The Dark Horse will also be available in S and R race specs.
Its Coyote 5.0L V8 will be the most powerful ever.
An optional handling package will make it a true track beast.
Ford has unveiled the all-new Mustang Dark Horse performance series at the Detroit Auto Show. The Dark Horse is the first new Mustang performance series in 21 years, since the 2001 Bullitt, and although the name’s a little underwhelming, the expected performance will be anything but.
“For decades, Mustang has competed against the most premium brands on the greatest world stages and won,” said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company. “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.”
The arrival of Mustang Dark Horse heralds a new chapter in the storied Mustang motorsports history with the all-new Mustang Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R track-only models that are part of six new racing Mustangs coming soon.
Exterior and Interior Styling
The all-new Mustang Dark Horse features a sinister yet premium exterior and interior styling that hints at the best performance ever from its new 5.0L V8 engine. The exterior styling features a glossy blacked-out grille with trapezoidal nostrils, unique front, and rear bumpers, 19-inch black aluminum wheels, GT350-style quad exhaust tips, and a racecar-inspired rear diffuser.
The interior features a thicker, flat-bottomed steering wheel wrapped in suede and finished with Bright Indigo Blue accent stitching, contrasting blue stitching throughout, a 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster coupled to a 13.2-inch SYNC 4 centre touchscreen, and more. The optional Mustang Dark Horse Appearance Pack adds Deep Indigo Blue seats with unique seat perforation.
The Fifth Generation 5.0L V8 Engine
The all-new Mustang Dark Horse is powered by an updated version of Ford’s fifth generation 5.0L V8 engine that first debuted in the 2018 Mustang GT. The engine has been upgraded with a new port fuel injection system and larger injectors, as well as revised camshaft profiles and cylinder heads for increased airflow. It is projected to deliver about 500 horsepower and a considerable dollop of torque – making it the most powerful street-legal production V8 engine ever for a Mustang.
Mustang Dark Horse with Handling Package
The all-new Mustang Dark Horse is a track-focused street legal Mustang ever thanks to improved aerodynamics, upgraded hardware, new software calibration, and tuning with an available Tremec six-speed manual transmission. A 10-speed automatic is optional.
As standard, the Dark Horse features MagneRide adaptive dampers, 19-inch wheels wrapped in sticky Pirelli P ZERO, Brembo six-piston front brake calipers with cross-drilled rotors, vented rear brake rotors, along with available unique chassis bracing, strut tower brace, unique ABS tuning, larger radiator, high-capacity cooling fans, and more aggressive gear ratios for the limited-slip differential.
With the handling package, it becomes the most track-capable Mustang of all time. The package includes improves aerodynamics even further with the most downforce of any all-new Mustang thanks to a Gurney-flap-equipped rear wing, an upgraded suspension system with stiffer springs, larger front, and rear sway bars, and wider Pirelli Trofeo tires and wheels. For the ultimate on-track performance, customers can equip Mustang Dark Horse with lightweight carbon fiber wheels from Carbon Revolution.
Track Capabilities Testing
To ensure that the all-new dark horse could live up to its billing as the most track-capable production 5.0L V8 Street legal Mustang ever, a series of torture tests were conducted on world-renowned racetracks such as Virginia International Raceway (VIR), Willow Springs Raceway and Miller Motorsports Park Utah. These grueling tests placed extreme demands on brakes, cooling system components, tires, and chassis stiffness.
After racking up more than 1 million test miles on proving grounds across three continents – North America, Europe, and Asia – it’s safe to say that this Dark Horse will amaze.
The all-new Mustang goes on sale starting in the summer of 2023 and is assembled at Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Flat Rock, Mich. The Dark Horse should follow shortly thereafter.