Ford has just unveiled its latest creation, the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse R, a race car based on the road-going Mustang Dark Horse but with several enhancements to make it more aggressive and uncompromising on the track. The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R is the official race car of the 2024 Mustang Challenge, a new IMSA-sanctioned, Mustang-only racing series that will debut next year.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R features a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 engine that produces 500 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque, making it the most powerful non-Shelby Mustang ever. The engine is paired with either a six-speed Tremec manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The race car also comes with a Borla racing exhaust system, a Recaro FIA racing seat, a Brembo front and rear brake package, Ford Performance Parts R1 flow-formed wheels, and bespoke Michelin 19-inch slick race tires.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R also boasts unique chassis tuning, a larger rear sway bar, heavy-duty front shocks, a strut tower brace and K-brace, a Torsen rear differential, and MagneRide adaptive suspension. The MagneRide system uses magnetorheological fluid to adjust the damping force of the shock absorbers in real time, depending on the road conditions and the driving mode. This results in a smoother ride, better handling, and more comfort than conventional hydraulic suspension.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse inspired the exterior design, with a blacked-out grille, hood vents, side mirrors, rear spoiler, and quad exhaust tips. The race car also features a distinctive Dark Horse badge on the front fenders and trunk lid.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R is not street legal and only intended for track use. Ford says the race car is designed to be accessible and affordable for Mustang enthusiasts who want to test their driving skills in various club racing series. The Mustang Challenge will offer six race weekends in 2024, each with two sprint races at some of the world’s most iconic tracks.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R will be sold and serviced by Multimatic, a Canadian company that has partnered with Ford on several racing projects, including the Ford GT and the Mustang Shelby GT500. The price of the race car starts at $145,000, which is considerably higher than the estimated $50,000 to $60,000 price range of the road-going Mustang Dark Horse. However, Ford says that the race car offers a great value for its performance and features.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R is expected to go on sale in early 2024, with limited availability. Ford says that interested buyers can inquire with Multimatic to secure their spot in the Mustang Challenge or other racing events. The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R is part of Ford's commitment to keep the V-8 engine alive in its performance vehicles, despite the industry's growing trend of electrification and hybridization.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R is a testament to Ford's racing heritage and passion for performance. It is a track-ready beast that will surely mark Mustang history.