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Ford Mustang Timeline: The Good, The Bad, and The Muscly Page 5

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The 1990s Mustang: King of the Facelift

1990: The NHTSA has its way with the Mustang: it adds a driver-side airbag, with more to come.

1991: Underachievers unite behind the new Mustang four-cylinder and its 105 hp.

1992: The Mustang's getting old. Still a strong seller, the Mustang has an unexpected winner in the LX 5.0, a notchback V-8 with a trunk, and without the pricey GT trim.

1993: Ford's SVO transmogrifies into the Special Vehicle Team (SVT), a group of superheroes bent on fighting crime engineers who turn this final-model-year Mustang into the 235-hp Cobra. In the same year, Ford builds the Mustang Mach III concept--an early version of the next new Mustang, and a concept without much luck. On the way to an auto show, one of two copies built catches fire and turns into unidentifiable postmodern art.

1994: The Mustang gets a major revamp, with a stylebook borrowed from the 1960s, a new suspension and drivetrains--though it still carries a live-axle rear end.

1995: The Cobra gets another year, but the 5.0-liter V-8 gets retired this year. It's gone for more than a decade--a pattern in Mustang history.

1996: Ford installs a "modular" 4.6-liter V-8 in the Mustang GT and SVT Mustang Cobra. GTs have 215 hp; the Cobra, 305 hp.

1997: Happy birthday, Mustang! Here's an anti-theft system.

1998: Just in time for impeachment hearings in Washington, the Mustang bumps its output in GT versions to 225 hp.

1999: Same mechanicals, mostly--but the Mustang now wears a new set of panels with crisper lines. Ford, meanwhile, dives deep into the speculative waters of luxury cars, adding Land Rover and soon, Volvo, to its corporate ICU already filled with Jaguar and Aston Martin. And Mercury.

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