Saturday, April 08, 2017

Automotif CXXXIV...

A fairly rara avis, especially just out and running about as what looks to be a more-or-less daily driver. This would be an '84 Ford Mustang SVO. Developed in the early '80s when it was feared that oil embargoes and gas crises and EPA regs spelled the certain death of the V-8, the SVO was an attempt at pioneering a credible performance future with four bangers. It was as much a technology demonstrator as it was a production model, a sort of blue collar Porsche 959.

In addition to an intercooled turbo four that pumped out 175 bhp in the debut year (205 in the subsequent model year) it had new aero body styling cues that would become standard across the Mustang line. It was the first Fox-body Mustang with 5-lug wheels and featured a revamped suspension. Car and Driver testing of an '85 model turned up a zero-to-sixty time of 6.8 seconds, a top speed of 129mph, and .79 G's on the skidpad; all numbers pretty much equivalent to the contemporary carburetted V-8 model and not too far off my own 2.8L BMW Z3 from a decade and a half later.

The odd-looking headlights are because the '84 SVO was to debut flush aero headlight covers for the Mustang, but DOT approval didn't arrive in time for production. (Yes, kids, Uncle Sam used to protect us from the dangers of headlamp covers.)