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Meet The Sinister Pony Twin: The Ford Mustang Dark Horse


The Dark Horse is a special breed of track-focused pony powered by the sonorous 5-litre Coyote V8

Ford Mustang Dark Horse

The new Ford Mustang is definitely fast on paper, but what if you want to go faster and fancy something that will feel at home on a racetrack? Ford’s answer to that is the Dark Horse lineup which comprises models such as the standard Dark Horse, Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R. 

The standard is designed for boy racers and enthusiasts who have a penchant for track days. The S is a stripped-down version for motorsports while the R is the holy grail with focused racing updates.

First of its kind, with no connection to any historic models, the Dark Horse is a special breed with updates to up the performance and make the Stang ready for those track outings.

The howling Coyote 

The 5-litre cracker of a V8 engine has been specially modified to increase its output in the Dark Horse. Ford is yet to release the specific output figures but the target is 500PS. The engine borrows the piston and connecting rods from the Shelby GT500 while also gaining a dual throttle body setup. 

To increase breathability, there are open nostrils in the grille. There are also updates to the engine tuning for more performance. The output figures are handled by a six-speed TREMEC manual gearbox or a 10-speed automatic gearbox.

The bits that make it track-ready

Other updates include brake-cooling NACA ducts, an auxiliary engine cooler, a rear axle cooler and a lightweight radiator. Meanwhile, the updates to the chassis are larger sway bars and improved front dampers. Stopping duties are taken care of by 19-inch Brembo front rotors and 13.9-inch rear rotors. 

However, the icing on the cake is the optional handling pack which adds a rear wing, stiffer springs, carbon-fibre wheels and Pirelli Trofeo RS rubber. As standard, the Dark Horse gets Pirelli P Zero tyres with a staggered wheel setup and  Magneride shocks which are capable of monitoring wheel and tyre movement 1,000 times per second.

What’s inside? 

The cabin of the Dark Horse gets some differentiation from the standard Mustang in the form of a  thicker flat-bottom steering wheel finished in suede bright indigo blue stitching. The same theme is also followed across the cabin with contrast blue stitching in the door panels, seats, gear shifter console, seatbelts and the dashboard. Other interior trim bezels are finished in a dark metallic gloss instead of a bright silver in the standard version. The Dark Horse also gets a Bang and Olufsen 12-speaker sound system to complete the package. 

More on the track-only Dark Horses

The Dark Horse S is a non-street-legal stripped-down version of the standard Dark Horse for motorsports. There’s a full FIA-certified roll cage, safety nets, race seats and a race steering wheel with quick disconnect along with the deletion of all unnecessary trim. Other updates include hood pins, tow hooks, an adjustable rear wing, upgraded brakes, Multimatic DSSV dampers and a full exhaust system.

The hardcore Dark Horse R gets all the above-mentioned updates along with strategic seam welding, a fuel cell for increased range and Ford Performance parts wheels. With both the special Dark Horses, Ford aims to compete in various race series across the globe.

 

Prices and further details of the Dark Horse lineup are yet to be announced. It is expected to carry a hefty premium, considering there are a plethora of updates over the standard car.

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