The seventh-generation Ford Mustang is here and with it comes a whole family of pony cars. Aside from the coupe and convertible, EcoBoost and GT, there's a new-for-2024 Dark Horse that elevates performance with a projected 500 horsepower. It also has a bespoke six-speed manual, NACA ducts, beefy Brembo brakes, and improved cooling. The road car is joined by two derivatives that do away with the license plate: Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse S is essentially a stripped-down version of the street-legal version and we're being told it has been conceived for the "weekend track day enthusiast." To shave off unnecessary weight, the Blue Oval yanks out all the non-essential parts and trim pieces before adding a safety cage (FIA certified), race seats and steering wheel, along with safety nets and a fire suppression system.
The 2024 Mustang in Dark Horse S guise is further modified by featuring a central panel incorporating the knobs and switches for the headlights, wipers, turn signals, rain light, and mirror adjustment. Ford also throws in a pit speed limiter and an optional front passenger seat. A data and acquisition display system is also part of the package while the exterior gains hood pins, adjustable rear wing, front and rear tow hooks, and an upgraded exhaust.
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Ford will install the same wheels you'll find on the road-legal Dark Horse, but with chunkier brakes for additional stopping power. In addition, the S gets Multimatic DSSV dampers and the ability to adjust vehicle height and camber settings.
Pictured at the very top of the page is the Mustang Dark Horse R, which has all the goodies of the S but comes with Ford Performance Parts wheels, a fuel cell for better range, and bespoke seam welding. In addition, the R has special serialization tailored to race cars as it's intended for actual racing whereas the S is more along the lines of a weekend track toy.
No fewer than six racing Mustangs are in the pipeline for the S650 generation, including GT3 and GT4 derivatives as well as versions intended for NASCAR and NHRA Factory X. We'll see the new generation in GT3 flavor at the prestigious Le Mans endurance race in 2024 on the Circuit de la Sarthe.