A subtle suggestion leaves the door open for a higher-horsepower turbo Mustang.
Recently revealed to the public at the 2019 New York Auto Show, the 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package might be the longest name of any Pony car that can be drawn from memory. It has a 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder tied to the Ford Focus RS, but tuned for 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. It has a broader torque curve, a quad-tip exhaust, front rotors from the Mustang GT, upgraded sway bars, and specially calibrated magnetic dampers. It’s the leapfrog answer to the boosted 2019 Chevrolet Camaro, which launched in the second half of 2018.
It didn’t take long for enthusiasts to wonder why this 2.3L turbocharged mini-monster of a Mustang wasn’t wearing an iconic SVO badge, as was the case 35 years ago. The recipe seems there: a robust 2.3L turbo engine, gobs of performance hardware, V8-rivalling quickness, and a track-attack pedigree.
So, why not simply call it the Mustang SVO? Apparently, there's more to come.
Gallery: 2020 Ford Mustang 2.3L High Performance Package
"Not this one," a spokesperson said quietly during Ford's media-only reveal event in Corktown, Detroit when we questioned why.
Seasoned readers may have fond memories of the Mustang SVO. Produced from 1984 to 1986, Ford offered a 2.3L turbo-four as an alternative to the 5.0-liter V8, and it was a virtual match for power. The lighter engine paid huge dividends for the ride and handling of the Fox Body Mustang. Additionally, the Mustang SVO was among the fastest and most expensive Mustangs of its time.
Perhaps that's the reason why the SVO badge didn’t appear on this latest model. The 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package is still far away from being one of the fastest and most expensive Mustangs of its generation. Yet, there’s plenty to be excited about with a 0-60 time in the mid-four-second range, improved handling, and snarling exhaust note.
Can the Mustang EcoBoost get any faster? It would likely be the only way we’d see a return of the SVO moniker.