The 1997 Mustang GT was nearly identical to the 1996 Mustang GT with the exception of some color options. The mechanical updates in 1996 were so big that Ford did not invest in anything meaningful in terms of upgrades for 1997.
1997 Mustang GTs had the option of two one-year-only paint options: Aztec Gold and Autumn Orange. Neither color was offered again after 1997 model year.
The good news is that the 1997 Mustang GT was still a great car. While visually it needed an upgrade like the rest of the Mustang range, under the hood it was still strong. In 1996 the GT lost the big 5.0L HO V8 engine, replaced by the 4.6 liter modular V8. 1997 kept the modular V8 and enthusiasts and aftermarket companies started to really support the new engine.
Despite being SOHC, it was not much of a revver, and while torquay, didn’t make much power past 5000 rpm. It had a chain driven single overhead camshaft operating two valves per-cylinder located in aluminum cylinder heads. The valves were actuated by hydraulic roller finger followers, eliminating the need for valve adjustments. Ford used very long bolts to clamp the cylinder head to the block. These special bolts reduced distortion of the cylinder bores therefore providing improved sealing.
The 1997 Mustang GT had 215 horsepower at 4400 rpm and 285 pound-feet of torque at 3500.