15. 1971 Ford Mustang Boss 351
When the 1971 Boss 351 debuted, Car & Driver mourned the fact that it felt like more of street car rather than a track star. But drivers of the Boss weren’t disappointed in its 351-cubic-inch V8, which cranked out 330 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. Not everyone loved the car’s new look, but performance-wise, it delivered, running from zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds and the quarter-mile in 14.1 seconds at 100.6 miles per hour — numbers that still make it one of the fastest of all time.
14. 1993 SVT Mustang Cobra R
It may not have been the most muscular looking Mustang ever, but the fleet, final installment of the third-generation Mustang had some zip in the SVT Mustang Cobra R trim. According to Road & Track times published by Ford Racing, the 1993 Cobra R made the zero to 60 sprint in 5.7 seconds and ran the quarter-mile in 14.3 seconds at 99 miles per hour using 235 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. Only 107 models of this speedster were ever produced.
13. 2003 Mustang Mach 1
Ford was in a retro mood around the turn of the century. Following the release of the 2001 Steve McQueen-inspired Bullitt, it followed up with the 2003 Mach 1. Sporting the shaker hood scoop based on the original ’60s model, the 21st century Mach 1 packed a 4.6-liter V8 capable of 305 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque, and a specially tuned exhaust setup. According to Motor Trend, it could launch from zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds, and run the quarter-mile in 13.88 seconds at 101.9 miles per hour.
12. 2001 Mustang Bullitt
In the 1968 film Bullitt, Steve McQueen played a cop who went all out in pursuit of the bad guys. Flying through the hills of San Francisco in his Highland Green Mustang GT, McQueen and the film’s producers added yet another layer of coolness to the iconic Ford’s resume. So to celebrate one of the most iconic Mustangs of all-time, Ford launched the Mustang Bullitt in 2001.
The new model had the chops to do some racing of its own. Featuring an upgraded 4.6-liter V8 (265 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque), the 2001 Bullitt Ford debuted running zero to 60 in 5.6 seconds, and the quarter-mile in 14.0 seconds at 97.9 miles per hour (both figures per Motor Trend). Fewer than 6,000 units were produced.
11. 1969 Mach 1 Cobra Jet
There are many discrepancies (arguments) and disagreements (brawls) over the actual output and performance of the earliest Mustangs, but Gary Wizenburg put together the most comprehensive rundown in Mustang! The Complete History of America’s Pioneer Ponycar (Automobile Quarterly, 1979). According to Wizenburg’s extensive research, the hairiest of the early models was the 1969 Mach 1 Cobra Jet, a Mustang with a 7.0-liter, 428 cubic-inch V8 capable of 335 horsepower and 440 pound-feet of torque.
The 1969 Cobra Jet matched even the 1970 Boss 302 Trans Am (built for the track) in quickness. Both cars went zero to 60 in 5.5 seconds, with the Mach 1 making the quarter-mile run in 13.9 seconds at 103 miles per hour (as clocked by Car Life in March 1969). It also hit a top speed of 121 miles per hour in the Car Life tests, which made it the fastest of the early models — even faster than the Trans Am.
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