Ford wasted no time in releasing a new track-focused version of the seventh-generation Mustang, dubbed the Dark Horse. Not only does it look sinister, but it promises to push performance to new levels.
The new Ford Mustang Dark Horse tops the new Mustang range and wears the brand’s first new performance name since the introduction of the Mustang Bullitt in 2001. It’s the most road-capable Mustang ever powered by a 5.0L V8 engine. It fills the void left by the sixth generation of the Mustang Mach1.
Ford started work on the Mustang Dark Horse some three years ago and has fitted the 5.0-liter Coyote V8 with the connecting rods from the Shelby GT500’s 760 hp engine. The automaker has also installed dual throttle bodies and is ‘projecting’ it to produce 500 hp, although final figures have yet to be confirmed.
It is not just the engine that makes the Mustang Dark Horse a track-focused beast. A unique six-speed Tremec manual transmission is fitted as standard and includes a distinctive transmission oil cooler. Customers can opt for a 10-speed automatic should they choose. The car also rocks brake cooling ducts, an auxiliary engine oil cooler, a rear axle cooler, and a unique radiator that is lighter and features more powerful cooling fans for improved cooling capabilities.
The alterations don’t stop there. MagneRide shocks will come fitted as standard to each and every Mustang Dark Horse to roll off the production line. These shocks can monitor wheel and tire movement 1,000 times per second to optimize performance. Complementing these shocks is a larger rear sway bar and 19-inch wheels that are 9.5-inches wide at the front and 10-inches at the rear, wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tires. Ford has also equipped the car with a strut tower brace and K-brace to improve handling. A set of 13.9-inch six-piston Brembo front brake calipers have also been included in the Dark Horse.
Those seeking even more performance will be able to opt for the Handling Package. It adds a unique rear wing with an integrated gurney flap, stiffer springs, larger front and rear sway bars, and unique 19-inch wheels with wider Pirelli Trofeo tires. Lightweight carbon fiber wheels will also be made available.
A number of visual alterations further differentiate the Dark Horse from lesser Mustang models. Up front, the headlights have been darkened while a new black grille has been installed. Additionally, the side skirts extend lower and there is also a new rear wing, diffuser, and darkened quad exhaust tips. New badges have also been designed, as has a new color dubbed Blue Ember metallic.
The interior also benefits from a number of upgrades. For example, the flat-bottomed steering wheel is now trimmed in suede and finished with bright Indigo Blue accent stitching while models equipped with the 10-speed auto receive anodized silver paddle shifters. Customers who order the Appearance Pack will also receive Deep Indigo Blue seats. A 12-speaker B&O audio system comes as standard.
“For decades, Mustang has competed against the most premium brands on the greatest world stages and won,” Ford chief executive Jim Farley described in a statement. “We surprised everyone, and we’re going to surprise them again with a track-capable Mustang that puts a new level of performance, styling and American engineering in the hands of everyday customers who still want the thrill and excitement of a V8 sports car.”
Ford has yet to announce pricing and availability details for the 2024 Mustang Dark Horse, but it will likely start at around $60,000.