Ford Authority

Ford Mustang Dark Horse Trots Out As High-Performance Pony Car

Like a racehorse being led to the starting gate, the Ford Mustang Dark Horse was unveiled on Wednesday night and is raring to take to the track. The high-performance pony car harnesses a modified version of Ford’s 5.0L V8 Coyote engine with 500 horsepower chomping at the bit, making it the most track-capable street-legal 5.0L V8-powered Mustang ever produced.

Ford engineers pored over the Mustang Dark Horse for more than three years, fine-tuning every aspect of the high-performance pony car for the ultimate show of muscle. It’s the first new Mustang nameplate introduced since the Mustang Bullitt was unleashed back in 2001, serving as a successor to the Mustang Mach 1, which in turn was successor to the aforementioned Bullitt. Based on the forthcoming 2024 Ford Mustang, the Dark Horse features aggressive exterior styling, a “digitally immersive” cockpit and an athletic powertrain for an adrenaline-inducing ride.

The 5.0L eight-cylinder powerhouse under the hood utilizes a dual throttle body intake design along with modified connecting rods that were first designed to handle the 760 horses in the Mustang Shelby GT500. The Dark Horse’s 500 ponies meet the pavement by way of the standard six-speed manual transmission, or optional 10-speed automatic. Other performance upgrades include brake cooling ducts, an auxiliary engine cooler, rear axle cooler and lightweight radiator with improved cooling fans to keep the Mustang Dark Horse from working itself into a lather.

Inside, the Dark Horse features a driver-centric cockpit with a flat-bottom steering wheel, a 12.4-inch diagonal instrument cluster with customizable screens and a 13.2-inch Sync 4 center stack. The optional Dark Horse Appearance Pack grants Deep Blue Indigo seats with seat perforations underscored by hints of blue.

The exterior styling hints at the muscle riding just below the surface of this vehicle, sporting LED lights embedded in a gloss black grille with large trapezoidal nostrils. Blue Ember metallic paint will be available, a color that will be exclusive to the Dark Horse, and can be overlaid with applied or painted feature graphics on the roof and hood. It also sports new horse badging on the fenders, trunk and door sills, depicting a head-on view of a stallion for the first time in Mustang history.

“It’s aggressive, a bit sinister and it’s coming from the shadows head-on to win,” said Joel Piaskowski, global director of Ford Design.

We’ll have more on the Mustang soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for more Ford Mustang news and ongoing Ford news coverage.

Alexandra is a Colorado-based journalist with a passion for all things involving horsepower, be it automotive or equestrian.

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  1. musturd

    Darkhorse??? Its not even all blacked out! What a joke

    1. Richard Jones

      Stop complaining, you can’t afford one anyway!

      1. someday

        Blackout package is $10k option

    2. ArtG

      The term “Dark Horse” has nothing to with the color black. It’s an idiom. The saying dark horse usually means an unexpected winner.

  2. John

    I love this new Mustang. They addressed some of my main issues with the looks of the current GT, especially the current ugly euro looking rear-end.

    So is that dark blue paint just an option on the Dark Horse or a requirement? I’d love a Dark Horse in the same gray (Vapor Blue is the name?) that was revealed on the GT coupe.

  3. eltoro1

    Is the six-speed the garbage Getrag unit, or the better Tremec?

    1. Banjo

      6 speed on the dark horse is a Tremec

  4. Robert B.

    Sweet! Now that the Camaro and challenger are nearly dead. The mustang will be the only American made pony car left. Ice ice baby!

  5. Brisn Felmar

    The srt challenger is slower around a track than a focus st.Dodge sucks and makes bloated bricks that cznt turn or stop.Mustang is number one worldwide for a reason,it kicks ass!!!!!!

  6. Mrx19

    Dark Horse? Pretty pathetic name for your top performance model. Front fender emblem pretty sad.

  7. FlashG

    I love the new look. Stangs rule the world for a reason.

  8. iLuvGM

    I prefer Camaros but I’m not gonna lie, this new S650 Mustang is getting me all hot and bothered… my god she’s beautiful. The S650 Mustang is the best looking Mustang of all time, in my humble opinion. The Dark Horse almost looks like the 6th gen Camaro, and I mean that in the highest of compliments.

    1. Alan Phillips

      I agree. Always been a Camaro guy but love the look of this . Had a 22 Camaro, was disappointed in technology and sold it. Got to see this in person and has to be a convertible.

  9. iLuvGM

    Wow… Ford, you hit the ball out of the park with this S650 HOME RUN.

    I can’t contain myself, she’s so beautiful. I’m a Camaro fan, but I’m not afraid to admit that this S650 is the best looking sports car in human history. Oh my god. I cannot contain myself.

  10. iLuvGM

    If GM doesn’t give us a 7th gen Camaro, I’m buying an S650 as my next car. I was really sad about the rumours of GM cancelling the 7th gen Camaro. But now this gorgeous S650 Mustang is available, I have hope again. YouTube reviewers have said that the S650 and has improved steering/handling/power compared to the S550, which was what I wanted to see. The S550 was known to have numb steering and boaty handling, but the S650 has addressed all those things. Good job Ford.


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