The 2024 Ford Mustang is set to reach dealer lots in the summer of 2023. Regardless of whether you’re a Blue Oval, Mopar or Chevy fan, this is the best piece of muscle car news at the moment (we’ll get back to that). Of course, some enthusiasts prefer to build their own S650s out of the retiring S550 pony, or at least that’s how we see what Westen Champlin did with his Smokestang, which just got a 1,500 hp Cummins diesel for this year.
Before we zoom in on the details of this epic diesel ‘Stang, let’s elaborate on the initial point of the intro, shall we? Sure, Dodge’s 2023 Challenger Demon 170, with its 1,025 factory horsepower is monstrously cool. But there’s a problem here, and we’re not talking about the official 8s quarter-mile being extremely difficult to replicate in real life.
Instead, the gripe we have with the heavily upgraded Demon is that the limited availability has reportedly pushed prices all the way to $200,000 and even $300,000 in some cases, due to dealer markups and individual speculators. And this goes against what many muscle car fans consider a crucial asset for the genre, namely delivering thrills on a relatively reasonable budget.
What about the Camaro, then? Well, GM is giving us a Collectors Edition package—the full details of the pack will be disclosed later on—for the 2024 model year. Alas, the latter means production will only continue through January of next year, one month after the Dodge Challenger and Charger’s retirement.
And that’s why the 2024 Mustang carrying the muscle torch for the rest of the decade (the rumor mill talks about a 2030 retirement) is on another level. Yes, the vehicle itself is more of a heavily revised S550 than an all-new car, with this covering the exterior, interior, and powertrains, but is that actually a bad thing? After all, the Challenger has thrived based on this M.O. since 2008.
Westen Champlin’s 1,500 hp Cummins diesel Mustang stands by its Smokestang nickname with (you guessed it) monster burnouts
Given the official recipe of the S650 Mustang, how could one not liken Westen Chaplin’s revised Smokestang to the 2024 pony? The 24-year-old mechanic and YouTube sensation bought the pre-2018 refresh Ford back in 2019. And, as he explains, the idea of putting a Cummins diesel in it started as a joke in the comments section of a video showcasing the project.
The designated oil burner was the massively popular 12-valve 5.9L Cummins diesel. Also known as the 6BT, the straight-six unit has built its reputation on its reliability, so the stock output of 160-215 hp means nothing to tuners.
The enthusiasts initially pulled a 300,000-mile Cummins 12-valve out of a truck and had it modded to a dyno-proven 612 hp and 1,500 lb-ft of torque by Utah-based Power Driven Diesel. Of course, doing burnouts while towing a boat came naturally.
And while the vehicle has remained largely unchanged, the Smokestang got a brand new engine for 2023. Also built by the Utah specialist, this has been taken to 6.1 liters and used a compound turbo setup to deliver twice the power and enough added torque to send one’s jaw to the floor.
In the title, we mentioned that the Smokestang now churns out 1,500 hp, with this being the number at the crank, calculated using a 15% drivetrain loss for the Mustang’s automatic transmission. Do you want the exact numbers? During a recent dyno session, the 6.1L compound turbo Cummins-gifted Mustang delivered 1,264 hp and 2,273 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.
For the record, if we look at the output of the most potent Class 8 commercial trucks (the largest ones), the Smokestang makes between two and three times their power, while matching these haulers’ maximum torque. And that’s why the insane burnouts at the 12:12 point of the clip below, where the diesel and the tire smoke battle for attention, are just a taste of things to come.
Oh, and while we’re doing odd comparos, based on looks alone, this Ford Powerstroke diesel-swapped S550 Mustang doesn’t stand a chance against Cummins-powered ponies.