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The 1980 Mustang wasn’t much
different than the 1979 model. However, the 5.0L V8 was changed to a
4.2L V8, with fewer horsepower. This smaller V8 engine was meant to
be more economical and sporty, as fuel economy was still a priority
for a majority of the population.
Some cosmetic and interior changes included high back bucket seats,
full color-keyed interior trim, and brighter halogen headlights. A
pricey optional carriage roof was available for the notchback,
simulating the top-up look of a convertible, along with replica
Recaro bucket seats from the Pace Car for both the coupe and
Ford developed a Sport Option for the ’80 Fox, which touted
styled-steel wheels, black rocker panel and window moldings, wide
body side moldings, and a sporty steering wheel.
The Mustang Cobra model continued from the Mustang II into 1979 with
an egg-crate style grille. Yet in 1980, that grille was replaced to
a Pace-Car style slat grille. It also was updated to feature a rear
facing hood scoop and front and rear spoilers, and the optional V8
was no longer available.
Also this year, the Mustang celebrated its 15th anniversary and Ford
developed the Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division. The SVO was
created to develop high-performance cars with a focus on motorsports.