Very little changed between last year and this year. Ford had spent an obscene $200 million on the 1987 restyle and mechanical upgrades so they took a rest in 1988 and gave us more of the same. Sales got back to growth again in 1988.
The 1988 and ’89 Mustangs remained basically unchanged from 1987, while the ‘5.0 Mustang’ also remained mechanically unchanged through 1993. The GT was unchanged and the LX with the 5.0 liter V8 option became a popular choice and for the most part, the general public didn’t really know the difference. There were just two changes for 1988. The LX got a higher-capacity battery and Ford removed the T-bar roof from the options list. The latter really wasn’t needed anymore, as convertible sales remained strong despite the premium price point.
Ford was doing something right because sales were up 25% in 1988 versus 1987. Despite an increase in pricing, demand shot up as the motoring press praised the Mustang. The Mustang LX5.0 continued to do well in sales, as it offers all the amenities of the GT without the 200 extra pounds the GT package adds. In addition, the LX body style perfectly conceals the powerful 5.0L V8 engine, creating the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing
Special Edition Models & Variants
The 1988 Mustang GT came standard with the 225hp 5.0L High Output V8 engine, performance progressive rate springs, front and rear stabilizing bars, MacPherson front struts, Quadra-shocks in the rear, turbine wheels, performance tires, lower body skirts, closed grille, and upgraded interior. New to 1988 was the cheese grater rear tail lights which was a body-color-matched cover over the rear lights with rows of 6 slits.
A total of 211,225 Mustangs were sold in 1988, up by almost 25% versus 1987. The Hatchback was strongest seller with about 125,000 sale and almost 60% of total sales. The Mustang LX5.0 continued to do well in sales due to its bang for buck performance credentials. To dive into the model and body splits as well as see charts and percentages, check out our 1988 Ford Mustang Production & Sales Numbers deep dive.
% of Total
2 Door - Hardtop LX
3 Door - Hatchback LX
3 Door - Hatchback GT
2 Door - Convertible LX
2 Door - Convertible GT
Options and Pricing
The base prices kept going up despite no changes to the cars in 1988. Base sticker price for 1988 coupe was $8,835 while the base hatchback crept up above $9000 at $9,341 for the first time. The convertible continued to be priced at premium price point. The V8 powered cars continued to offer the best value in 1988, particularly the popular LX 5.0 that was considered to be the performance bargain of the decade. For a premium of about $2,000, the LX’s could be equipped with the 5.0-litre engine package that came with all of the GT’s mechanical upgrades without the frivolous extras. For more detailed options and pricing, please check out our 1988 pricing and options research.
2 Door Hardtop
2 Door Hatchback
2 Door Convertible
Exterior & Interior Colors
A total of 12 colors were available for the 1988 Mustang model year. The colors certainly got brighter and more vibrant in the late 1980s. For detailed colors, color palettes, codes and interior colors please check out our in depth 1988 colors information post.
Dimensions & Weight
The 1988 Mustang had the exact same dimensions and weight as the prior year model.
Body Length - Notchback/Hatchback
Body Length - SVO
Wheelbase - Notchback/Hatchback
Wheelbase - SVO
Trunk Capacity - Hatchback/SVO w/ rear seat down
Trunk Capacity - Notchback
The engine options were unchanged for 1988. The 90-horsepower four cylinder kept the awesome upgrades from the prior year which greatly improved drivability with easier startup and a smoother idle. The hard-charging 5.0-litre H.O. V-8 kept its horsepower and torque number, now up to 225-horsepower and 300 pound-feet respectively and really started to pick up in popularity amongst buyers. For more information on engines for 1988, you can find the information here.
Engine Name & Year
Power (hp @ RPM)
Torque (lb/ft @ RPM)
1988 – 140 Lima Inline 4 Engine (2.3 L)
90 hp @ 3800 RPM
130 lb/ft @ 2800 RPM
1988 – 302 H.O V8 (5.0 L)
225 hp @ 4200 RPM
300 lb/ft @ 3200 RPM
Below is the performance data for the 1988 Mustangs that we could find. The improvements in 1987 stuck for 1988 and that was a good thing for Mustang performance. Owners and the enthusiast community were happy to see the Mustang’s performance be competitive again. Below we have included 0-60 mph times, 0-100 mph times as well as quarter mile times and top speed where available.