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Reflecting On The Ford Mustang and the SVT Performance Division

When one chooses to think of the tradition of sports cars in America the Ford Mustang always seems to come to mind. In fact it could be considered the ambassador to the world in representing the idea of vehicle performance in the American tradition. The Mustang has maintained its roots as a solid performance coupe from its induction at the beginning of the muscle car era though the introduction of fuel injection in the 1980’s to the current timeline.

While many different versions of the Mustang have been brought into existence, some arguably better than others, many of them have been serious horsepower machines. Realizing the potential market value for an in-house performance brand, in 1981 Ford created the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) group to work on developing performance parts and accessories to be used with the company’s vehicles and in their racing programs. The first vehicle that was built to showcase this was the Ford Mustang SVO, which used a 2.3L turbocharged engine and various SVO parts and upgrades.

In 1993 the SVO group was reorganized into the Ford Special Vehicle Teams (SVT) division to continue this tradition. This year saw the introduction of the SVT developed Mustang Cobra and Mustang Cobra R models. The Cobra edition continued in various setups and changes throughout the rest of the 1990’s ending in 2004 while the Cobra R was made twice more in 1995 and 2000. Recently SVT has been involved with the current Mustang Shelby Cobra GT500 models in working with Carroll Shelby, the legendary automotive designer and racing driver.

Throughout the years the SVT team which gained much acclaim for its aggressive and successful tuning of the Ford Mustang platform also brought its expertise to bear on other Ford related vehicles such as the Ford GT and the F-150 Lightning trucks. Among its many vehicle projects the SVT team has created a variety of aftermarket Ford Mustang parts and accessories to keep the yearning masses appeased in their search for better lap times and quicker runs at the drag stripe. The list of upgrades available is extensive and includes cold air intake kits, performance exhaust systems, sway bars, strut tower bars, suspension handling kits, superchargers, body kits, aero dynamic upgrades and more. The prominence of the Ford Mustang in racing and performance circles continues to grow, with new fans flocking to the Mustang banner everyday and olds fans holding a special place in their hearts for the iconic “pony car” that nurtured the need to go fast and look good doing it.

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