1985 Fox Body Mustangs are favored collector cars. This was one of the final years for the four-eyed Fox style, but the technical specifications are better than earlier years. The SVO, first introduced in 1984, returned with even more performance accolades.
1985 Ford Mustang Specs
||88 hp @ 4,800 RPM
||122 lb-ft @ 2,800 RPM
||120 hp @ 3,600 RPM
||205 lb-ft@ 1,600 RPM
|5.0L V8 EFI
||165 hp @ 3,800 RPM
||245 lb-ft @ 2,000 RPM
|5.0L V8 4V
||210 hp @ 4,600 RPM
||265 lb-ft @ 3,400 RPM
|2.3L 4-cyl (SVO)
||175 hp @ 4,400 RPM
||210 lb-ft @ 3,000 RPM
||Adj for 2020 Inflation
Production Numbers by Color
|Light Regatta Blue
|Dark Slate Metallic
|Dark Clove Brown
Interior Trim Colors
1985 Mustang Trims
After years of forcing enthusiasts to closely compare L, LX, GLX, and other trims, Ford streamlined their options. For 1985 only the LX, GT, and SVO trims returned.
The front of the grille was changed for all models. 1984 Mustangs had a multi-slatted grille which was streamlined and flattened for 1985.
A Car and Driver review from 1985 was especially flattering. Reviewers compared the Mustang GT to German sports cars. They went further and complimented Ford on their subdued style choices, which stood in sharp contrast to the Camaro and Firebird of the time.
1985 Mustang LX
The LX was now the base level trim. This affordable Mustang came in three body styles: Coupe, notchback, and convertible. The convertible was much more expensive, but it included an upgraded transmission and engine.
While the LX came standard with a four-cylinder engine, the convertible version came with the V6 and an AOD automatic transmission.
Unlike Mustangs today, you could elect to improve your engine or transmission during ordering. Every engine except for the turbo was available for the Mustang LX.
The LX also had the widest variety of colors. Sand Beige, for example, was an LX exclusive exterior color.
1985 Mustang GT
The GT was available in both notchback and convertible body styles. The engine and transmission were unchanged from the year before and were both still excellent for the time.
The biggest change for this year was the addition of 15” x 7” cast aluminum wheels that came with Goodyear Gatorback tires.
Though available in both an EFI and carbureted V8, the carbureted was the better choice. It had more horsepower, a great sound, and it used a true 4-barrel Holley carburetor to get the performance GT owners expected.
1985 Mustang SVO
The Mustang SVO was only a year old, but already the Special Vehicles Team had some changes in mind. They changed the rear axle ratio to 3.73 from 3.45 and the steering ratio to 15:1 from a 20:1. The result of these seemingly small changes was that the steering felt quicker. Though the SVO wasn’t a huge improvement over the GT in terms of straight-line speed, it offered a more precise driving experience.
Handling wasn’t the only improvement SVO made though. They also reduced the spool time on the turbobooster and increased the pressure of the EFI system. The result was that by the 1985.5 SVO model, the horsepower rose to 205 and the torque to 248 lb-ft. Previously the SVO had produced 175 horsepower and 210 lb-ft of torque.
The SVO would only return for one more year, and there would be no more changes.
1985 Mustang Performance Specifications
Between 1984 and 1985, no real changes were made to the Mustang’s engine and transmission options. The one major engine change was that the Turbo GT’s four-cylinder was no longer available. The SVO’s turbo engine got a mid-year tune-up.
There were significant changes to the wheels and tires offered, which in some ways improved performance.
The four-cylinder engine got a standard four-speed manual or three-speed automatic. But it was possible to upgrade to the T-5 manual or AOD automatic.
World-Class T-5 Transmissions
When Ford first used the T-5 Transmission on the 1983 Mustang, they used the non-world class (NWC) variant. By 1985, Ford transitioned to the preferred world-class T-5.
The biggest difference between NWC and WC T-5 transmissions is the use of roller bearings. By using roller bearings for the first, second, and third gears, the internal friction was reduced. This means that world-class T-5s tend to have a longer lifespan. Drivers noted that the shifts also felt “snappier.”
Modern T-5s have been improved even further, making it easy to swap in a T-5 with improved features.
1985 Mustang Transmission Ratios
|Transmission||First Gear||Second Gear||Third Gear||Fourth Gear||Fifth Gear
In 1970, Ford offered 96 Twister Special Mustangs to Kansas dealerships. The Twister Special featured performance upgrades in addition to aesthetic ones. For 1985, the first Twister revival edition was made.
This limited run of 90 vehicles is among the rarest Fox Body Mustangs. Tragically, the Twister II wasn’t offered in the original Grabber Orange. Instead, they could be ordered in white, dark red, or light red. All had bold side stripes with Twister II printed on them.
Of the 90 made, only 14 were convertibles.
1985 Mustang Modifications
Even with the world class version of the T-5, it’s advisable to upgrade to a modern T-5. The improved torque capacity makes it easy to keep doing major upgrades under the hood without worrying about your transmission.
Improving airflow via a cold air intake or improved cylinder heads is a great way to get more power out of your 1985 Mustang’s engine. Air flow was a weakness of Fox Body Mustangs, and it’s an easy improvement. Some fixes, like a functional hood scoop, can also improve your builds overall look.
Chassis flex is a noted problem in Fox Body Mustangs. A K-member upgrade can help improve your suspension’s rigidity and handling.
While few things were changed for the 1985 Mustang, it’s a popular year for collectors. The improved T5 transmission made the day-to-day driving experience more fun. The 1985.5 SVO was also the most powerful of the three years the SVO was in production.
This four-eyed Fox body was the result of slowly improving specifications from the previous years.
Image Credit: Creative Commons