1983 Ford Mustang SVO

In 1980, Ford created Special Vehicle Operations to help develop a better image for the Mustang. Most importantly, SVO was responsible for applying race-derived technology to Ford production cars. Specifically, technology from the Ford IMSA and SVO prototype were transferred to the Mustang SVO which was released in 1983.

The SVO was a different kind of Mustang as it retained the inline-4 found on the entry level models. With turbo charging and modifications introduced by SVO, the power was raised to an impressive 170bhp. This figure was increased more as the model improved year to year with the final product having 205 bhp.

A 5-Speed Manual transmission was mated to the engine. Gear changes were made via a short-throw Hurst shifter. Not since the Boss Mustang was Hurst involved in the development of a high-performance Mustang.

1983 Ford Mustang SVO

Beyond the driveline, much of the car was improved, including disc-brakes on all wheels. Not until 1994 would Ford adopt such a setup on the standard Mustang.

The rear-end was beefed up with the introduction of a Traction-Lock rear axle. Appropriately, it featured a limited-slip differential.

Of the 400 000 Mustangs produced between 1984-to 86, only 9000 received the SVO badge. Such limited numbers made the SVO one of the most sought after Mustangs.

After 1986, the Ford kept the V8-powered GT as a more marketable top model. Ten years later, Ford finally revived the Mustang with the Cobra R.

In Detail

submitted by Richard Owen
built at Detroit, Michigan, USA
price $ $15 500 USD
engine Turbocharged Inline-4
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Turbocharged & Intercooled
valvetrain SOHC
fuel feed Bosch/Ford Fuel Injection
displacement 2300 cc / 140.4 in³
bore 96 mm / 3.78 in
stroke 79.4 mm / 3.13 in
compression 8.0:1
power 152.9 kw / 205 bhp @ 5000 rpm
specific output 89.13 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 148.23 bhp per tonne
torque 336.24 nm / 248.0 ft lbs @ 3000 rpm
body / frame Unit Steel
driven wheels RWD w/Limited Slip
front tires 225/50VR-16
rear tires 225/50VR-16
front brakes Vented Discs w/Vacuum Assist
f brake size x 277 mm / x 10.9 in
rear brakes Vented Discs w/Vacuum Assist
r brake size x 287 mm / x 11.3 in
front wheels F 40.6 x 17.8 cm / 16.0 x 7.0 in
rear wheels R 40.6 x 17.8 cm / 16.0 x 7.0 in
steering Rack & Pinion w/Power Assist
f suspension macPherson Struts w/Lower A-Arms, Coil Springs, Koni Adjustable Tube Shocks, Anti-Roll bar
r suspension Live Axle w/Upper & Lower Trailing Arms, Koni Adjustable Tube Shocks
curb weight 1383 kg / 3049 lbs
wheelbase 2553 mm / 100.5 in
front track 1468 mm / 57.8 in
rear track 1481 mm / 58.3 in
length 4597 mm / 181.0 in
width 1755 mm / 69.1 in
height 1318 mm / 51.9 in
transmission 5-Speed Manual
gear ratios 4.03:1, 2.27:1, 1.50:1, 1.00:1, 0.86:1, :1
final drive 3.45:1
top speed ~215.7 kph / 134.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~7.3 seconds
0 – 100 mph ~19.0 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~15.5 seconds