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Ford Special Vehicle Team (SVT)

by Autobytel Staff
July 5, 2010
3 min. Reading Time

Special Vehicle Team, abbreviated as SVT, refers to Ford's high-performance vehicle division. Originally known as Special Vehicle Operations (SVO), the division was officially renamed in 1993 due to reorganization efforts within the Ford Motor Company. As originally intended, the SVO division would remain intact and focus their efforts on promoting corporate racing programs and over-the-counter Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) while the new SVT division would be in charge of developing limited-edition high-performance vehicles.

The SVT development team focuses mainly on creating superior performance model options for already existing Ford vehicles. Notable examples include the Ford Shelby GT500 and Ford Lightning, which were a specially tuned version of the Ford Mustang and Ford F-150, respectively. However, the team has been known to create high-performance vehicles from the ground up. An example of this is the Ford GT.

Current Ford SVT Vehicle Lineup

There are currently only two vehicles in production that are credited to the Special Vehicle Team - the Shelby Cobra GT500 and F-150 SVT Raptor. The GT500 is completely redesigned for the 2010 model year, while the F-150 Raptor is an all-new model.

Carroll Shelby was first associated with a Mustang in 1965. Currently, the Mustang is available in a handful of Shelby- and SVT-tuned models including the , and "King of the Road" .

  • 2006 - 2007 Shelby GT-H: 325-hp, 330 ft.-lb. torque (4.6L)
  • 2007 - 2008 Shelby GT: 319-hp, 365 ft.-lb. torque (4.6L)
  • 2007+ Shelby GT500: 500-hp, 480 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)
  • 2008 - 2009 Shelby GT500KR: 540-hp, 510 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)

While previous SVT-tuned F-150s were ideal for recreational drag racing, the all-new F-150 SVT Raptor is made to take off road. The 2010 will go on sale in 2009.

Ford F-150 Raptor performance:

  • 2010+: 310-hp, 365 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)
  • 2010+: tbd-hp, tbd ft.-lb. torque (6.2L)

Former Ford SVT Vehicles

In 2004, Ford shocked the automotive world with a new supercar designed after the legendary Ford GT40 racecar, the 2004 . The sleek design mimicked almost every line of the original GT40, but the new GT used a more modern supercharged 5.4-liter V-8 mounted behind the racing bucket seats. With a curb weight of 3,400 pounds and SAE rated output of 550 horsepower, the Ford GT was The total number of vehicles made over the course of production was 4,038.

Ford GT performance:

  • 2004 - 2007: 550-hp, 500 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)

Released in 1993, the was one of two initial offerings created by the newly formed SVT division. Originally outfitted with a 5.8-liter Windsor F1 V8 engine, a 5.4-liter supercharged Triton V8 engine was eventually introduced for the 1999 model year. Further improvements to this engine would be introduced in 2001, bringing performance of the Ford Lightning SVT up to 380 horsepower with 450 lb-ft. of torque. Discontinued after the 2004 model year, roughly 4,000 Lightning SVT models were produced each year. The total number of vehicles made over the course of production was 39,687.

Ford Lightning performance:

  • 1993 - 1995: 240-hp, 340 ft.-lb. torque (5.8L)
  • 1999 - 2000: 360-hp, 440 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)
  • 2001 - 2004: 380-hp, 450 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)

Along with the Ford F-150 Lightning, the Ford Mustang Cobra was introduced in the inaugural year of the Special Vehicle Team (1993). Originally introduced with a 5.0-liter Windsor V8 engine, the would go on to include several different engine upgrades. The final engine variation was introduce in the 2003 model year and consisted of a 4.6-liter [DOHC]] modular V8 design with 390 horsepower and 390 lb-ft. of torque. The Cobra was discontinued after the 2004 model year, with total production numbers reaching 79,932.

Ford Mustang Cobra performance:

  • 1993: 235-hp, 280 ft.-lb. torque (5.0L)
  • 1994-1995: 240-hp, 285 ft.-lb. torque (5.0L)
  • 1995 R Code: 300-hp, 365 ft.-lb. torque (5.8L)
  • 1996 - 1998: 305-hp, 300 ft.-lb. torque (4.6L)
  • 1999 - 2001: 320-hp, 317 ft.-lb. torque (4.6L)
  • 2000 R Code: 385-hp, 385 ft.-lb. torque (5.4L)
  • 2003 - 2004: 390-hp, 390 ft.-lb. torque (4.6L)

The was introduced in 1998 and obtained solid sales figures. The demise of the base Ford Contour after the 2000 model year also led to the discontinuation of the SVT model. For all three years of production, the Contour SVT featured a 2.4-liter Duratec 25 V-6 engine with 195 horsepower and 169 lb-ft. of torque. Minor tuning improvements brought total horsepower for the 2000 Ford Contour up to an even 200. Production numbers for the Contour SVT reached 11,445.

Ford Contour SVT performance:

  • 1998: 195-hp, 165 ft.-lb. torque (2.5L)
  • 1999 - 2000: 200-hp, 169 ft.-lb. torque (2.5L)

The made its debut in the 2003 model year and was discontinued after the 2004 model year. The vehicle featured a 2.0-liter Zetec I4 engine and mustered 170-horsepower with 145 lb-ft. of torque. Production numbers for both years totaled 14,003 vehicles.

Ford Focus SVT performance:

  • 2003 - 2004: 170-hp, 145 ft.-lb. torque (2.0L)


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