Sadly this pony car brand was also influenced by pollution laws. And this means – power drop. Lee Iacocca himself ordered a smaller, better-millage and “a little jewel” Mustang for 1974. Even though originally it was ment to be buit on Ford Maveric platform, Mustang ended up on subcompact’s Pinto one. The emission and safety regulations caused heaviness [extra equipment] and power reduce. But it got better handling. It ha to compete with the same rivals as 2nd generation Dodge Challenger – Toyota Celica, Datsun 280Z [Nissan] and other import cars. Mustang was available only in coupe and hatchbak versions.
Iaccoca’s insisting on high quality standards led 2nd generation Mustang to be a car of the year by Motor Trend magazine in 1974. The base engine was 140 cubic [2.3 liter] straight-4 SOCH, 171 cubic [2.8 liter] V6 was optional, V8 was gone for the first and last time in 1974 [except Mexico]. All in all, 1974 Mustang was the 6th best selling car [almost 300.000 sold].
Some changes with front fenders, engine bay and header panel were made in order to fit V8 back to Mustang. It was also limited to 2-barrel carburetor and net 140 HP. The V8 fitted into this Mustang was the first Ford’s metric engine – 302 cubic [4.9 liter] muscle, which officially was called 5.0 liter one. The 2.3 liter MPG engine with catalytic converter was added to line up to claim EPA fuel economy standards [23 mpb – in the city, 34 mpg – on the highway]. 199199 Mustangs were sold that year making it the 9th best-selling car.
In order to boost sales, Mustang received some other performance and appearance options. The “Stallion” package was an appearance one that featured styled wheels, black grille, bumper and body moldings. The “Cobra II” package had fake hood scoop, front and rear spoilers, some stripes and snake emblems in 1976. 1978 came with limited “King Cobra” option which was available only with V8 engine to help maintain a performance car image.
Good sales let Mustang to 1979 and totally new 3 generation.