Is it really missed?
Earlier this year, Ford revealed its Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Pack, which has turned out to be one sweet deal. Arriving in dealerships across the US this fall, the 2020 Mustang High Performance Pack is a new track-inspired package aimed at enthusiasts as part of the iconic pony car's 55th-anniversary celebrations. The HPP is powered by the familiar 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder newly tuned to deliver 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque – a 20 hp increase over the regular Mustang EcoBoost.
According to the Blue Oval, this is the most powerful four-cylinder sports car available from an American automaker. It also includes some Mustang GT components such as larger four-piston fixed calipers with 13.9-inch front rotors for improved steering. Buyers will get all of this and more for an additional $4,995. Not bad.
But why didn't Ford give the HPP a more familiar name with some historical value? You know, say like SVO? The name 'Mustang SVO' would have been ideal, right? In theory, perhaps, but not in practicality. Muscle Cars and Trucks asked Mustang director Jim Owens that very question and he rightly explained that "SVO was an engineering organization… SVE, SVO, SVT – those were all engineering entities that actually did the work." The SVO department no longer exists, at least with that name. It's now simply called Ford Performance following the reorganization of the SVT group.
"The High Performance Package was the base Mustang team working weekends at the Arizona Proving Grounds, taking the engine out of a Ford Focus RS and putting it into a Mustang," Owens added. "That's a long winded way of answering why the new Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package isn't called the SVO."
However, Owens did admit Ford still owns the SVO trademark. Take that for what it is, or isn't. It was back in the early 1980s when the Fox body Mustang SVO was launched and it was one of the fastest and most expensive Mustangs sold at the time. Instead of a V8, the Mustang SVO was powered by a turbo 2.3-liter inline-four with 175 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. For its final model year, 1986, output reached 200 hp and 240 lb-ft. Hey, this was considered very powerful back then for a turbo four. Not so much today.