Special Vehicle Operations, The department was the forerunner of SVT here in the US. These Mustangs were fun as hell. I remember riding in a friend of mind's in High School, I loved it.
This from Canadian Driver....
Special Vehicle Operations was created in 1980 to provide "corporate image enhancement" through the development of competition cars for Ford. SVO, really a euphemism for "racing department," was headed up by German race driver Michael Kranefuss, formerly director of Ford's European racing operation.
The group's job was three-fold: to supervise Ford's North American racing activities; to develop competition components; and to transfer racing lessons and technology to special edition street cars. The Mustang SVO was a natural for the group.
The SVO arrived for 1984 and seemed to be an enthusiast's dream. The 2.3 litre (140 cu in.) single overhead cam four had been tweaked to produce a lusty 175 horsepower, thanks to turbocharging, an air-to-air intercooler, and electronically controlled boost control (an industry first) which peaked at an unusually high 14 pounds per square inch. Peak torque was a healthy 210 pounds-feet at a moderate 3,000 rpm.
This power went to the rear wheels through a five speed manual transmission stirred by a Hurst shifter. A limited-slip differential controlled wheelspin, and effective stopping was assured by four-wheel vented disc brakes.
Suspension modifications included stiffer springs, a rear anti-roll bar and a larger front one, Koni shock absorbers, and quicker steering. Meaty 225/50VR-16 tires insured that all this chassis tuning was put to the road.
To set the SVO's appearance apart from lesser Mustangs, the stylists added an unusual "bi-plane" rear spoiler, two square headlamps rather than the standard four, a grille-less front-end, and foglights integrated into the air dam. An offset hood-mounted scoop fed fresh air to the intercooler. There was no mistaking that this was a different kind of Mustang.
SVO performance was excellent. Car and Driver magazine (10/83) reported a zero to 96 km/h (60 mph) acceleration time of 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 206 km/h (128 mph).
In spite of the SVO's relative sophistication, however, and the buff books' praise, the vast majority of Mustang buyers looking for more speed opted for the V-8 powered GT. It cost some $6,000 less and provided about equal performance. Only 4,508 '84 SVOs were sold, a real disappointment to Ford, which was geared up to produce three times that many.
The SVO was revised in mid-'85 in an attempt to generate more interest. Engine vibration and harshness were reduced, and horsepower was increased by 30 to 205. Covered aero headlamps presented a smoother face to the wind.
In spite of these changes, 1985 sales slid to 1,954. When only 3,382 SVOs found buyers the next year, Ford discontinued it. While the SVO had demonstrated that a high-tech small engine could perform like a big one, most North American enthusiasts still preferred a V-8.
Over the three years total SVO production was 9,844. Although they never met their sales expectations, the technically advanced engine, good performance, and rarity, make them a good bet as a collectible.