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.