K.J. Jones
June 17, 2006
Photos By: From the 5.0 Mustang archives
The end-product of Ford's call for something new-the SN-95/Fox-4 MustangGT. It's still front-engined and 5.0-powered-with 215 hp-and,thankfully, it's still rear-wheel-drive. During the development stage,rumors circulated that Mustang would be going to front-wheel motivationwith the SN-95. This new 'Stang was a lot more aerodynamic than priorones, and its reinforced Fox-chassis underpinnings-with more gussets andadditional bracing-made it a big hit with road racers andperformance-driving enthusiasts. The first-gen SN-95s also featured reardisc brakes as standard equipment and strut-tower bracing forengine-compartment rigidity.

Horse Sense: The '94 debut of the SN-95 (aka Fox-4) Mustang represented a pretty radical change to our favoriteride's interior/exterior appearance-especially the exterior, as therewas a light-years' difference between the new design and the '87-'93'Stangs we had come to love. It also brought us a year closer to the endof the pushrod 5.0's 16-year run, which, to some diehard 'Stangbangers,was one of the most devastating tragedies in the modern-era Mustang'shistory.

When it comes to positioning in the Mustang family's food chain, the'94-'95 'Stang, without question, can today be considered the red-headedstepchild. While they don't absolutely suck, they're still consideredthe Mustang IIs of their time by some 'Stangologists we know.

In theory, we're sure Ford had enthusiasts' best interests in mind whenit decided to make the big changes to our favorite ponycar. But thereality is that the first-gen SN-95 ('94-'95) was definitely better interms of drivetrain and chassis, with 215 hp for the GT and 240 hp forCobra models, a stiffer chassis with longer and stronger rocker panelsand roof rails on each side. Plus it was quieter and had improvedhandling characteristics, but it seemed to fall a bit short in otherareas.

The '94-'95 cars were 200 pounds heavier than Fox 'Stangs-a quality thatwas frowned upon by many enthusiasts, especially in the drag-racingsector. One of the more dramatic shortcomings was the unforgivingprogramming in the EEC IV engine-management system. Enthusiasts quicklydiscovered that this deja-vu step backward opened the floodgates forfrustration, as simple bolt-on engine upgrades were almost impossible orexpensive because the aftermarket produced few '94-'95-specific 5.0parts or the critical electronics necessary for getting around thethen-newer EEC IV electronics (read more below in "Computer Science"). In asense, the cars were somewhat doomed in terms of additional performance.

As we all know, time goes on. Nothing stays the same and enthusiasts'love/hate feelings for the '94-'95 'Stangs are now leaning more towardthe "love" side, probably because of the cars' unique position inMustang history; the last Mustang GT with a pushrod 5.0engine-regardless of its electronic nuances. We saw this same trend afew years ago, when out of nowhere the carburetor-equipped '85 'Stangsexperienced a popularity boom. Maybe it's the "last of a particularfeature" novelty that causes these spikes in popularity, but the reasonthis phenomenon occurs is anyone's guess. The cars are definitely outthere in surprising abundance, and can be purchased at fairly decentprices. In some instances, first-gen SN-95s are being sold for less than'87-'93 Fox 'Stangs.

So while the SN-95 spotlight is bright, we're going to take a closerlook at the short history of '94 and '95 Mustangs and offer a fewinsights on how to make yours better.