Track-Only Pony With Its Own Racing Series

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The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse is as ferocious as factory ponies get. It’s the most powerful naturally aspirated Coyote V8 we’ve ever seen in a ‘Stang, and Ford dubs it the most track-capable version of the seventh-generation model to date. With that excellent platform to work with, Ford Racing is going all in on track versions like the GT3, the GT4, and now, the new Dark Horse R.

The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R is essentially a turn-key race car for buyers that really want to spend their weekends at the track. The R retains many of the same elements that make the standard Dark Horse so great, but with some specific racing cues specifically for track use.

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Live Photos
2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Live Photos
2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Live Photos

The engine is the same naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 from the road version, but tweaked to “500+ horsepower.” The powertrain gains an upgraded oil system, transmission cooling, differential cooling, a Borla racing exhaust system, and a fuel cell for added safety and capacity.

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The same six-speed manual transmission and Brembo brakes from the base Dark Horse also carry over, and visually, the exterior isn’t all that different – apart from a few necessary tow hooks and smaller 19-inch wheels wrapped in racing slicks.

The biggest tweaks to enhance the on-track performance include Multimatic DSSV racing dampers, adjustable anti-roll bars, and adjustable front camber plates. Meanwhile, Ford also ripped out any and all creature comforts in place of a full racing cabin. That includes a roll cage, Recaro racing seats, a Sparco racing harness, and a removable Sparco steering wheel.

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Live Photos

Buyers that are able to get their hands on a limited Dark Horse R also have the opportunity to compete in a new single-make racing series put on by Ford Performance Racing School called the Mustang Challenge. The IMSA-sanctioned series will kick off in 2024 and run a 10- to 12-race calendar on five or six yet-to-be-named tracks in North America.

In order to get on the track you will have to shell out $145,000 for a Ford Mustang Dark Horse R. Deliveries are expected to start in 2024 just ahead of the first Mustang Challenge races.

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Live Photos: Jeff Perez For Motor1.com