Difference Between 5.0 & GT Mustang

by Thomas West

For several years in the 1980s and 1990s, Ford offered its sporty Mustang in two different guises. The standard LX came with a four cylinder engine, while the upper-scale GT model came with a 5.0 liter V-8 engine and several other high-performance and trim items not available on the LX. However, some Mustang owners wanted the more subdued look of the LX model, with the powerful underpinnings of the GT. Their wishes were answered with the Mustang GL or LX 5.0 model. Knowing the differences between the GT and the standard 5.0 will help you when buying or selling these Mustangs.

Ground Effects

The Mustang GT models came standard with a ground effects package that covered the front and rear bumpers and the lower portions of the exterior doors and front fenders with a plastic cladding. The words "MUSTANG GT" were embossed on the cladding, while 5.0 models had a cleaner look with no lower body embellishments.

Fog Lights

Mustang GT models came standard with circular fog lamps that were faired into the ground effects at the front of the car. The GT headlamp switch had a position for the fog lights, while the 5.0 did not. The fog lamps came on by turning the switch past the headlight position, and when the high beams were used the fog lamps automatically went off. The 5.0 model was not available with fog lamps.

Spoiler and Taillights

The Mustang GT hatchback models came with a rear spoiler mounted on the rear cargo door. The 5.0 hatchback models came with a spoiler as well, but was smaller and more subdued than the GT spoiler. While the GT had rear taillights that were covered with body-color louvers, the 5.0 taillights had a smoother, yet less expensive-looking appearance.

Tires

GT cars were shod with high-performance tires that gave extra grip with accelerating and negotiating tight turns. The 5.0 models came standard with all-season performance tires that had a harder rubber compound than the GT tires.

Exhaust Systems

While the 5.0 and the GT has similar high-performance stainless steel exhaust systems, the 5.0 car had chrome-tipped tail pipes that extended past the underside of the rear bumper slightly. Since the GT had ground effects at the rear of the car that hid the exhaust system, its pipes merely turned down toward the ground and had no chrome tips.

Exterior Paint Colors

Depending of the year of car, some paint colors were exclusive to either the GT or the 5.0. For example, in 1992 Bimini Blue was only available on the 5.0 and other LX cars, while Ultra Blue was only available on GT models.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera 2006 mustang gt tail light image by Jorge Moro from Fotolia.com