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1992 All Time Sales Low – 1995 Ford’s New Mustang Project

1992 Ford Mustang Sales Hit an All Time Low

As the Mustang generation seemed to be outgrowing the pony, sales hit an all time low of 79,280 for the model year. Ford’s one consolation was that the Pontiac Firebird and the Chevy Camero were doing even worse in sales. Nevertheless, sales were steady if nothing else and the Mustang was still ahead of the pack.

This sales stretch was due, in part, to the Stang’s vintage character. As other cars became more sporty and streamlined, the Ford Mustang remained in a class by itself offering an attitude that was bold and brash, a little sassy and very unique. It was not perfect, but it still held a great deal of appeal to the consumer.

Motor Trend hailed the Mustang’s praises, citing the five speed LX 5.0 hatchback’s “limitless supply of rich, creamy torque at any rpm, and all the wonderful things that it made possible.” This was in response to a “Bang for the Buck!” showdown that featured 16 contestants such as the Plymouth Laser RS Turbo, the Nissan 300 ZX, a 245 horsepower Chevrolet Corvette and even Ford’s own supercharged T-bird.

The Mustang did not perform, per se, as well as its competitors in areas such as acceleration, braking and handling where it only placed as high as fourth, but the rock bottom base price of $12,765 made it untouchable. None of the other competitors could come close to matching the all round performance that Mustang delivered for the money. Motor Trend declared it the winner, adding, “Mustang truly defines the concept of Bang for the Buck. It’s probably the most fun for the money in America today.”

1993 Ford Mustang Sales Rebound Cobra Hatchback

As the economy began to perk up in 1993, so did Mustang sales, rebounding to an impressive 114,228. This was in spite of the fact that the Stang remained virtually unchanged. The market was becoming more competitive as the Camaro/Firebird offered a 275 horsepower version of the Corvette’s 5.7 liter V-8. However, Ford has an ace up its sleeve in the form of a hot little number called the Cobra hatchback.

The Cobra hatchback, developed by Dearborn’s SVT (Special Vehicle Team), offered a powerful Cobra 302 that had a higher output of 235 horsepower. This beauty had special big port “GT40? heads, revised cam, tuned runner intake manifold and other measures designed to bring on the return of the muscle car ” or at least a distant, contemporary cousin. With 245/45ZR17 Goodyear Eagle performance radials and a five speed manual gearbox that channeled a stout 285 pound feet of torque, this car could not be touched by the competition.

The Cobra R is a rare, coveted collectible with only 107 copies. The “R” stood for racing indication that it was for track use only. The street legal Cobra got a larger front braking system, suspension turning, wider wheels and tires, competition cooling system and additional structural reinforcements. The Cobra R was a sleek little filly with no back seat, AC, or most of the power accessories. This made it lighter on the track, though not too great for the road. Nevertheless, even at a sticker price of $25,692, Ford sold every single Cobra R. The numbers speak for themselves.

SN95 – Codename for Ford’s New Mustang Project

The 1994 production year posed an interesting dilemma for Ford. It was time for yet another facelift, but past attempts that had elicited public outrage had taught Ford two things: Mustang fans missed the real Pony car and they would never accept a Japanese style (aka front wheel drive Mazda base design) substitute for their car.

SN95, codename for Ford’s new Mustang project, began with several consumer clinics. Later known as “gallop polls,” these clinics put Ford’s ear to the ground and gave them insight as to just what the consumer wanted. Mustang owners were given extra attention and wish lists were made. Among the top entries to these wish lists were a low base price, lots of options, rear wheel drive, a V-8 that was cheap and easy to service and a body style that was modern but held hints of the original.

As far as steering and suspension, nothing much changed. It was basically the same as it had been since 1979. The wheelbase increased by .75 inches to 100.3 due to a repositioned front crossmember and longer lower control arms.

The sad little four cylinder engine gave way to a stouter 3.8 liter V-6 boosting both horsepower and torque. The Mustang GT’s 5.0 liter V-8 received a low profile intake manifold and aluminum pistons as well as Ford’s EEC-V electronic engine controller. This pumped up the horsepower by 10 to 215. The Pony was coming back just as Mustang fans wanted.

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