Ford Mustang Unicorns: 1984-1986 Mustang SVO
“ Sophisticated performance for the knowledgeable driver”
Ages before the Modern Ecoboost, Ford experimented the 2.3 turbo liter engine on several models.
One of the most performant combinations was the one installed on the SVO Mustangs (produced from the 1984 till the 1986). Ford and the SVO(Special Vehicle Operations) Team, created a car, able to compete with the sophisticated import cars, very popular in USA during the ‘80s.
The only transmission available with the SVO was a five-speed overdrive manual with a Hurst-developed shifter providing short throws and a crisp feel. Ford wanted the SVO to handle and ride better than the rough-and-tumble GT. Forged Continental lower control arms, adjustable Konis, specific springs, and a 1.12-inch diameter anti-roll bar graced the lighter front, while adjustable Konis and a .67-inch anti-roll bar helped place the standard four-link rear.
Brakes, were vented four-wheel discs: a big 10.9 inches in front, and beefier 11.3-inch rotors at the rear. The SVO ran a flush-faced five-lug 16×7 all-aluminum piece with slotted edges and a variety of 225/50VR16 tires. Inside the SVO, there was a unique performance pedal package that made heel-toe downshifting easier along with a dead pedal for support during hard cornering. A boost gauge and an 8,000 RPM tachometer were also part of the package.
Thanks to the lighter weight and shorter final drive, the first SVO’s were quicker than their 302-powered brothers: 0-60 mph came up in 7.7 seconds, as opposed to just under 9 for the GT. The SVO was the first Fox-body Mustang to use a 5-lug hub, and the advantage was this allowed the fitment of disc brakes in the rear.
In 1984, the turbo four produced 175hp; by 1986, it was making a healthy 200hp at 5,000 RPM and 240-lb ft of torque at 3,000 RPM.
There was also a competition package: By checking option box 41c on the order sheet, the stereo, antenna, power locks, power windows, power hatch release, air conditioning, and more were deleted to save weight.The price went down as the weight.
A Mustang 5.0 GT hatchback had a starting price of $10,000, the SVO was closer to $15,000.
Only 9.844 SVO Mustangs(less than 200 with competition prep package) were produced in 3 years.