What, specifically, would be the simple mods necessary for an otherwise stock ZX3 to "outrun" an SVT? In what kind of race?
It seems to me that a lot of the benefit to owning an SVTF is in the fact that it is, more or less, a factory tuner car.
IMO, the SVTF is cool because it comes from the factory with all the mods it needs to be a fun and reasonably quick car already done, along with a leather interior, six speed, some cosmetic doo-dads, bigger wheels, and so forth. The SVTF has a lot of the "custom" touches that you or I might do to our normal Foci already done, and covered by a warranty. It's like a turn-key tuner car, that you can drive without praying to the god of Ford that your header won't crack or that your CAI won't hydrolock your engine going through that puddle.
I take pride in my car, because I did all the modifications with my two hands, a wrench, and some WD40, but if you're just going to pay someone to do the mods, or don't care who does them, the SVTF is an attractive option.
My 2 cents on the subject.