Today marks 20 years since Ford first announced its Special Vehicle Team, most famously known as SVT. With performance mastermind John Coletti at the helm, SVT produced some legendary cars during its first 10 years, beginning with the 1993 SVT Cobra (and its even more hardcore sibling the SVT Cobra R), as well as the 2003 F-150 SVT Lightning. Since then we've had numerous updates to each, most notably the SVT Cobra of 2003-2004 lovingly referred to by Mustang fans as the "Terminator," plus new models like the SVT Contour and SVT Focus built from 2002-2004.

Today SVT is alive and well with a lineup consisting of the Shelby GT500 and F-150 SVT Raptor, and we're guessing that back in 1993 no one could have imagined just how far the brand has come. A 650-horsepower Mustang capable of 200 miles per hour or a Ford F-150 capable of running the Baja 1000 in nearly stock form would have seemed insane at the time. And it still does today.

Have a look at some of the vehicles produced by SVT over the past 20 years in the gallery above, and let us know what you think might come from Ford's performance division in the next 20 years in the comments section below.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 93 Comments
      polishlanman
      • 2 Years Ago
      As an owner of the SVT Focus, it's incredible how much time and effort was put into these vehicles. Recaro seats, cosworth engine and six speed manual in an inexpensive hot hatch? YES! I hope SVT keeps on pumping out awesome vehicles. Here's to another 20 years!
      mumblymack76
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have had a 98 SVT Contour and still have a 95 Contour SE Sport V6 stick with 225k miles. These are some of the best driving cars I ever drove and they could compete with sport sedans that were a lot more expensive. I hope SVT continues with Fusion version with add, ecoboost v6 and a stick.
        QCRamAir
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mumblymack76
        For years now I've been fantasizing about a Fusion with AWD, a turbo V6, and a 6-speed manual... Hello S4-Fighter! Come on Ford. You've got the resources to build a proper sport sedan that could go toe-to-toe with the Europeans.
          007 Vodka Martini
          • 2 Years Ago
          @QCRamAir
          As a supplier, I heard of this, but with a manumatic 6-speed. It would fail. Glad it never happened.
        thrutheeyesofbry
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mumblymack76
        I saw a SVT Contour on Craigslist a few weeks back. It was like $900 cause it needed a new clutch. The car was clean too. It took every inch in my bone to not spend the money I don't really have. I'm younger and not a fan of sedans or body kits but that car had all the right lines. Sure, I'd rather have an SVT Mustang but those Contours are not too far behind. The family man needs a nice set of wheels too.
          oRenj9
          • 2 Years Ago
          @thrutheeyesofbry
          There's nothing wrong with being young and driving a four-door car.
          007 Vodka Martini
          • 2 Years Ago
          @thrutheeyesofbry
          Yes, my toy is a Mustang GT Conv manual, but my DDs are two SVT Contours....
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 2 Years Ago
      SVT is still around, too bad the Mustang is saddled with a $20k premium just to put Shelby's stupid name on it. If he would go ahead and die they could go back to the Cobra being a value like the Terminators.
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        I agree with you 100% about Shelby's perceived value in his name. The Carroll Shelby of the 60's pretty cool, the Carroll Shelby of today, just a money-grubbing leach. He does make (or licenses his name to) a pretty damn good chili though, I give him that.
        Danny
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        Agreed!
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        That's why they developed the BOSS!
        MONTEGOD7SS
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MONTEGOD7SS
        In my opinion the BOSS, or at least the new Cobra should be a DOHC version of the 6.2L. If DOHC is so much better, prove it. Make something that beats the LS7 without a blower.
      iOrange
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is great... I love my 04 SVTfocus.. An absolute blast drive and super cheap to insure..
      Brian
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love that Vibrant Red 93 Cobra in the pic above. I sure wish that SVT would get back into performance trucks for the streets and at least a few Mustangs without Carroll Shelby's name on them. It would be great to see the Lightning and Cobra names return to the fold. It would also be cool to see an SVT Fusion, Focus and Fiesta available.
      Mike
      • 2 Years Ago
      "A 650 horsepower Mustang capable of 200 mph or a Ford F-150 capable of running the Baja 1000 in nearly stock form would have seemed insane at the time. And it still does today" AMEN to that!!!!!! Hard to believe the SVT team didnt have a hand in the GT Super Car.
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Mike
        SVT DID have a hand in the GT. The whole episode of Rides covered this. Saleen, Inc was involved in the development, though.
      jdssvt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course that should be 1993-1998.
      Ernie Mccracken
      • 2 Years Ago
      If they took an Ecoboost, regular cab, short bed, 4WD F150 and put the shortest gear ratio they had, it could probably get to 60 in the low 5s. That could be a new SVT lightning without making new parts, it's all off the shelf.
      Roush
      • 2 Years Ago
      Congrats to SVT. Heres to another 20 years. I remember seeing the 94-98 Cobras. I still love those cars. Beautiful looks and an amazing sound to match. And they were fast as all get up. One day I'll own a Cobra like that. Until then I'll continue to dream.
        oRenj9
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Roush
        The SN95 Cobras were fast in their day, but they aren't much anymore. Now the Terminator Cobra; those beasts will be remembered forever...
          Josh
          • 2 Years Ago
          @oRenj9
          The termi's are outdated by the coyote. :)
      Douglas Harry
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about the Mustang SVO?
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Douglas Harry
        That's reaching back to the old school. I wonder that myself. I wonder if they ended up becoming SVT with a name change or something. I really liked the 84 (1/2?) to 86 Mustang SVOs. They were such a great foreshadow of things to come for the Mustang. I've always been a sucker for the double rear spoiler, too on that and the XR4ti.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Elmo
        • 2 Years Ago
        SVO shifted to SVT because SVO was Ford's main racing program. They split their racing program up and it became Ford Racing, while SVO became SVT and became Ford's in-house tuner.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looking through this list brings back some fond memories and has me missing the Cobra. Nothing against the GT-500, but an S-197 using the 'Cobra' name would be nothing short of badass. When looking at the Focus and Contour, I can't help but think how nice it would be to have an SVT Fusion and Focus to compete more directly with the imports. At the end of the day, I am having a hard time choosing favorites. I like the 2007 Shelby for its aesthetics and bias, the 13' for its performance (200 mph), and the 1993 and 2003 Cobras for their nostalgic appeal.
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