Customer deliveries for the 2024 Ford Mustang, Dark Horse included, won’t kick off until the summer of 2023 in North America (it may take a few extra months in other parts of the world). However, we don’t have that much waiting to do before we lay our eyes on the seventh-gen pony in real-world conditions. In fact, we’ve brought along a video that was recently captured on the street of Michigan, Detroit, where seventh-gen Mustangs roam freely.
Revealed alongside the 2024 Mustang EcoBoost and GT, the Dark Horse will take the place of the current Mustang Mach 1, even though we can’t talk about a direct succession.
And with YouTuber Speed Phenom having recently spent some time filming close to the Ford headquarters in Michigan—Ford Performance and Roush centers included—we get to see what appears to be a Dark Horse delivering some spirited driving.
The footage actually captures two S650 Mustangs completing the final stages of testing (a standard procedure in the industry). One of these awaits you at the 1:36 and 4:14 timestamps, but we’re more interested in the vehicle at the 5:03 point—they can be easily separated thanks to the different camouflage and number plates.
The enthusiast labels both testers as Dark Horses, but the second car seems to allow us to take a better look at the open side sections of its upper grille, one of the telltales of the Dark Horse—there are multiple ways of telling the Dark Horse apart from the standard GT, but with these being test vehicles, it can be more difficult to set them apart.
Regardless, as the engineer behind the wheel delivers a respectable take-off, we get to enjoy the aural presence of the Dark Horse, which is mighty impressive even without the driver having to go all the way.
The tech package of the Dark Horse
The Dark Horse makes the most out of the updated Gen IV Coyote by using a dual throttle-body intake. And while Ford hasn’t released the final numbers just yet. However, while the GT will one-up the current car’s 450 hp rating, the carmaker is targeting 500 hp for the Dark Horse—remeber, kids, the S650 comes with a locked ECU, so only a handful of tuners will be authorized to bump those numbers.
The DH comes with the Performance Package, which is normally optional, as standard. We’re looking at a Tosen limited-slip differential and a larger sway bar at the rear, along with sportier dampers and a strut tower brace for the front axle. Oh, and let’s not forget the larger Brembo brakes and the larger tires on all four corners of the vehicle.
On the transmission front, you can still choose between the ten-speed automatic and the six-speed manual, just as you would on a GT (the EcoBoost is an auto affair only).
And while the Dark Horse is a street car with race track abilities, we’ll remind you Ford will also offer the Dark Horse S circuit-only machine (non-sanctioned racing), along with the even more hardcore Dark Horse R.
That 5.4L Coyote they get Down Under
Since we discussed the potential Liberty Walk S650 Mustang widebody earlier this month, the carmaker has sent fresh seventh-generation info out into the world.
Thus, we now know that the 2023 Mustang GT Gen3 Supercar, which is the maker’s entry for the 2023 Australian Supercars Championship, has a 5.4L version of the Coyote that makes over 600 hp and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque. The engine feeds the rear wheels via a sequential (level-operated) Xtrac P1293 6-speed transaxle gearbox.
That motorsport tool accompanies five other S650 race cars: GT3 (coming to Le Mans in 2023), GT4, NASCAR, and NHRA Factory X (can’t wait to see the drag racer in action).