Ford wasted no time building an even more powerful version of the all-new S650 Mustang. But unlike the GT and EcoBoost variants which are road legal, this particular pony car is a track-only thoroughbred.
This is the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, and it looks sinister as heck. With a badass exterior and a modified 5.0-liter V8 under the hood, Ford claims the Dark Horse will offer athletic performance and improved aerodynamics.
Beginning with the most obvious, the Dark Horse features blacked-out elements on the front grille, LED headlights, hood, and roof. For better aerodynamics, the vehicle comes with new bumpers, more sleek side skirts, a fixed rear wing on the trunk, and a new race-inspired diffuser.
To make the Dark Horse stand out from the rest, Ford used a special metallic paint called Mustang Dark Horse Blue. The Blue Oval claims that the paint emits a warm glow when it catches the light to give it a very unique look. Throw in the optional appearance package and the vehicle gets Notorious Blue Brembo brake calipers with a bright Blue Grabber logo. Last but not least, this track-only stallion comes with Dark Horse badges on the fenders, trunk, and door sills.
Under the hood, the 5.0-liter V8 has been modified specifically for the Dark Horse. It comes with piston connecting rods first introduced in the 760 PS Ford Performance Mustang Shelby GT500 along with a dual throttle body intake design that improves engine breathing. Official output figures have yet to be revealed although Ford is projecting the Dark Horse to produce 500 PS. Power is then sent to a unique 6-speed manual gearbox by Tremec complete with an oil cooler. Drivers even have the option to actually get it with a 10-speed automatic with sport paddle shifters for fast and precise gear changes.
Aside from giving it a more powerful V8, Ford was also busy improving the suspension for better handling, stopping power, and cooling. This particular Mustang gets larger rear sway bars, heavy-duty front shocks, a new lightweight strut tower brace and K-brace, and Magneride shocks that are capable of monitoring wheel and tire movement 1,000 times per second.
Grip, on the other hand, comes courtesy of Pirelli P Zero PZ4 tires with staggered wheel fittings; 19x9.5 at the front and 19x10 for the rear. If you get the optional Handling Package, the tires are upgraded to Pirelli Trofeo and the wheels are larger at 19x10.5 at the front and 19x11 for the rear.
Helping the Dark Horse Mustang shave off speed are 19-inch Brembo 6-piston brakes at the front and 13.9-inch rotors for the rear. To save on weight, Ford says the Dark Horse can be equipped with lightweight carbon fiber wheels, marking the first time that carbon fiber wheels will be available beyond the GT350 and GT500 Shelby models.
To keep the Mustang at optimal temperatures while on the track, Ford installed a unique and lightweight radiator with improved cooling capability along with more powerful cooling fans. It also gets an auxiliary engine cooler and a rear axle cooler that ensures the vehicle performs at the right temperatures at all times.
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. With our race program development underway, we’re confident we have the right car for success,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director for Ford Performance Motorsports.
Pricing and availability for the new track-only Mustang Dark Horse have yet to be announced. However, expect this particular thoroughbred to generate interest from both Mustang enthusiasts and motorsports aficionados.