2024 Ford Mustang Gets Dark Horse Performance Upgrades


2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse
The 2024 Mustang Dark Horse is going to be the best performing street-legal 5.0-litre Mustang ever. Two track-only versions will also be available, the Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R. The Dark Horse S is intended for track day enthusiasts while the Dark Horse R has been developed for racing.

It took Ford engineers and designers three years to create the Dark Horse which is the first new performance line since the Bullitt was launched in 2001.

“For decades, Mustang has competed against the most premium brands on the greatest world stages and won,” said Jim Farley, Ford Motor Company CEO. “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.”
Under the hood of the Mustang Dark Horse is the most powerful 5.0 litre Coyote V8 engine ever offered for street use, with a projected 500 horsepower.

“We’ve taken the all-new Mustang, the best of our new 5.0-litre V8 performance, and added power, improved the aero, tires, steering and provided an interactive cockpit to create a Mustang that goes beyond any 5.0-litre Mustang before it,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Mustang chief nameplate engineer.

The two transmissions being offered are the Tremec 6-speed manual with a 3D-printed titanium shift ball, which comes standard, or an optional 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters. The manual comes with a special transmission oil cooler. Also helping to cool the Dark Horse is a lighter-weight radiator with more powerful cooling fans, NACA brake ducts, a rear axle cooler and an auxiliary engine oil cooler.

The Mustang Dark Horse comes with Ford’s MagneRide shocks which monitors wheel and tire movements 1,000 times per second. Larger rear sway bars and heavy-duty front shocks are also included.

“It’s more than a new name. Dark Horse brings a new design language to Mustang that is refined yet perfectly suited to its dual purpose of street and track performance,” said Joel Piaskowski, global director, Ford Design. “The visual changes, both inside and out, message that Dark Horse has a directed performance focus. The mechanical changes reinforce the purpose of Dark Horse, providing the driver with increased confidence and competence.”

The unique Mustang Dark Horse badges appear on the fenders, door sills and trunk. “This is the first time for Mustang that we’ve ever had a forward-facing horse,” Piaskowski said. “It’s aggressive, a bit sinister and it’s coming from the shadows head-on to win.”

If all of this performance isn’t enough, a Handling Package is also being offered with area improvements that result in the most downforce of any all-new Mustang. Included are a unique rear wing with an integrated Gurney Flap, as seen on the Ford GT. Stiffer springs, larger front and rear sway bars and wider Pirelli Trofeo tires are also included in the package.

Six new racing Mustangs will be competing in several racing series including GT3, GT4, NASCAR and NHRA Factory X racing. A factory-backed Mustang GT3 IMSA race car will be available for customers starting with 2024 Rolex 24 at Daytona. It is being developed by Ford Performance and Markham, Ontario based Multimatic Motorsports.
“We’re taking this all-new Mustang to competition racing and the very definition of a Dark Horse is the perfect fit to introduce this vehicle to the Mustang brand,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “With our race program development underway, we’re confident we have the right car for success.”

The all-new seventh-generation Mustang, assembled at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, goes on sale in Canada and the United States in the summer of 2023.

Photography By Ford

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