fox Body Mustang YouTube videos for project ideas.
This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.