5. 1986 Mustang SVO
The Mustang SVO was a limited-production version of the Ford Mustang sold from 1984 to 1986, during which time it was the fastest, most expensive version of the Mustang available. Although it departed both physically and mechanically from any prior version of the Mustang, it held the same spot within the lineup, both in terms of performance over “lesser” variants and in prestige, as had variants such as the Shelby-tuned and “BOSS” Mustangs of the 1960s and 1970s.
Ford began to make a major push forward with the Mustang in 1982, nearly completely reinventing every aspect of the vehicle, which included putting a new emphasis on the model’s sporty nature. Still ultimately concerned with issues such as fuel consumption and emissions, SVO engineers opted to pass over the venerable production 5.0 liter V-8 in lieu of an updated, turbocharged, and stronger version of Ford’s 2.3 liter inline four, originally used in the Pinto and Ford Mustang II.
The installation of the four-cylinder engine helped with weight distribution, due to the engine being installed perpendicular to the front axle, thereby improving handling.