Ford is the primary producer of Mustangs, but many other manufacturers have developed them as well. Often, when Mustangs are outsourced, manufacturers such as Saleen and Shelby use base Ford Models as inspiration. These manufacturers can push Mustangs to their limits by adding new parts and designs. On the first day the Mustang was released in 1964, it was a huge success; more than 22,000 Mustangs were sold. Because of the power contained in these Mustangs, they're highly desirable.
Ford Mustangs have seen many changes throughout the years. They were initially muscle cars but later adopted a more sporty appearance. In recent years, Ford has slowly gravitated toward bringing back the "muscle look," but it appears as if they're becoming sporty again. Newer doesn't always mean better since old Mustangs often had powerful engines. There were a large number of robust Mustangs made in the 1960s, the 1970s, and the 1980s.
Did you know the name "Mustang" is based on a type of American feral horse? Surely, a car named after a horse would have high horsepower. Mustang lovers should know that not all Mustangs are created equal. At the top end of the spectrum, there are Mustangs such as the Shelby GT500, which are capable of competing with Ferraris and Porsches. There are also low-end Mustangs, which are for commuting and wouldn't be the ideal choice for racing.
To rank the most powerful vehicles, we considered factors such as curb weight, horsepower, engine type, torque, and others. These are the most powerful Mustangs of the 2000s.
20 2017 Ford Mustang Roush Stage 2
Stage 2 of the Mustang Roush is one of three stages that Roush has offered in 2017. Developers of 2017 Stage 2 focused heavily on improving its exterior appearance. They added "core and optional ROUSH body and chassis components."
Jack Roush, the founder and CEO of Roush Fenway Racing, once said, "Between a road car and a race car is a ROUSH car..." The Roush Stage 2 falls below other Mustangs such as the Shelby and the Saleen in performance, but it has one of the most breathtaking exteriors and is built for longevity, so it'll continue to shine.
There are a plethora of reasons to buy a Roush Mustang, and the Stage 2 Roush Mustang is a great place to start.
19 2005 Ford Mustang FR500
The Ford Mustang FR500 was initially a concept car that was unveiled in 1999. The 1999 SVT Cobra inspired the original concept car's design. The production of FR500 models began in 2015. It's a vehicle that begs to be driven fast. To leave this fine example of American muscle locked up in a garage would be inhumane.
The 2005 Ford Mustang FR500 can reach a top speed of 175 mph and is loaded with a robust Cammer 5.0-liter V8 engine that can put out 415 hp. The transmission gives the vehicle a long second gear, but it lands on each gear firmly.
At a weight of 3,200 pounds, it weighs slightly less than the 2004 Cobra R, which has a curb weight of 3,610 lbs. In races, the Ford Mustang Fr500 can best vehicles such as Porsches, Lexuses, and BMWs.
18 2008 RaceCraft 420 S Ford Mustang
Although the RaceCraft 420S uses its manufacturer's name in its title, it was manufactured by Saleen. Saleen is highly reputable in the automotive industry and has created some of the most powerful Mustangs.
This vehicle has a V8 supercharged engine that's capable of putting out 420 hp. The RaceCraft 420 S can go from 0-60 mph in 4.4 seconds. The car was purposefully given a more plain appearance to encourage owners to further customize their vehicle through Saleen's SpeedLab performance parts division.
One of the best perks that were included in owning the 2008 RaceCraft 420 S Ford Mustang was the fact you could add 55 hp, add a new body kit, or change the headlights without voiding its factory warranty. This is yet another superb example of consumer dedication displayed by Ford.
17 2017 Ford Mustang GT California Special
2017's Ford Mustang GT California is more powerful than the 2011 GT California Special, if you can believe it. Compared to the 2011 GT California Special, which is a top-tier Mustang, the 2017 Ford Mustang GT California Special has an additional 23 hp with 435 hp in total.
Many car manufacturers have produced vehicles that they believe represent the culture of California. Ferrari California has a notable car, and so does Ford. Allowing it to be available in a convertible is perfect for touring the roads of California.
Although it has a relaxed West Coast vibe, it has a ridiculous 5.0-liter V8 and is capable of screeching burnouts. If that isn't enough to win you over, its latest SYNC 3 infotainment system and 12 speakers surely will. SYNC 3 infotainment can link Apple Siri to your car hands-free, sync your Android phone to access apps like Google Maps, and change the temperature of the vehicle.
16 2018 Ford Mustang GT
The commitment that Ford has put into making 2018's Mustang accurately represent Mustang's image while including subtle changes has been executed correctly. This new vehicle has a slightly more modern look than its predecessor. The grille has been lowered, but the dual exhaust with quad tips remains.
2018's Mustang GT is the most refined way to experience driving by Ford. Even if you're not a Mustang lover, it's difficult to pass up driving this magnificent vehicle. It uses the latest car tech, such as LED headlights that are brighter and uses less electricity, a new port fuel, and a 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission. Its 10-speed transmission will ensure you're driving in the most suitable gear. The transition from first to second gear is remarkably quick.
15 2007 Shelby GT500
As you'll learn after completing this article, Shelby produces some of the most awe-inspiring Mustangs. The 2007 Shelby GT500 is a beast of its own. With 500 hp@ 6,000 rpm and 480 lbs of torque, it displays enormous power. With the ability to go from 0-60 mph in a blazing fast 4.4 seconds, the 2007 Shelby GT500 manages to overcome its heavy 3,944 lbs weight. 3,944 pounds is almost 2 tons!
The 2007 Shelby GT500 can beat out with ease opponents such as the GTO and the SRT8 Charger in a quarter mile race. Its engine is a 5.4-liter V8. This vehicle uses RWD, so it can effectively drift in the right weather conditions. The 2007 Shelby GT500 is part of a proven line of Shelby Mustangs and is a top example of American muscle.
14 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Mach 1 is a speed that's equal to the speed of sound. Although the 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1 doesn't achieve Mach 1 speed, it does go incredibly fast for a Mustang. During this period, there were other tough Mustang competitors such as the SVT Mustang Cobra and the Mustang GT. The 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1 found its place in the market by having unique smooth shifting, high-flow four-valve heads, and a lower MSRP.
The SVT Cobra is a more powerful vehicle, but power isn't everything, and the 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1 is better suited to different individuals. They both use the same engine, but the supercharger of the SVT Cobra gives it an advantage over the 2004 Ford Mustang Mach 1. After a review of both vehicles, we can say that you wouldn't regret owning either the SVT Cobra or the Ford Mustang Mach 1.
13 2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium
The Ford Factory doesn't always wait for third-party companies to manufacture Mustangs. In 2011, Ford produced the Ford Mustang GT, one of the most powerful Mustangs yet. They chose to add a new four-cam aluminum 5.0-liter V8 engine. Being able to purchase a car this hot from a Ford dealership is a worthy reason to buy from Ford. Despite being as powerful as it is, the 2011 Ford Mustang GT can provide above-average fuel efficiency for a Mustang.
The 2011 Ford Mustang GT Premium was once the fastest Ford Mustang GT ever. The Ford Mustang GT Premium has 412 hp and can deliver 390 lb-ft of torque. It can also go from 0-60 mph in 4.3 seconds.
12 2006 Ford Mustang Steeda Q525
Ford's 2006 Mustang Steeda Q525 has 500 hp, 530 ft-lb of torque, and a 5.0-liter modular engine. Steeda Autosports, the leading organization behind the engineering of the 2006 Ford Mustang Steeda Q525, did careful planning to make sure it had one of the smoothest handlings of any Mustang. The rear sway bar with billet links is a significant contributor to its superior handling.
Mustangs are some of the most well-designed cars that are affordable to consumers. For the 2006 Ford Mustang Steeda Q5252 to have placed as high as it did on this list is nothing short of commendable. Since the Steeda excels in areas other than power, it's a great all-around vehicle. Steeda's 2006 take on the Mustang is incredible.
11 2018 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R
Shelby is a unique breed of Mustang, which has efficient performance. Through natural aspiration, the 2018 Ford Mustang GT350 can put out amazing amounts of power per liter. Vehicles such as the Chevrolet Camaro SS, the Lexus GS F, the Porsche 911 GT3, the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S, the Dodge Viper, the Ferrari 812 Superfast, and the Lamborghini Aventador are among the vehicles that have naturally aspirated engines.
The changes made to the 2018 edition were minimal. The only changes were three additional color options. 2017 added many changes, such as addressing overheating issues on the racetrack, a new convenience package, and a Track package, which became standard. The 2017 model had an aluminum strut-tower brace and a rear spoiler. The car gives one of the best bargains, considering how well it performs on the track.
10 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt GT
The Bullitt's inspiration was the 1968 Bullitt movie. Frank Bullitt, the protagonist of the film, drives a 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback. After a Bullitt concept was recognized at the L.A. Auto Show in 2000, it was produced by Ford in 2001 and made available to the public.
Undoubtedly, a car with such a rich backstory needs a boost in performance. It's capable of going from 0-60 mph in under 6 seconds. This 0-60 mph time is superior to the 1968 Ford Mustang 390GT 2+2 Fastback's 7.8 seconds. The 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt GT has a V8 16-valve 90-degree engine that has improved airflow.
About 5,582 of these vehicles were produced, with 3,041 in dark highland green, 1,819 in black, and 722 in true blue. The 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt GT may not be the most powerful Mustang, but it's a splendid ride nonetheless.
9 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca
This Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca doesn't only have a fierce appearance but also follows suit with more than enough power under the hood. It's not the most effective vehicle for driving in the rain, as slippage is an issue. However, ordinarily, it provides remarkable force feedback from its steering wheel.
The styling of Mustangs can be configured in many different ways and still appear stunning. We almost get a sense of the "KARR" vehicle that David Hasselhoff drove in Knight Rider. If the 2012 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca had a voice, we wouldn't be surprised.
The 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca can go from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Its 444 hp and 5.0-liter V8 engine are commendable. The 2013 Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca is a vehicle you can love unconditionally.
8 2004 Ford Mustang Cobra R
At its time of production, The Ford Mustang Cobra R was the fastest Ford factory Mustang ever produced. Models such as the GT350 have surpassed it in track performance, but we'll likely never forget the Mustang Cobra R. Cobras are a special type of Mustang. Owning a Mustang is an American dream come true. It's not the most fuel-efficient car, but since only 300 models of this vehicle were made, it's still desirable to car fanatics.
This vehicle uses a normally aspirated DOHC Triton V8 engine that's capable of 385 lbs of torque and 385 hp. The ride of the car doesn't make turning too tricky despite having a hefty overall weight and suspension. The curb weight is 3,610 lbs. It's a shame not more than 300 were produced because this model brought the goods.
7 2003 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra
Adding the term "Cobra" to the end of an SVT Mustang made it much more desirable. For starters, snake logos are badass. The presence of a Cobra logo and sometimes, a large print on the rear of the Mustang was easy to spot. When a Ford Mustang SVT Cobra drives by, it becomes the center of attention. People are aware that they aren't witnessing just an ordinary Mustang.
The SVT Mustang Cobra was produced from 1993-2004. The 2000 models bear a newer design compared to those from years 1998 and older. With 390 hp and 390 lbs of torque, it's more than powerful enough to conquer the roads. The 2003 version of this Mustang received Mustang's first supercharged V8.
The Shelby GT500 does have a Cobra logo on its vehicle, but it's not considered a "true" Cobra Mustang. The Ford Mustang SVT Cobra is exceedingly powerful and suitably represents Mustang Cobra.
6 2008 Ford Mustang Saleen S281 Supercharged
Adding a supercharger to a car is an easy way to add a significant amount of hp without lag and a low RPM when compared to turbochargers. The cons of adding a supercharger are less efficiency through aspiration and lower reliability, which can lead to substantial costs in the future.
Regarding its potential for power, the 2008 Ford Mustang Saleen S281 Supercharged is a ferocious competitor among Mustangs. It has a 3-Valve SOHC V8 engine that's capable of 465 hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. Depending on if you find Saleen's take on Mustangs attractive, you may consider this a uniquely beautiful Mustang. You also had the option to add chrome-finished wheels. The Saleen print alone is enough to impress other drivers on the road.
5 2009 Ford Shelby GT500KR
The "Shelby" brand has been closely tied to Mustang since 1965. At that time, Shelby American had been the manufacturer behind Shelby Mustang builds, but Ford has played a much more significant role in the construction of the 2000s Shelby Mustangs.
The Ford Shelby GT500KR is regarded by Ford as the "King of the Road." With a title like that, we can be assured that this is one of the most powerful Mustangs of the 2000s. It does a great job of representing American car culture with mainly American parts, including its exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 tires made of an all-new compound. You can see a Mustang Cobra logo on the front and the side.
With 540 hp, 6250 rpm, and 510 lbs of torque, it has more power than a large number of trucks. The Classic Shelby was impressive, but Ford has outdone themselves with their Shelby line in recent years.
4 2014 Ford Shelby GT/SC
Putting Shelby and GT in a car's name instantaneously lets us know we're dealing with a powerful vehicle. The Ford Shelby GT SC is capable of putting out 550 hp and has an estimated 0-60 mph in an estimated 3.7 seconds. In 2014, this was a highly desirable vehicle. Would it be surprising to find out that it still is?
What we're dealing with is a beast of the road. The combination of Ford and Shelby is a winning formula on any given day and twice on Sunday. The Shelby GT/SC has excellent performance. It has 624 hp and the ability to go from 0 to 60mph in 3.7 seconds. These stats make Ford Shelby GT/SC one of the most powerful Mustangs yet, and its appearance makes it one of the most pleasing to the eye.
3 2017 ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang
The ROUSH Stage 3 Mustang is ridiculously powerful. Its V8 5.0-liter engine is capable of a whopping 670 hp. Who wouldn't want a vehicle that's this fast? It can drive a quarter of a mile in ten seconds.
Judging by its appearance, there's no doubt that this is a stunning Mustang. Since it was custom designed by ROUSH, which also manufactured F-150s, a Stage 1 and Stage 2 Mustang, and several other types of Mustangs, you can be assured careful consideration went into the placement of each part. Just take a look at its defined grill and sharp headlights; it's entirely immaculate.
ROUSH has made many changes from the Ford factory version of this Mustang, including the ROUSH Active Exhaust System, which changes the volume and the tone of Stage 3's stainless-steel exhaust. They've even pre-programmed exhaust sound modes.
2 2015 Saleen 302 Mustang Black Label
Whenever Saleen manufactures Mustangs, the "wow" factor is never missing because of their top-tier design and performance. In this case, Saleen hit the mark with the Saleen 302 Mustang Black Label. It's one of the fastest Mustangs ever produced and is the "most advanced Mustang produced to date," according to Saleen.
Saleen first started manufacturing Mustangs in 1983 and incorporated a styling that's as sporty as it is smart. By manufacturing vehicles with aerodynamics, braking, and aesthetics, it's become one of the most elegant Mustangs yet.
The Saleen 302 Mustang Black Label has a 730 hp 302ci Supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine and is available in a fastback or a convertible model. It has a base price of $75,689, so only dedicated Mustang lovers may find it worth the purchase.
1 2017 Ford Shelby 1000
Technically, this vehicle isn't street legal, and many will likely condemn this list for having included the Ford Shelby 1000. Shelby American produced what can be considered as the most powerful Mustang. With 1,000 horsepower, it's tough to compete against.
Essentially, what Shelby did was swap the engine from the GT350 Mustang, add one that removes the flat-plane crack design, and supercharge the heck out of it. Shelby 1000 is a package that's capable of being attached to any V8 Ford Mustang from 2015 and later.
With 1,000 horsepower, it's clear that the 2017 Ford Shelby 1000 is extremely powerful. The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, the SSC Ultimate Aero, and the Hennessey Venom GT are among the few vehicles with at least 1,000 horsepower and are street legal. Perhaps, one day, we'll see the Shelby 1000 riding on the streets.
Sources: cheatsheet.com; motortrend.com