Fourth-generation Ford Mustang

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Fourth-generation Mustang
1996 Ford Mustang
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
AssemblyDearborn, Michigan
Body style(s)2-door convertible
2-door coupe
LayoutFR layout
PlatformSN-95(1)1994-1998, SN-95(2)1999-2004
Engine(s)3.8 L (232 CID) OHV
94-04 Essex V6

4.9 L (302 CID) OHV
94-95 GT Windsor V8
5.8 L (351 CID) OHV
95 Cobra R Windsor V8
4.6 L (281 CID) 2v SOHC
96-04 GT Modular V8
4.6 L (281 CID) 4v DOHC
96-01 Cobra Modular V8
4.6 L (281 CID) 4v DOHC SC
03-04 Cobra Modular V8

5.4 L (330 CID) 4v DOHC
2000 Cobra R Modular V8
Transmission(s)T-5 (5-Speed Manual)
94-Present V6

World Class T-5 (5-Speed Manual)
94-95 GT/Cobra
T-45 (5-Speed Manual)
96-99 Cobra, 96-01 GT
TR-3550 (5-speed Manual)
95 Cobra R
TR-3650 (5-Speed Manual)
01 Cobra, 01-Present GT
T-56 (6-Speed Manual)
2000 Cobra R, 03-04 Cobra AODE (4-Speed Automatic)
94-95 V6/GT

4R70W (4-Speed Automatic)
96-04 V6/GT
Wheelbase101.3 in (2573 mm)
Length181.5 in (4610 mm)
Cobra: 182.5 in (4636 mm)
1999-2004: 183.2 in (4653 mm)
1999-2004 Cobra: 183.5 in (4661 mm)
Width1994-98: 71.8 in (1824 mm)
1999-2004: 73.1 in (1857 mm)
Height1994-96 Coupe: 52.9 in (1344 mm) in
1997-98 Coupe & Cobra Convertible: 53.2 in (1351 mm)
GT Coupe, 1997-98 Convertible & GT Convertible: 53.4 in (1356 mm) in
1994-96 GT Convertible & Cobra: 53.3 in (1354 mm)
1994-96 Convertible: 53 in (1346 mm)
1999-2004 Coupe: 53.1 in (1349 mm)
1999-2004 Convertible & Cobra: 53.2 in (1351 mm)
1999-2001 Cobra Convertible: 53.3 in (1354 mm)
Mach 1: 52.4 in (1331 mm)
2002-04 SVT Cobra Coupe: 52.5 in (1334 mm)
2002-04 SVT Cobra Convertible: 52.9 in (1344 mm)
Fuel capacity15.4 US gal (58.3 L; 12.8 imp gal)
ManualsService Manual
Main article: Ford Mustang

For 1994, the Mustang underwent its first major redesign in fifteen years. The design, code named "SN-95" by Ford, was based on an updated version of the Fox platform. It featured dramatic new styling by Patrick Schiavone which incorporated some stylistic elements similar to those of earlier Mustangs.[1] In particular, the style of the new Mustang's body resembled that of the original Mustang fastback, which appeared in the late 1960s. A convertible model would also return, but the notchback and hatchback body styles used in earlier Mustangs were no more. Prior to the redesigned Mustang's launch, a concept called the Mustang Mach III was unveiled at the 1993 Detroit International Auto Show and hinted at what the new Mustang might look like and feature. The production Mustang resembled the Mach III concept with its sweeping curves, though the production car's styling wasn't as radical. The Mach III concept also featured a supercharged 4.6 L DOHC V8 with 450 hp (336 kW). While this specific engine didn't carry over into the production Mustang, it did hint to the future use of Ford's Modular V8 in the Mustang, including the eventual use of a supercharged 4.6 L V8 similar to that of the Mach III concept.[2]


The base Mustang featured a 3.8 L OHV V6 mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional AODE 4-speed automatic transmission. The V6 produced 145 hp (108 kW) @ 4000 rpm and 215 ft·lbf (291 N·m) of torque @ 2500 rpm. For 1996, thanks to a new powertrain control module (PCM), the EEC-V, the base V6 gained five horsepower. The AODE was replaced with the 4R70W 4-speed automatic transmission for 1996.

Interior of a 1994 Mustang Convertible in red. Other model years have a similar layout.

Ford allocated $700 million to improve the Fox platform for the 1994 Mustang. Efforts were made to improve the car's handling as well as noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) conditions over the previous generation Mustang. The Mustang's front suspension makes use of MacPherson struts with longer lower control arms, new spindles, anti-roll bars, and other enhancements over 1993 and older Mustangs. In the rear, a four-bar link solid axle is used.[3] The 1994 Mustang's standard final drive ratio was 2.73:1, though this was later changed to 3.27:1. All Mustangs received standard four-wheel disc brakes, though anti-lock brakes (ABS) were optional.

Along with its new exterior, the 1994 Mustang received equally-new interior styling. The Mustang's cabin featured a "dual-cockpit" layout that was adorned with smooth contours and sweeping curves, similarly to other Fords of the time such as the Thunderbird. The 1994 Mustang offered a wide array of amenities and conveniences, a number of which later became standard equipment. The preferred equipment package came with power windows, mirrors, and door locks, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, and a trunk cargo net among other features. Also available was Ford's Mach 460, 230-watt multi-speaker sound system with CD player. As far as safety was concerned, all 1994 Mustangs received standard three-point seat belts and dual front-side airbags. [4] As would be expected, additions and modifications to the Mustang's features and options were made over the years.

Mustang GT

Building on the base Mustang, the Mustang GT was reintroduced for 1994, featuring higher performance and better handling than the base Mustang or its 1993 predecessor. Ford carried over their popular 5.0 L OHV V8, also known as the 302 Windsor, from the 1993 Mustang GT. Total output from the engine was 215 hp (160 kW) @ 4200 rpm and 285 ft·lbf (386 N·m) of torque @ 3500 rpm. Though more refined, the 5.0 L V8 actually saw a drop in output for 1994 from the 1993 model year due to stricter emissions control. Mustang GTs equipped with the 5.0 could deliver zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) acceleration times in the mid-six second range and complete a quarter mile in about 15 seconds flat.[5] Along with its more potent powertrain, the Mustang GT featured a stiffer, better handling suspension, a more aggressive 3.08:1 final drive ratio (later changed to 3.27:1 or 3.55:1 depending on the transmission and model year), dual exhausts, and larger 16-inch (410 mm) wheels (compared to the base Mustang's 15-inchers) among others. For all of its improvements the 1994 Mustang GT was named Motor Trend's Car of the Year. For 1995, a one-year model referred to as the Mustang GTS was introduced. This was considered to be a "stripped down" version of the Mustang GT, which still featured the performance parts of the GT model but with a minimum of non-performance parts.

In 1996, Ford dropped the 5.0 L V8 from the Mustang's lineup in favor of their newer Modular 4.6 L SOHC V8. Smoother and more sophisticated than the 5.0, the new V8 produced 215 hp (160 kW) @ 4400 rpm and 285 ft·lbf (386 N·m) of torque @ 3500 rpm, matching the output of its predecessor. For 1998, the 4.6 L V8 received a small increase an output resulting in 225 hp (168 kW) @ 4750 rpm and 290 ft·lbf (393 N·m) of torque @ 3500 rpm. This was achieved through a more aggressive PCM calibration and slightly modified fuel system. Though capable of matching or exceeding the older 5.0 L V8's output, the 4.6 L V8 was criticized for delivering inadequate performance, particularly against the larger displacement V8 used in the Mustang's chief rival, the Chevrolet Camaro.

Mustang Cobra (1994-1998)

Building on the performance of the Mustang GT, Ford's Special Vehicle Team (SVT) developed an even higher performance car: the Mustang Cobra. Compared to the Mustang GT, the Cobra featured a revised suspension, wider tires, and larger brakes in addition to unique styling elements. For 1994 and 1995, the Cobra made use of the same 5.0 L V8 as the Mustang GT of the same model years. However, though total torque output was the same, the Cobra's 5.0 produced 25 hp (19 kW) more power for a total of 240 hp (179 kW). For 1996, accompanying the Mustang GT's new V8, the Cobra received a new, all-aluminum 4.6 L DOHC V8 producing 305 hp (227 kW) @ 5800 rpm and 300 ft·lbf (406 N·m) of torque @ 4800 rpm.

The "New Edge"

New Edge bodystyle Ford Mustang coupe

A redesigned SN-95 Mustang came in 1999. Characterizing the redesign was Ford's New Edge design language, which featured sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in the bodywork, replacing many of the soft lines of the previous model. However, the car carried over the same roof line and interior, in addition to the same basic platform. All 1999 Mustangs (except the Cobra) received "35th-Anniversary" badges on the front fenders.[6]

A "35th Anniversary Limited Edition" appearance option package came on 2,318 GT coupes and 2,310 GT convertibles.[7] Available only in black, silver metallic, white, and red, they featured a body-colored hood scoop, rear spoiler, side scoops and rocker panels, a blacked-out panel between the taillamps, and 17 by 8-inch (200 mm) five-spoke aluminum wheels; while the Interiors included black leather and vinyl seats with silver inserts and pony logo, aluminum shift knob, a unique instrument cluster with 35th anniversary script, silver and black floor mats with 35th anniversary logo, and silver door trim inserts.[8]

The 3.8 L OHV V6 returned as the base engine for 1999. A new split-port induction system replaced single-port induction, which increased the base model's output to 190 hp (142 kW) @ 5250 rpm and 220 ft·lbf (298 N·m) of torque @ 2750 rpm.[9] In 2001, Ford added Intake Manifold Runner Control (IMRC) which further increased the engine's output to 193 hp (144 kW) @ 5500 rpm and 225 ft·lbf (305 N·m) of torque @ 2800 rpm.[10] The GT model continued to use the 4.6 L V8 as before, but now with 260 hp (194 kW) @ 5250 rpm and 302 ft·lbf (409 N·m) of torque @ 4000 rpm.[11] They featured new "Power Improved" (PI) heads, cams, and intake manifold; thus becoming a modification for previous NPI "Non Power Improved" 4.6 L cars. Mustangs now featured a returnless type fuel system utilizing a PCM-guided fuel rail pressure sensor to regulate pressure. The Mustang GT was now capable of low 14 second 1/4 mile ETs with 96+ mph trap speeds compared to the 1998 GT's upper-14 second ETs and 91-93 mph trap speeds.[12]

Mustang Cobra (1999, 2001, and 2003-2004)

The Cobra model returned for 1999 with its 32-valve 4.6 L V8, now rated at 320 hp (239 kW) @ 6000 rpm and 317 ft·lbf (429 N·m) of torque @ 4750 rpm. The 1999 Cobra had a T-45 transmission which was then replaced with the TR-3650 in the 2001 model. All 1999-2004 Cobras came equipped with an independent rear suspension (IRS), providing them with better handling compared to other Mustangs. Due to a manufacturing defect that caused lower-than-advertised engine output, Ford recalled all 1999 SVT Cobras for repairs.[13] The resulting embarrassment caused Ford to withhold making a 2000 model year Cobra, though Ford exported some 1999 Cobras to Australia as 2000 models. The SVT Cobra returned briefly for 2001 but then went on a hiatus again for 2002 due to a redesign planned for 2003.

In 2003, Ford updated the SN-95 Cobra for the last time. Internally known during its development as the "Terminator," this Cobra, under the direction of Special Vehicle Program Director, O. John Coletti, featured a cast iron block supercharged 4.6 L DOHC V8. The Eaton supercharger and an air-to-water intercooler resulted in 390 hp (291 kW) and 390 ft·lbf (529 N·m) of torque, which is often argued to be an underrated figure. Ford replaced the 5-speed Tremec TR-3650 transmission with the heavier-duty 6-speed manual Tremec T-56, which was also found in the Dodge Viper, the Chevrolet Corvette, and the (then out-of-production) Chevrolet Camaro Z28 and SS. From the factory, the 2003 to 2004 Cobras ran quarter mile times in the high 12s to low 13s with trap speeds around 110 mph (180 km/h).[14][15]

Special Editions

In 2001, the Special Edition Bullitt was released to the public. Available only as coupe, the Bullitt was a mildly upgraded version of the standard GT. Factory upgrades included with a lowered suspension (3/4 inch), subframe connectors (used on the convertible models), Tokico shocks, and brakes from the Cobra (13 in front, 11.7 in rear). The car also received an upgraded exhaust and a re-designed intake. These power upgrades led to a factory rating of 265 hp (198 kW), a gain of five horsepower over the standard GT. On the exterior, the car received unique Torq-Thrust style wheels, removal of the fog lights and rear deck spoiler, as well as new trim accents. It was available in three colors: Dark Highland Green, True Blue, and Black.

The success of the 2001 Bullitt led to the production of a second special edition, the 2003 to 2004 Mach 1. The Mach 1 was equipped with a 4.6 L DOHC 305 hp (227 kW) engine based on the engine available in the 1999 and 2001 Mustang Cobras, with new cylinder heads from the 2003 to 2004 Cobra (see below). The interior of the car was given a retro theme with seats made to look like the "comfort-weave" seats available in the 1960s-era Mach 1s. It also featured retro themed gauges and a unique aluminum shifter ball. On the vehicle's exterior, a Mach 1 package was applied, as well as a functional Shaker scoop, a unique 3-tier hood, decals set on the hood, rocker/door panels, a special chin spoiler, a flat black-rear-spoiler, Magnum 500 style wheels, and a redesigned C-pillar. The car also received similar suspension upgrades as the Bullitt.


  1. by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide
  3. Bartlett, Jeff. "1994 Ford Mustang GT - Long-Term Wrapup." Motor Trend. 1994.
  5. Bartlett, Jeff. "1994 Ford Mustang GT - Long-Term Wrapup." Motor Trend. 1994.
  6. Wardlaw, Christian. "Ford is Doing its Part to Save the Camaro and Firebird", Edmunds Inside Line. January 1, 1999, retrieved on 2008-06-08.
  7. Timeline: 1999 Mustang, undated, retrieved on 2008-06-08.
  8. Wilson, Greg. "Test Drive: 1999 Ford Mustang Convertible" Canadian Driver, undated, retrieved on 2008-06-08.
  9. Ford Motor Company. Ford Media. 2000 Mustang. 2000.
  10. Ford Motor Company. Ford Media. 2001 Mustang. 2001.
  11. Walton, Chris. "Road Test: 1999 Ford Mustang GT" Motor Trend, undated, retrieved on 2008-06-25.
  12. Road Test: 1999 Ford Mustang GT article from Motor Trend
  13. "1999 Mustang Cobra Horsepower Snafu", by the Auto Editors of Consumer Guide, undated, retrieved on 2008-06-26.
  14. Car and Driver
  15. Road and Track