Turbocharged, four-cylinder Mustangs might be commonplace now, but back in the 1980s, the idea that a performance-oriented Mustang would have anything other than a V-8 was insanity. If you want to experience what an EcoBoost Mustang might have looked like back in the 1980s, check out Bring a Trailer’s 1986 Ford Mustang SVO.
As emissions and fuel efficiency regulations began to throttle the industry, Ford looked to the future. Serving as a testbed for both market interest and adolescent turbocharging technology, the SVO was an incredibly forward-thinking car.
Before the SVO took shape, the goal was fixed on creating an advanced and refined sports car that would conceivably hold its own against entry-level European sports cars like the E30 BMW and Mercedes-Benz 190E.
It certainly brought the right hardware to the fight. A 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder provided the underhood punch, offering up 200 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque in 1986. Power is sent to the rear wheels through a five-speed Borg-Warner five-speed manual transmission and 3.73 rear gears. To manage this extra speed, four-wheel discs were pilfered from the contemporary Lincoln Mark VII, while a Hurst shifter and closely-spaced pedals made quick shifts easier.
Initially, the SVO garnered accolades from publications, praising the Mustang for its balance, power, and forward thinking. However, despite good press and strong performance, a hefty price tag that was nearly double that of a base V-8 Mustang and difficult marketing meant the SVO only stuck around for four model years. Now, these serve as interesting historical footnotes for America’s favorite Pony Car.
This particular SVO is in great condition, having covered just 24,000 miles in its 31-year life. It’s fresh from the shop, wearing new front brakes, mufflers, A/C charge, and new fluids. The car comes with a full Marti report, books, and a clean title.
Head over to Bring a Trailer to grab a piece of Mustang history before it’s gone.