Surprise! For the first time in two decades, there’s an all-new Mustang model to ogle and rev furiously. Unveiled as a surprise after the rest of the redesigned lineup, the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse becomes the most powerful, focused high-performance Mustang of the seventh generation (at least until Shelbys start showing up). Ford says engineers worked for more than three years to create what it says is a “street and track-capable performance Mustang.”
“We’ve taken the all-new Mustang, the best of our new 5.0-liter 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-liter Mustang before it,” said Ed Krenz, Ford Mustang chief nameplate engineer.
Rather that blather on, though, let’s turn it over to the bullet points to give you all the details and everything there is to know about the Mustang Dark Horse.
- The Dark Horse is powered by a 5.0-liter Coyote V8 good for more than 500 horsepower. That’s likely to be about 20 more than the GT.
- Modifications for the Dark Horse Coyote included piston connecting rods first featured on the latest GT500, and a dual throttle body intake design for extra air intake.
- A unique, lighter radiator, more powerful fans and an auxiliary engine oil cooler emphasize that the Dark Horse is intended to hit the track.
- A six-speed manual transmission is standard. It’s produced by Tremac and features a special 3D-printed titanium shift ball.
- Go for the manual and you’ll be much cooler. So will the transmission as it gets a special oil cooler.
- Optional is a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters.
Chassis, brake and tire upgrades
- Unique chassis tuning includes larger rear sway bars and heavy-duty front shocks.
- MagneRide magnetically controlled adaptive dampers are standard.
- Steering enhanced with a new lightweight strut tower brace and K-brace.
- Torsen rear diff standard.
- Brembo 19-inch six-piston brakes with 13.9-inch rotors up front. Rears not mentioned in press release.
- Staggered wheels (19-inch by 9.5-inch front; 19-inch by 10-inch rear) wearing Pirelli P Zero tires.
- Optional Handling package adds stiffer springs, even larger front and rear sway bars, Pirelli Trofeo tires on wider rims (19×10.5 front, 19×11 rear).
- Late availability option of carbon fiber wheels from Carbon Revolution.
Exterior and aerodynamics
- “A bold, shadow graphic” surrounds the darkened headlights … or some dark gray trim resting under the lights like tough-guy eye black. The grille is unique and carries on the tough-guy vibe with gloss-black trim and trapezoidal “nostrils.” A unique bumper includes what Ford calls “high gloss fangs.” Grrrrrr.
- The rear sees a large diffuser, darkened quad exhaust tips and a fixed rear wing.
- The special Dark Horse badge appears on the fenders, trunk and door sills. A dark, classic Pony badge remains on the front. Mustang designer Joel Piaskowski says this is the first time a Mustang has been depicted face-on in a badge. Put that in your pocket, trivia fans.
- The Dark Horse gets unique Blue Ember metallic paint, plus the option of Notorious Blue Brembo brake calipers with a Grabber Blue logo.
- Thicker steering wheel with a flat bottom. Wrapped in suede and accented in Bright Indigo Blue stitching. It has a drive mode button.
- Contrast blue stitching across the door panels and seats, gear shift and center console. There’s blue seatbelts, too.
- A Dark Horse Appearance Pack dives head first into the blue motif with Deep Indigo Blue leather seats with a unique perforation pattern.
- Special “Black Alley” dark metallic gloss interior trim.
- B&O sound system standard
- Ford will offer two dedicated track-only versions: the Mustang Dark Horse S for weekend track goers and Dark Horse R for racing.
- Both are stripped-down versions of the street-legal version with non-essential parts removed and a safety cage, nets, race seat and race steering wheel added.
- It includes upgraded brakes and Multimatic DSSV dampers.