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A reader shares the 2002 Mustang GT project that he bought to work on Read More
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Mel Josafat’s long road to building an ultra clean SN95 Cobra. Read More
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Matt Campbell has graced the pages of our Snapshots department before, Read More
The Mach 1 was her daily driver for quite some time where it soaked up Read More
By 1994, the Mustang had been in production for 30 years, and Ford had the formula dialed in. Following on the footsteps of the venerable Fox-body (1979-93), Ford introduced the Fox-4 "SN-95" chassis in 1994, with it a larger, slightly heavier, and more rounded body design.
The styling was received well, as this design was packed with many "classic" Mustang cues. The '94 model brought a totally new look, as well as new technology and enhancements in safety and performance.
SN-95 Mustangs would benefit from anti-lock brakes, five-lug axles, the addition of a front, passenger-side air bag, and an improved chassis with greater rigidity. Additionally, Ford tweaked the suspension for improved road feel and handling.
Over the decade of this model run, Ford produced two distinct body designs, but the underpinnings remained virtually untouched. The front used a modified MacPherson Strut design with the coil springs set between the lower A-arm and the K-member. It retained use of the live axle with four trailing arms and two shocks. This design works quite well for normal driving, as well as for drag and road racing, and there is full support from the aftermarket. The only variation was the 1999-04 SVT Cobras, which utilized an Independent Rear Suspension.
One attribute to the SN-95 is the interior, which is reminiscent of the '69-70 Mustang. It has a double-hump dash, a nicely laid out center stack with integrated console, and well-blended gauge cluster.
Power came from either a V-6 or V-8, and Mustang owners could choose between an overdrive automatic or five-speed manual (SVT Mustangs are manual only, with the '03-04 being six speeds).
The 8.8-inch rear axle remained largely unchanged from the Fox-body, save for five-lug axles and disc brakes on all models.
The GT powertrain remained virtually unchanged in 1994-95, but the four-cylinder was gone in favor of a 4.0L V-6.M
Special editions of the '94-95 models included the SVT Cobra with 240 hp, including an Indy Pace Car model, and the second SVT Cobra R Mustang, of which only 250 were produced (all in white). These were powered by a 300hp 351 Windsor, similar to the 351W in the 1993-95 SVT Lightnings.
Using the same body style, save for badging and taillights, Ford introduced the Two-Valve and Four-Valve DOHC Modular engine family to the Mustang. Performance from the Two-Valve was disappointing. The engine produced only 215 horsepower, and fortunately, the 305hp DOHC engine in the SVT Cobra picked up the slack and provided lots of high-rpm excitement. There are still many 1996-98 SVT Cobras running around, and you can generally find nice examples at a fair price. The V-6 remained virtually unchanged during this model run.
When the time came for a face-lift, Ford went back to sharper lines, and so the 1999-04 Mustangs are commonly called "New Edge" Mustangs. Along with the new look, came a much-welcomed increase in power and performance. With the PI (Performance Improved) heads on the 4.6L Two-Valve, the Mustang had 260 hp, and could run solid 13s in stock trim. And while many 5.0L Foxes were modified to run quick, very few could turn 13s in 100-percent stock trim like the New Edge.
The SVT Cobra model continued on, and a big selling point (at least according to Ford), was the IRS rear axle. Unfortunately, while it provided nice handling, it lacked strength. Furthermore, the DOHC engine benefitted from an improved cylinder head design, boosting output to 320 hp in '99 and '01. In between those two models was the edgy 2000 Cobra R, which boasted a 385hp 5.4L Four-Valve and a T-56 six-speed transmission.
For the 2003-04 model years, SVT dropped a bomb with the supercharged SVT Cobra, dubbed "Terminator." At 390 hp, the Eaton-blown 4.6L Four-Valve made the Terminator unlike any other production Mustang before it. It also featured a six-speed transmission and IRS.
Ford rolled out other special edition Mustangs during this time, including the '01 Bullitt (based on the GT) and the Four-Valve '03-04 Mach 1.