The Ford Mustang is reinvented once again, revealed to the public in new form on September 3, 1998. Sweeping hood, side scoops and short rear deck reminisce, while crisp, beveled edges suggest the Mustang of the future. Improved engine design increases available horsepower in both the V6 and V8 Mustangs. A new traction control system is introduced, and revised suspension refines ride characteristics. It didn’t help sales though, with only 133,637 units sold in 1999.
1999 was the 35th anniversary of the Mustang so Ford updated their aging star. Many people mistake the 1999 model lineup as the launch of a new generation Mustang. Although the body style changed significantly, the Mustang was still based on the SN-95 Platform. It certainly helped to update the look of the car and make it more modern in the eyes of potential buyers.
Gone were many of the soft lines of the early SN-95s. Moreover, bite was added to the Mustang’s bark. New crisper looking headlights and a restyled side profile looked forward, yet at the same time brought back some elements of classic mustang cars of the 60’s and 70’s. Known as “New Edge” Mustang it these sharp design lines gave the Mustang a more aggressive stance.
The more angular take on the original pony car’s characteristic scoop behind the doors. It also stretches out and upward towards the top of the belt line and flows into a crisp point just forward of the front doors. The front bumper was restyled and the famous pony and corral return to the grille area. At the rear, a new take on the classic 3 bar tail lights is added and the entire rear bumper fascia is changed and slightly more angular.
The GT receives a hood scoop. (nonfunctional). The exhaust opening is increased to 3 inches from 2.75 inches. And the GT like all mustangs (not Cobras) receives a tri-color 35th anniversary badge on the front fender.
The 1999 Mustang also received a new interior treatment to complement the exterior revisions including new dual cup holders. Both the standard and deluxe GT interiors were clean and modern looking but we aren’t talking about Rolls Royce quality either.
The engine lineup stayed unchanged but both engines received improvements and power upgrades.
The base V6 engine now produced 190 horsepower at 5,250 and 225 ft/lbs of torque at 3,000 RPM. Better breathing via a new intake manifold design along with cylinder head improvements were the upgrades that gave buyers that extra 40 horsepower of grunt versus prior year.
The 4.6 liter modular V8 went from 225 to 260 horsepower and 302 ft/lbs of torque and the aluminum DOHC 4.6 liter V8 in the Cobra gained an additional 15 horsepower, up to 320 total horsepower. Ford added coil on plugs, modified the combustion chamber and changed the intake design. It also got a more aggressive cam that had higher lift and longer duration. This allowed the engine to breath deeper and longer.
Drivetrain & Chassis
The T-45 transmission was manufactured by Tremec (licensed by Borg-Warner). Rear gears have a 3.27:1 ratio, and limited slip is an option even with the ABS system. The traction control option allows for “power starts”, in other words it allows you to do some limited tire smoking off the line. However, GT owners do not want LIMITED smoking.
The TCS operates using the technology incorporated into the ABS system. When it detects a tire is spinning faster than the other tire, it adjusts the timing and the fuel mixture to reduce the slippage. If that fails, it applies the brakes to the errant wheel.
The front end of the car has some changes as well. Ford installed a new lower control arms and anti-roll mounts and the steering has been modified. Ford also increased the rear track by 1.4 inches to further improve handling and stability.
Ford went to some lengths to help the Mustang be more civilized. For example, to quieten down the ride Ford injected foam into the rocker panels, sealed the floor pans more thoroughly and made the trunk lid out of a composite to reduce weight and corrosion. The Convertible received a sub frame connector to reduce vibration.
Special Edition Models & Variants
The GT was back as normal as was the Cobra, both upgraded mechanically and sporting new updated designs like the rest of the range. Ford also introduced a special 35th anniversary commemorative edition, which featured a special hood scoop and blackout stripe running from the front of the hood back into the opening.
The 1999 Mustang GT came with 16 inch cast aluminum wheels, lower valance integrated fog lamps, single rear wing spoiler, racing cloth front bucket seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, optional upgraded rear axle, and optional Mach 460 sound system following the GT options offered in 1998; but received the more powerful 260hp 4.6L SOHC V8 engine.
While not looking tremendously different from the outside, Ford’s 1999 Cobra was the clear cut winner in the pony car performance category. With it’s all aluminum DOHC (dual overhead cam) 4.6 liter V8 coupled with chassis refinements and big sticky tires, the most expensive option, was hands down, the bargain of the year! Unfortunately, 1999 was also the first of several challenging years for the SVT Cobra. Due to horsepower numbers not matching the advertised values, Ford ended up recalling all ’99 SVT Cobras in order to improve the exhaust and intake manifolds to ensure that customers got the horsepower that they were promised.
The Limited Edition 35th Anniversary 1999 Mustang GT was released with features that later became available on the 2001 GT. These features included the 2001 raised hood scoop, side scoops and raised rear decklid spoiler. In total, 2,318 GT Coupes and 2,310 GT Convertibles were equipped with the 35th-Anniversary package. They only came in red, black, silver, or white.
The Ford Mustang is reinvented once again, revealed to the public in new form on September 3, 1998. Same body, with lots of significant exterior sheet metal dress up basically. Sales fell 24%, down from 175,522 in 1998 to 133,637 units in 1999. To dive into the model and body splits as well as see charts and percentages, check out our 1999 Ford Mustang Production & Sales Numbers deep dive.
% of Total
2 Door - Hardtop V6
2 Door - Hardtop GT
2 Door - Hardtop GT Anniversary
2 Door - Convertible V6
2 Door - Convertible GT
2 Door - Convertible GT Anniversary
2 Door - Convertible Cobra
2 Door - Hardtop Cobra
Options and Pricing
The base Mustang increased a few hundred dollars in 1999 to $16,470. The base convertible price actually fell by a hundred dollars to $20,070. A base GT was still a bang for your buck king at $20,870 while the Cobra coupe came to $27,470. For more detailed options and pricing, please check out our 1999 pricing and options research.
The same three engine combinations were available for 1999 as prior years. The base engine was the same 3.8 liter V6 although power was up to 190 horsepower. The advanced 4.6L V8 was still the main engine for the GT and Cobra. While the engine looks the same, the Cobra’s DOHC (vs GTs SOHC) was the much more potent power plant at 320 horsepower. The SOHC GT engine had 260 horsepower. For more information on engines for 1999, you can find the information here.
Engine Name & Year
Power (hp @ RPM)
Torque (lb/ft @ RPM)
1999 – 281 Modular V8 (4.6 L)
320 hp @ 6000 RPM
317 lb/ft @ 4750 RPM
1999 – 281 Modular V8 (4.6 L)
260 hp @ 5250 RPM
302 lb/ft @ 4000 RPM
1999 – 232 Ford Essex V6 Engine (3.8 L)
193 hp @ 5500 RPM
225 lb/ft @ 2800 RPM
Below is the performance data for the 1999 Mustangs that we could find. Unsurprisingly, the added horsepower made a difference and improved acceleration times across the board. Below we have included 0-60 mph times, 0-100 mph times as well as quarter mile times and top speed where available.