10 Best Ford Creations of the 2000s

2004 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Cropped

With more than a century of experience under your belt, it is not surprising that Ford has built some amazing road machines. The company primarily sells cars under the Ford brand, the Lincoln luxury brand and the defunct Mercury brand. From the Model T to the Mustang and the F-series truck, Ford also has several bestsellers to its credit. One of the landmark achievements in the 2000s was setting a US sales record of 939,511 with the F Series.

Ford also enjoyed huge success with the Mustang – the Bullitt version debuted in 2001 and the Mach 1 nameplate revived in 2003. In 2004, a 40th anniversary edition of a 2004 Mustang GT convertible became Ford’s 300 millionth car. Some SUVs that Ford has produced in the 2000s are Ford Flex, Excursion, Escape, Lincoln Aviator and Mercury Mariner. The carmaker struggled with debt and faced the possibility of closing the store. Now let’s take a look at the 10 best cars Ford made in the 2000s.

10 2005 GT

The 2005 GT began life as the Ford GT40 concept unveiled at the 2002 North American International Auto Show. Although it was inspired by the legendary GT40 of the 1960s, the modern GT was much bigger. Clad in aluminum body panels, it had roll-glued floor panels and an aluminum friction stir-welded center tunnel.

A supercharged 5.4-liter V8 mill connected to a six-speed manual transmission delivered 550 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. Zero to 60 mph happened in 3.3 seconds en route to a top speed of 205 mph.

9 2009 Mustang Bullitt

In the twilight of the fifth generation of the Mustang, Ford introduced the Bullitt, a variant of the GT. Inspiration for the car came from a Dark Highland Green GT-390 Mustang used in the 1968 film – bullitt. Compared to the stock Mustang GT, the Bullitt’s modified suspension gave it an aggressive stance and better dynamic handling.

It also got unique wheels and stainless steel exhaust tips. From its hiding place under the hood, a 4.6-liter V8 engine sent out 315 horsepower and 325 lb-ft of torque. The interior is understated but comfortable, dressed in black leather and trimmed with metallic satin.

RELATED: Bullitt Has Nothing On This 1968 Ford Mustang

8 2000 SVT Mustang Cobra R

The race-ready but road-legal Cobra R was SVT’s only high-performance Mustang in 2000. Unlike the standard Cobra, it lacked features such as air conditioning, radio, cruise control and rear seat. It was only available as a red coupé with a Dark Charcoal interior and manually adjustable Recaro seats.

Power came from a 5.4 V8 mill mated to a six-speed manual transmission to deliver 385 horsepower and 385 lb-ft of torque. Eibach springs, Bilstein shocks/struts, Brembo brakes, a Geodisc hydromechanical differential and a unique Borla twin side exit exhaust all made their way to the Cobra R.

7 2003 SVT Mustang Cobra

The Cobra, codenamed “Terminator”, which arrived in 2002 as a 2003 model, was a meaner machine than the previous Cobras. Power came from a supercharged 4.6-liter V8 engine rated at 390 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. Guided by a six-speed manual transmission, this was enough for an uncontrolled top speed of 180 mph.

The Terminator Cobra could hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and complete the quarter mile in 12.67 seconds at 110.11 mph. In addition to the extra firepower under the composite bonnet, it also got in-body folding side mirrors injected and a new set of 5-spoke machined aluminum wheels.

RELATED: A Detailed Look Back at the Second Generation Ford Mustang SVT Cobra: The SN95 Small Block Cobra

6 2001 SVT F-150 Lightning

The second generation of the Ford SVT Lightning arrived in the 2001 model year. It was built on the standard F-150 frame, but with a lowered suspension setting to improve handling. For 2001, SVT engineers tuned the supercharged 5.4-liter V8 under the hood to produce 380 horsepower and 450 lb-ft.

With these new numbers, the sprint to 60 mph took 5.2 seconds, while the quarter mile went by in 13.8 seconds. It rocked with four-wheel ABS disc brakes, had impressive stopping power and could carry an 800-pound payload.

5 2008 Explorer Sport Track

After a 2007 redesign, the 2008 Sport Trac shared a chassis with the fourth generation Ford Explorer SUV. It used an independent four-wheel suspension system and got a stainless plastic composite bed. The 2008 Sport Trac was offered in 2 trim levels and came with 2 powertrain options and a 5-speed automatic transmission.

While the stock V6 engine made 210, the optional V8 engine boosted power to 290 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. A SYNC infotainment system and the Adrenaline appearance package was also offered.

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4 2005 Escape Hybrid

The Ford Escape is a compact SUV that arrived on the Ford CD2 platform in the 2001 model year. A more efficient gasoline-electric hybrid version was launched in 2004 for the 2005 model year. With a combined power output of 155 horsepower, the hybrid system could switch between electric power, gasoline power, or a combination of both.

Standard equipment included power windows, an 8-way power driver’s seat, cruise control and two-zone automatic air conditioning. Thanks to the positive reception, Ford ended up building much more than originally planned.

3 2000 SVT contour

The first Ford SVT Contour arrived in 1998 as the high-performance variant of the 4-door Contour Sedan. Modified by Ford’s Special Vehicle Team, it received performance upgrades such as a re-tuned suspension and larger wheels wrapped in high-quality rubber.

For its final model year, 2000, it was powered by a 2.5-litre Duratec 25 V6 engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission. With 200 horsepower and 169 lb-ft of torque on tap, it could reach 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds and the quarter mile in 15.6 seconds. Handling was great and stopping power was provided by 4-wheel ABS ventilated disc brakes.

RELATED: The Origin Story of Ford’s SVT Brand Revealed

2 2005 Excursion

First offered for the 2000 model year, the Excursion was marketed as a direct competitor to the 2500 Series Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon XL. The 2005 Excursion, derived from the F-250 Super Duty truck, has a 137-inch wheelbase and can accommodate up to nine passengers.

The three powertrains on offer are a 5.4-liter V8, a 6.8-liter V10 and a 6-liter turbo diesel V8. With the bigger engines under the hood, the 2000 Excursion can tow up to 11,000 pounds. This behemoth is perfect for transporting a large family with their luggage for a week’s vacation.

1 2008 Shelby GT500KR

Arriving 40 years after the original GT500 King of the Road, the Shelby GT500KR 500 was a king in many ways. It was powered by a 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine tuned to produce 540 horsepower and 510 lb-ft of torque. Uniquely tuned shocks and springs plus a Ford Racing strut bridge gave it better handling than the stock GT500.

Thanks to a long list of upgrades, the 2008 KR accelerates faster, corners better and stops shorter than the GT500. Plus, it can cover the quarter mile in 12.1 seconds at 115 mph.