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History of the 1994-2004 Mustang!

History of the 1994-2004 Mustang!

Fourth Generation MustangAfter years of anticipation, in 1994, the fourth generation Mustang came to life! Not only that, after more than a decade's absence, the iconic running horse returned to the grille.

In 1993, at the American International Auto Show in Detroit, a 2-seater concept car called the Mustang Mach III was revealed and speculated to be a major hint of what the next Mustangs would look like. Those hints became reality in 1994, when the Fox Body Mustang was retired after 15 years and the all-new SN95 Mustang debuted, with more power and better style than ever before!

Concept CarCode named SN95 by Ford, this updated Mustang was a heavily revised version of the Fox Body platform.  The new, dramatically different design was designed by Patrick Schiavone.

The best of features

The new 1994 Mustang's base model featured a 3.8L OHV V6 engine with the option of a 5-speed manual transmission or an AODE 4-speed automatic transmission. The V6 engine produced 145 horsepower at 4000 rpm and 215 lbs per foot of torque at 2500 rpm. The front suspension was reconstructed with new lower control arms, new spindles, and anti-roll bars. In the rear of the Mustang, a four-bar like solid axle was used. The standard rear axle ratio was 2.73:1 which was later changed to 3.27:1. All Mustangs had standard four-wheel disc brakes, while anti-lock brakes were optional. This new Mustang incorporated numerous retro styling cues; this would include: a running horse in the grille, simulated side scoops ahead of the rear wheels, triple-element tail lamps, and the beautiful long-hood/short-deck proportions. This Mustang had a conventional trunk lid and a slant back roof, faintly resembling the 1965-66 fastback's 2+2 arrangement.

Engineers worked day and night to increase the Mustangs structural strength without adding weight, and they succeeded. Against the previous notchback, the SN95 coupe was 56 percent stiffer, which helps in resistance to flex in the horizontal plane; and 44 percent in torsion, which is the lateral plane. This was great news, however it brings dismay.  Now they had to do numerous alterations to improve crash performance, as well as resistance to the squeaks and rattles. Once again, they made it happen.  

Inside the beauty

With the 1994 receiving an entire new exterior, it is only fair to redo the interior as well, right? Well, the Mustangs cabin featured a dual-cockpit layout that was overwhelmed with contours and sweeping curves. These curves were similar in style to those in Ford Thunderbirds. Ford also included power windows, mirrors, door locks, remote keyless entry, air conditioning, cruise control, and a cargo net in the trunk, as well as the 230-watt multi-speaker sound system with a CD player as standard features. To keep up with safety laws, there were dual front airbags and it received the standard three-point seat belts.

Did you know: Schiavone had designed trucks, SUVs, and CUVs for Ford Motor Company throughout the years.  He is also credited for designing the best-selling truck in the world, the Ford F-150.  Also, Ford paid $700 million to improve the Fox platform for the 1994 Mustang. The cost was meant to help the car’s handling, noise, and vibrations.  

Hello GTS

In 1995, the Mustang would be just about identical to the 1994 models. However, a new GTS trim was added in the line-up, slotting in between the base model and GT. However, it proved to be not very popular with consumers, with only 6,370 being produced. 

The best features of the GTS included the 302cid pushrod V8 powerplant and a Traction- axle. When you look at the 1995 Mustang GTSs, one can see many absences compared to the GT, as the rear decklid spoiler disappeared, as well as the fog lamps in the front airdam and 16”X7” 5 spoke pony rims.

In 1996, Ford replaced the GTS with the 248A option package, which was very comparable to the GTS.  

Did you know: The original factory GTs will have the “Mustang GT” logo embossed on the rear bumper cover, where 2.25” stainless steel tail pipes exit the back.  There will also be a “Mustang GT” budging on the front fenders. 

Bringing Sexy back with Cobra

A new Cobra also launched in 1994 with the rest of the SN95 Mustangs and featured a more powerful version of the 5.0L V8, up to 240 horsepower, along with numerous styling and performance upgrades. This Mustang Cobra was also produced in 1995.

After the huge success of the 1993 Cobra R, Ford decided to build a new version on the SN95 platform. The new 1995 Cobra R offered a 300-hp 5.8L V-8 engine and could only be ordered if the buyer had a valid racing license. This limited edition only stuck around for one year, before disappearing again.

In 1996, Ford launched the new modular 4.6L V8 in the GT, which featured a single overhead camshaft design. Ford also produced a more limited dual overhead camshaft version for the 1996-1998 Mustang Cobras. The new engine produced 305 horsepower, which was a nice boost over the standard 4.6L V8 found in the GT. While the majority of the Cobra design remained the same from 1996-1998, the 1996 version did feature the Mystic Cobra option, which featured a color shifting paint. A Mysti-Chrome edition of the Cobra also appeared in 2004 with a similar paint job.

The Cobra remained for 1999 and 2001-2004 with a number of new changes, including an independent rear suspension. The Cobra R returned for a 300 car run in 2000, featuring a 385 horsepower version of the 5.4L V8 found in Ford's trucks.

Did you know: 1995 was the only year someone could purchase a hardtop Cobra convertible, with only 499 models available.  Also, that year, the Cobras were only available in three colors; black, white, and red.

Collectable colors 

Bright tangerine was a major limited-run color in 1995, as there was only 928 were made, which were all GTs.  But the SVT Cobras had four colors one could choose from; laser red, crystal white, black, and mystic. What really got peoples eye popping was the mystic color available in 1996, which is the color that changes color. Depending on the angle of the light, you could see a beautiful shiny green, a magical purple, or a dark bronze. 

Did you know: The mystic paint was developed by BASF, the world’s leading chemical company.  The green they used in the mystic paint is the same green they use to make U.S. paper currency.  

35 years in the making-The New Edge

The Mustang received a fresh new look for its 35th anniversary in 1999!  The redesign of the SN95 came out on December 26, 1998 for the 1999 model year. This was Ford’s New Edge design that featured sharper contours, larger wheel arches, and creases in the bodywork that replaced the soft lines in the previous model. The base engine remained the 3.8 L OHV Essex V6, which featured a few upgrades. New split-port induction system replaced the single-port inductions, which put out 190 horsepower at 5250 rpm.

Both the V6 and GT Mustangs wore a beautiful “35th Anniversary” fender badges for 1999. Ford also made 4,628 GTs--2318 coupes and 2310 convertibles--into limited edition models to commemorate the Mustang's big birthday! The Limited Edition GTs had raised hood scoops, with a black stripe from the scoop down to the front of the hood. In addition, to the hood scoops, there are extended side scoops, a wing-like spoiler, and a black honey comb insert.

Limited Edition Bullitt

In 2001, Ford launched a new special edition Mustang: The Bullitt. The Bullitt had a more retro interior theme, from the seat design like in the 1960s to the tall, thin font on the speedometer. These also had a different intake than the GT; they were upgraded with an additional 5 horsepower. It was also only available in three colors: Dark Highland Green (like the original 1968 Bullitt Mustang), True Blue and Black.

Did you know: Paying homage to the Steve McQueen movie (1968), the Bullitt was named after the character Lt. Frank Bullitt, who got behind the wheel of a Highland Green 1968 GT390 Fastback for one of the best car chases in cinema history.  

Major sound change

In 2002, Mustang came up with a new idea to make the sound system better in the already amazing cars; the new Visteon Mach 1000 audio system. This system produced more than 1,100 watts of sound power. The system also came with 60-watt parametrically equalizer amplifier. But that is just the beginning! This also came with six 85-watt subwoofer amplifiers, four 505 X 7.5-inch subwoofer speakers, four midrange tweeters, and two 10-inch truck-mounted acoustic suspension enclosures.  If it’s too loud, too bad!  

Did you know: In 2002, Roush Performance introduced their supercharger 360-hp 360R; which was available in red with white stripes. 

Time to make it big

The 2003 model year was a huge deal for the Mustang world. Not only did Ford decided to rev up by supercharging the Cobra and reviving the Mach 1 moniker, but the Pony Edition Mustang was added to the nationwide line up, and Ford celebrated its 100th anniversary!

The Mach 1 came back with a four-valve DOHC 305-hp V-8 engine, under a functional Shaker hood scoop. More additions include rolled exhaust tips, Comfort Weave seats and a new version of the classic Magnum 500 wheel, which were the only option for the 2003 Mach 1.  

In June 2003, Ford celebrated their 100th Anniversary. Limited editions of many Ford products were introduced; however the Mustang GT received the best of the best. The premium package the GT received includes 17”wheels, anti-lock brakes and traction control, and dual exhaust. There was also plenty done with the interior, with the power driver seat and power lumbar support, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Mach 460 AM/FM stereo with a six-disk changer, and “100th Anniversary” badges of the fender, decklid, and embossed on the seats. 

Did you know: The Pony Edition Mustang was added to the nationwide line up after being a Florida only edition in 2001 and 2002… 

Anniversary time!

In 2003, the special 10th Anniversary 2003 SVT Cobra was introduced. This beauty featured a very unique 17 X 9-inch dark argent painted Cobra SVT anniversary wheels and red leather seating. The interior was trimmed with carbon fiber, red painted brakes calipers, and the SVT 10th Anniversary badges on the floor mats and rear decklid.  

From 1994-2004 to...

The Mustang saw many changes in 10 years from 1994 to 2004, but did you think Ford was going to stop there? Of course not! In 2005, the fifth generation Mustang was powered by Ford’s cast iron block 4.0 L Cologne SOHC V6….But that’s all we’re going to tell you for now….  

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