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 byRichard Owen
built atDetroit, Michigan, USA
price $$15 500 USD
engineTurbocharged Inline-4
positionFront Longitudinal
aspirationTurbocharged & Intercooled
fuel feedBosch/Ford Fuel Injection
displacement2300 cc / 140.4 in³
bore96 mm / 3.78 in
stroke79.4 mm / 3.13 in
power152.9 kw / 205 bhp @ 5000 rpm
specific output89.13 bhp per litre
bhp/weight148.23 bhp per tonne
torque336.24 nm / 248.0 ft lbs @ 3000 rpm
body / frameUnit Steel
driven wheelsRWD w/Limited Slip
front tires225/50VR-16
rear tires225/50VR-16
front brakesVented Discs w/Vacuum Assist
f brake sizex 277 mm / x 10.9 in
rear brakesVented Discs w/Vacuum Assist
r brake sizex 287 mm / x 11.3 in
front wheelsF 40.6 x 17.8 cm / 16.0 x 7.0 in
rear wheelsR 40.6 x 17.8 cm / 16.0 x 7.0 in
steeringRack & Pinion w/Power Assist
f suspensionmacPherson Struts w/Lower A-Arms, Coil Springs, Koni Adjustable Tube Shocks, Anti-Roll bar
r suspensionLive Axle w/Upper & Lower Trailing Arms, Koni Adjustable Tube Shocks
curb weight1383 kg / 3049 lbs
wheelbase2553 mm / 100.5 in
front track1468 mm / 57.8 in
rear track1481 mm / 58.3 in
length4597 mm / 181.0 in
width1755 mm / 69.1 in
height1318 mm / 51.9 in
transmission5-Speed Manual
gear ratios4.03:1, 2.27:1, 1.50:1, 1.00:1, 0.86:1, :1
final drive3.45:1
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