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WHY THE FORD MUSTANG ECOBOOST HIGH PERFORMANCE PACKAGE ISN’T CALLED ‘SVO’

Ford Still Owns The “Mustang SVO” Trademark

Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package
Image via Ford.

The 2020 Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package is about as aggressive of an entry-level pony car as they come. With 330 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque, it’s the most powerful four-cylinder coupe ever offered by an American automaker. But it’s not just about the power. This special Mustang features larger brakes from the V8-powered Mustang GT, plus a Mustang GT Performance Package aero kit, and even Mustang GT suspension components to make it the highest-performing production four-cylinder Mustang ever. But there’s something, a cherry on top, that seems to be missing. It’s the name.

As it stands the official name is almost too long to Tweet. Why didn’t Ford simply call the Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package the ‘Mustang SVO?’ If not for anything, it at least rolls off the tongue easier. But like every other facet of the Ford Mustang, history and lineage are held just as importantly as anything else.

“SVO was an engineering organization… SVE, SVO, SVT – those were all engineering entities that actually did the work,” explained Ford Mustang director Jim Owens to MC&T. Those in the know understand that the SVO organization no longer exists, and eventually become known as ‘Ford Performance’ after the reorganization of the SVT group. Because of this, the SVO name was left on the shelf.

“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 continued. Development of the vehicle was completed in less than 10 months – just in time for Mustang’s 55th anniversary.

“That’s a long winded way of answering why the new Ford Mustang EcoBoost High Performance Package isn’t called the SVO,” Owens finished. He then added that Ford still owns the SVO trademark, which is a bit of a cliffhanger.

In the 1980’s, the Fox Body Mustang SV0 managed to out-perform its V8 siblings both in terms of power and in handling, and that could be what holds the name so sacred. Yet with today’s Coyote V8 pushing 460 horsepower in the Mustang GT, trumping that is a tall order for the 2.3L EcoBoost. But should that ever happen, there’s no doubt as to what that Mustang will be called.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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