1. home
  2. news
  3. Ford Mustang Horsepower Graphed Over Five Decades

Ford Mustang Horsepower Graphed Over Five Decades

Pony power from the 1960s to today.

Jason Udywriter

Since its debut in the mid-1960s, the Ford Mustang became popular due to its balance of affordability and performance. But not every year offered the power we associate with the pony car today. A new infographic shows how the Ford Mustang's horsepower has progressed from the first generation to the current car.

Near the end of the first generation, the Ford Mustang Mach 1 made 375 hp (gross) from its 429 cubic-inch V-8 -- substantially more power than any second- or third-generation car. In fact, it wasn't until the limited production run of Cobra R models in 2000 did the pony car exceed the Mach 1's power rating. The 2000 Ford Mustang Cobra R coupe's 5.8-liter DOHC V-8 was rated 385 hp (net) and 385 lb-ft of torque.

The second-generation Ford Mustang II was the dark ages for the compact coupe. From 1974 until 1982 (three model years after the third-generation Fox body Mustang arrived) horsepower ratings were less than 150 hp. It wasn't until the 1995 Ford Mustang Cobra R arrived with a 5.8-liter (351-cubic-inch) V-8 that a Mustang was available with 300 hp. After the 2000 Cobra R, Ford upped the ante with the 2003-2004 Ford Mustang Cobra SVT "Terminator" with a supercharged 4.6-liter DOHC V-8 underrated at 390 hp and 390 lb-ft.

For the fifth generation, the Mustang GT and Boss 302 models received a new 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 that made 412-444 hp. That engine continues to be used in the new sixth-generation 2015 Ford Mustang GT, but has been tweaked to make 435 hp in the GT. A new limited run of Shelby GT350 and GT350R models will make 526 hp and 429 lb-ft from a 5.2-liter flat-plane-crank V-8 with an 8,250 rpm redline.

Interestingly, the chart doesn't mention the 2007-2014 Shelby GT500. In 2007, the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500's supercharged 5.4-liter DOHC V-8 made 500 hp. By 2013, the GT500 had received an aluminum 5.8-liter engine making 662 hp and 631 lb-ft.