Officially introduced on December 9, 1993, the fourth generation of Mustang embodied the personality and style of its earliest forebears, yet was eons more aerodynamic. The long sloping hood with its excellent visibility and slanted nose now carried wrap-around headlights and parking lights/turn signals that surrounded the grille.
Centered in the grille was the trademark galloping pony, last seen in 1978. Hood vents and side scoops at the end of newly-sculpted sides which had been were reprised, and taillights in three horizontal bars wrapped from back fenders around to the traditionally short rear deck.
The 1994 Mustang Cobra convertible was made the official Pace Car of the 77th Annual Indianapolis 500. Equipped with a 240-horsepower 5.0 liter V-8 engine; Borg-Warner T-5 five-speed manual transmission and specially-tuned suspension, the pace car was scarcely different from those bought by the public. The original Mustang had set the pace at Indy in 1964, returning in revamped form 15 years later to repeat the honor. The 1994 Mustang also received Motor Trend's Car of the Year award, a second for the Mustang, the first in 1974.
Ford's SVT team built 240 Cobra "R" Mustangs in white for 1995. Unlike the 1993, it was equipped with a competition suspension; a 5.8 liter (351ci) V-8 block rated at 300hp; GT-40 cylinder heads; heavy-duty radiator and oil cooler; a stronger Tremec five-speed transmission, and P255/45ZR17 BF Goodrich Comp T/A radials. Devoid of stereo, air conditioner and back seats to reduce weight, the 1995 Cobra R was built for the track.
The other Mustangs were basically carryovers from 1994 with a GTS line added. The GTS was the basic GT package without the sports seats, rear spoiler and fog lamps. Remote keyless entry, an anti-theft system and compact disc players were among some of the add-ons that had been on the options menu for several years. The 5.0 liter, 302ci V-8 bowed out of the lineup following the '95 model year, marking the end of a major Mustang motor era.
1996 Mustangs offered a number of refinements on the Fox-4 introduced in 1994. Most notably, a modular 4.6 liter single overhead cam V-8 replaced the old standby 5.0 liter V-8 that had been phased out at the end of the `95 model year. The SVT Mustang Cobra was outfitted with an aluminum alloy derivative of the 4.6 liter V-8, featured a double overhead cam, and its 281ci were capable of generating 305 horsepower. Of course the standard 3.8 liter V-6 with electronic fuel injection, rated at 150hp, remained in Mustang's engine inventory.
Exterior modifications included a honeycomb grille behind the pony and vertical rather than horizontally opposed taillights. The Cobra's taller engine required a re-designed "bubble' hood. The GT acquired new identification designating the advanced technology under the hood. The coiled cobra adorned the SVT Mustang front fenders and COBRA was embossed into the molded rear bumper of the SVT Mustang, replacing MUSTANG.
Mustang's engine lineup for 1997 reprised the same power plants including the 3.8 liter, 150hp EFI V-6 which powered the basis coupe or convertible; the 4.6 liter, 215 hp single overhead cam V-8 found primarily on the GT models, and the double overhead cam, 4.6 liter V-8, rated at 305 hp, designed primarily for the Cobras.All platforms benefited from refinements that further purged squeaks and rattles and smoothed out bumpy roads. The diameter of the anti-roll bar increased enhancing steering.
In keeping with tradition, the Mustang offered a wide range of options for buyers to personalize their transportation -- from the Preferred Equipment Package on GT coupes (air conditioning; AM/FM radio and stereo cassette player; sports seats; four-way powered driver's seat; ABS; cruise control; fog lights; rear spoiler; etc.) which added $2,940 to the basic car's total price, to remote keyless entry that cost an additional $145. Externally, the most notable modification was removal of the honeycomb grille reintroduced the year before.
Basically, another carryover year for the Mustang. The 4.6 liter, V-8 single overhead cam engine was kicked up another ten horses to 225hp and air conditioning became standard. All models received a modified center console with armrest, cup holders with an optional drop-in ash tray; dual 12-volt power points, and CD cassette storage. A dash-mounted clock pod, introduced in 1997, was removed for `98.
Safety features included second generation de-powered
driver and front passenger air bags; high-strength
side door intrusion beams; three-point lap/shoulder
safety belts, and a passive anti-theft system. The
dash clock from 1994-1997 models was removed. The Cobra
got five spoke wheels and was offered in yellow and
blue. Available in either coupe or convertible, and
in basic, GT or Cobra configuration, starting prices
ranged from $16,500 to $29,000.
For its 35th anniversary, the Mustang pony is back in its corral, albeit a trapezoidal rather than rectangular enclosure. And that's not all. To mark the anniversary many of the car's traditional design features have been reworked including the tri-color bars on the front fender sides; honeycomb grille; rear spoiler; side sculpting and scoops -- all these coupled with the long hood and short deck that have been the Mustang's heritage.
Add to that the crisp, fresh look of "New Edge" designs such as slim halogen headlights with integrated turn signals; larger, three-inch diameter dual exhausts, and a hood and rear deck comprised of a sheet molded plastic compound that eliminates corrosion while reducing weight. Engines have advanced to provide improved power and torque. The 3.8 liter, split-port fuel induction V-6 has been boosted to 190hp, thanks to Teflon-coated pistons and freer flowing cylinder head, while the GT's 4.6 liter SOHC V-8 is now rated at 260hp.
Mustang went unchanged in 2000, aside from the removal of the 35th Anniversary fender badges. The V-6 and GT were indiscernible from the outside, except for the dual exhaust cutouts in the bumper of the GT. Ford released 3,091 Spring Feature Mustangs for the 2000 model year. The package was offered in Performance Red, Black, Silver, White, and Zinc Yellow. The package was available only on GTs.
A limited run of 300 "Cobra R" models were
produced this year powered by a 5.4-liter, iron-block
version of the DOHC, 32-valve engine rated at a massive
385 horsepower. Stripped of such niceties as air conditioning
and a backseat, and carrying a $55,845 price, the Cobra
R sold out in no time at all. For the first time since
1989, Ford sold more than 200,000 Mustangs — a
total of 215,393 in 2000.
The Cobra returned for 2001, but the big news that year was the special "Bullitt" edition Mustang GT coupe designed to evoke memories of the '68 Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in the 1968 film of that name. The Bullitt, based on the regular GT, featured a lowered suspension, new five-spoke wheels evocative of the classic Torq-Thrust design and such neat exterior details as a fuel-filler door designed to look like that of an aircraft's.
The interior was also redecorated with special graphics
on the instrumentation and special upholstery, both
reminiscent of the 1968 GT, as well as aluminum-finished
pedals and an aluminum ball shift knob. A larger throttle
body and other revisions to the engine pushed output
to 265 horsepower. Available in blue, black or, like
the movie car, dark green, the Bullitt was a hit and
all 5,000 sold out quickly.
The 2002 Mustang offered the Visteon Mach 1000 audio system. The system produced over 1,100 watts of peak power and featured a 60-watt parametrically equalized amplifier, six 85-watt subwoofer amplifiers, four 5.5 x 7.5-inch subwoofer speakers, four midrange tweeters and two 10-inch trunk-mounted acoustic suspension enclosures. Standard with the Mach 1000 was an in-dash six-disc CD changer with an MP3 player option. The gorgeous wheels from the Bullitt made it onto the regular Mustang options list for 2002. Sonic Blue was added to the lineup, and the leather on the steering wheel on premium package cars was slightly changed. The optional stripe on the side of the V-6 Mustangs was thicker, and 16" wheels were standard.
No special edition Mustangs were available in 2002,
and only a handful of Cobras were made, and they were
all shipped to Australia, where they were converted
to right-hand drive, and side marker lights and another
set of fog lamps were set inside the front bumper.
The big news came for 2003 with a reborn, radically
more powerful Cobra and a new limited-edition Mach
1 model. The new Cobra uses a supercharged version
of the 4.6-liter, DOHC, 32-valve V8 making a stupefying
390 horsepower. With that grunt traveling through a
six-speed manual transmission, the latest Cobra is
the quickest and fastest Mustang ever built by Ford.
Meanwhile, the new Mach 1 is almost mechanically identical to the 1998 Cobra in specification and uses a normally aspirated version of the 4.6-liter, DOHC engine now rated (again) at 305 horsepower, a solid rear axle and five-speed manual transmission. But it's the eye candy, which includes a flat black painted hood, 17-inch versions of the Magnum 500 wheels from the '60s and, most prominently, the return of the "Shaker" hood scoop, that make it such a special machine.
Ford celebrated its 100th Anniversary in June of 2003, and made limited edition vehicles to commemorate the event. The 100th Anniversary models only came in black, and included Premium Verona-grain Imola leather seating surfaces in two-tone parchment. The Mustang got the GT premium package which included 17" wheels, anti-lock brakes and traction control; dual exhaust; power driver's seat with power lumbar support; leather-wrapped steering wheel; and Mach 460 AM/FM Stereo with six-disc CD changer, as well as 100th Anniversary badges on the fender and decklid and embossed on the seats. The Centennial Package was a $995 upgrade.
The 2004 Mustang returns unchanged and is available
in five models: Base and GT Coupe and Convertible and
the Mach 1 Coupe. To commemorate the 40th anniversary
of the Mustang all but SVT Mustangs will include a
40th Anniversary fender badge. Available upgrade packages
include the Deluxe Equipment Group and Premium Equipment
Group. All base models feature a 3.8L V-6 engine with
electronic engine controls and 16-inch cast aluminum
An announcement was made on Feb. 10, 2003 - The all-new
2005 Ford Mustang, which captivated car enthusiasts
as a concept vehicle at the 2003 North American International
Auto Show, will be built at AutoAlliance International
(AAI) in Flat Rock, Mich. To mark the announcement,
Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, accompanied by Jim
Padilla, executive vice president and president for
Ford North America, drove a red convertible Mustang
concept onto the floor of AAI.
Padilla said that after 39 years as America's pony car, "we
are excited that Mustang is moving to a new home at AAI.
As one of America's most widely acclaimed cars of all
time, Mustang's legendary nameplate will continue to
be produced at one of Ford's best assembly plants".
Also see: Mustang Engines
, Mustang Highlights
, Mustang Prototype
, Racebred Mustangs
, Mustang Identification