The Ford Mustang SVO was an interesting gamble by the Blue Oval in the mid-1980s. The company's Special Vehicle Operations Department created a pony car with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine for a Mustang with performance as good as (or better than in some metrics) the venerable, V8-powered GT trim. A new video from Late Model Restoration puts a relatively rare, final-year 1986 model on the dyno to see how much power it makes today.
When introduced in 1984, the Mustang SVO's 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder made 175 horsepower (131 kilowatts), which was the same as that model year's 5.0-liter-V8-powered GT. This 1986 example had a factory rating of 200 hp (149 kW) and 240 pound-feet (325 Newton-meters) of torque.
Gallery: Ford Mustang SVO Dyno VIdeo
This car is stock except for a higher flowing fuel pump and an aftermarket boost controller but at the factory setting for this test. It uses a five-speed manual.
On the dyno, this SVO makes 170.39 hp (127.1 kW). This amounts to a driveline loss of 14.8 percent, which would be an acceptable figure from a modern vehicle let alone one that's over 30 years old.
The car makes 250.02 lb-ft (339 Nm) of torque at the wheels. This is 4.2 percent more than the factory rating and suggests the possibility of Ford underrating the factory figure. Assuming the same 14.8 percent driveline loss as the horsepower number, then the number would be around 287 lb-ft (389 Nm) at the crank.
In addition to the potent powerplant, the SVO team outfitted this model with performance-oriented parts different roll bars, suspension bushings, Koni adjustable shocks, and four-wheel disc brakes. It was a good performer for the time but only stuck around for three model years.
Ford Performance's own site about the Mustang SVO paints the car as an intriguing failure:
"At the time, plans were being made to wind down production of the Fox-Body Mustang. It was thought that the SVO could represent both the end of the Mustang heritage, and the launch of a new performance era featuring smaller, turbocharged engines. Planners would ultimately prove to be wrong on both counts..."