By: Andrew Cilio
The 1996 Mustang offered a mid-model mini-redesign. The taillights were changed from three horizontal bars to three vertical bars to better reflect the Mustang heritage (the first-generation Mustangs had three vertical bars). A new color, Bright Tangerine, was offered. Only 829 Tangerine Mustangs were made, and the color was only offered on the GT model.
The 1996 Cobra also got a limited-edition color: Mystic. Mystic was a polychromatic paint; it changed colors depending on the view angle. Depending on how the light hit the car, it could appear either bronze, green, or purple. Mystic was an expensive color, and Mystic Cobras are quite collectible today.
By far the most important change to the Mustang lineup in 1996 was the introduction of a 4.6L Modular V8 to replace the old 5.0. The Mod motor (as it is affectionately known in Mustang circles) is a cam-in-head design. The single overhead cam version in the GT produced 215 horsepower and 285 ft-lbs of torque; the dual overhead cam version found in the Cobra produced 305 horsepower at 5800 rpm and 300 ft-lbs at 4800 rpm. The base model V6 also received a slight horsepower bump up to 150 in 1996.
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