Ford changed up some of the Mustang variants in 1982. The Cobra would not be offered in 1982. The brand new Ford Mustang GT was born, featuring the 5.0 Liter H.O. (high output) engine. Gone from the lineup was the Ghia, having been replaced by a new luxury GLX package that was available in both a coupe and a hatchback body. There was also the return of the 5.0L (with improvements) after a two-year absence.
Finally in 1982 things started to improve for the Ford Mustang.
Ford replaced the turbocharged 4 cylinder engine (reliability problems) and the 4.2 liter V8 engine as the performance engine options (underwhelming) with a brand new 5.0 liter high output V8. The 5.0L engine was mated to a 4 speed overdrive transmission. No longer called the 302, it is now refined and referred to in liters. Available with a 2bbl carburetor for this year, the engine is still referred to as the H.O. (High Output). If you purchased the 5.0L, you also got a 3.08 limited slip rear end, power steering, power brakes, and a handling package. It was a big jump in performance considering the horrible five preceding years. Note, for a brief time, the turbo four was deleted, while the base four, straight six and the 4.2-liter V8 all continued on through 1982 as options but not really encouraged.
The return of the Mustang GT lead to the demise of the Cobra and Ghia models. The GT’s 5.0L H.O. provides both greater horsepower and performance due to features such as a high-performance camshaft, a double-roller timing chain, a two-barrel Holley carburetor and a four-speed Traction-Lok rear axle. Other improvements include a lowered front air dam, a pair of threatening fog lights, front-facing hood scoop (non-functional) and rear spoiler. Three progressively more luxurious series were introduced also this year, the L, GL and GLX.
The 1982 Mustang didn’t look substantially different from the previous years. A flip-up open-air roof allowed you to open the roof part way or could be completely removed, which was not as good as a convertible, but close. Likewise, a T-roof allowed you to remove one or both side sections.
Special Edition Models & Variants
New to 1982, was the Mustang GLX which replaced the previous years luxury Ghia options package. By 1982 the Mustang model mix had shifted with a range that included four models with the GT being the top for performance and the GLX for luxury. The GLX could be had with the full range of engines that were available in Mustangs at the time, but a new 3.8 L V6 had become the most popular configuration. It was also available in notchback or hatchback body styles.
The Mustang GT was back in 1982 as a sport upgrade package which was last offered on 1969 Mustangs. The 1982 GT replaced the previous year’s Cobra and Sports package as the Mustang lineup sporty option. The new ‘High Output’ version of the 5.0-liter V8 could achieve an impressive 157 hp with 2-barrel carburetor in the revived Mustang GT hatchback. The 1982 Mustang GT was backed be a four-speed manual transmission. The GT Mustang was more of a package you bought since the 5.0L engine could be put in any car body. What differentiated the GT was the grille and body paint. And, actually the GT weighed more than the GL so if they raced, many times the GL would win. Your body style choices did become a bit more limited if you wanted the GT option, however. You could only get the GT in a hatchback. The GT package also limited your color selection to Black, Red, or Metallic Silver.
The three GT Enduros were built to significantly outperform the factory original Mustangs of the era, and its likely that they would have done relatively well on the race track themselves if they’d been given the opportunity.
Ford contracted Intermeccanica Custom Coach Builders to build the Mustang Cabrio convertible. The conversion used parts from a Mercedes-Benz. Approximately 1200 non-factory authorized Mustang convertibles were produced.
From 1982-1993, Ford offered a Special Service Package for law enforcement agencies. The California Highway Patrol purchased 400 notchback models to use. These “Special Service Package” or SSP Mustangs were based on the GT package but included a more powerful automatic transmission so that officers’ hands could be free. The lightweight police car package was popular. The units served a number of uses, and were often customized to suit each law enforcement agency’s particular needs.
Base sticker prices for the coupe were now almost $6,400 while the base hatchback fetched almost $7000. For more detailed options and pricing, please check out our 1982 pricing and options research.
2 Door Hardtop
2 Door Hatchback
Exterior & Interior Colors
A total of 14 colors were also added for the 1982 Mustang model year. Most of the exterior colors available for this year are muted, but tu-tone paint options and decal packages created unique and eye-catching combinations. The most popular color across all 1982 Mustangs was Black, and the least popular was “Pastel Vanilla,” which only had 57 orders in total. For detailed colors, color palettes, codes and interior colors please check out our in depth 1982 colors information post.
Dimensions & Weight
The 1982 Mustang had the same dimensions as the prior year model. No notable changes to the size.
Trunk Capacity - Hatchback w/ rear seat down
Trunk Capacity - Notchback
Front / Rear Bias
For 1982, Ford offered a 2.3L four-cylinder engine as standard across all four trim levels. There were a grand total of three optional engines though: a 3.3L straight-six, a 4.2L V8, and, returning to great acclaim, a 5.0L V8. The 5.0L only had a two-barrel carburetor, but even so it was still able to produce 157 horsepower and 240 lb-ft of torque. This engine was listed as the high output, or “HO” option, so it had a few additional features to boost it to performance glory. These features included a more aggressive cam and double-roller timing chain, as well as stiffer valve springs. For more information on engines for 1982, you can find the information here.
Engine Name & Year
Power (hp @ RPM)
Torque (lb/ft @ RPM)
1982 – 200 Thriftpower Six
1 Barrel Carburetor
87 hp @ 3800 RPM
160 lb/ft @ 1600 RPM
1982 – 140 Lima Inline 4 Engine (2.3 L)
2 Barrel Carburetor
86 hp @ 4600 RPM
119 lb/ft @ 2600 RPM
1982 - 302 Windsor V8 (5.0 L)
2 Barrel Carburetor
157 hp @ 4000 RPM
235 lb/ft @ 2490 RPM
1982 – 255 Cubic Inch V8 (4.2 L)
2 Barrel Carburetor
120 hp @ 3400 RPM
193 lb/ft @ 2200 RPM
Below is the performance data for the 1982 Mustangs that we could find. We have included 0-60 mph times, 0-100 mph times as well as quarter mile times and top speed where available.