2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Makes 500 HP

Categories: Industry News

Hot Of the Press: 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Makes 500 HP

As a high-schooler, the 69 Mustang was my favorite car. It made about 290hp from the factory and I thought was an amazing number given the  78 Trans Am made 100 horsepower less.

Fast forward 44 years, and we now live in a world the standard Mustang GT makes 480 hp.  As great as that is, if you opt for the Dark Horse version you get a nice little bump.

Official horsepower numbers are in for the seventh-generation Mustang, and as expected, the new Dark Horse model leads the way with an even 500 horsepower and 418 pound-feet of torque. However, the GT isn’t far behind with an official rating of 480 hp. Add an optional exhaust upgrade and power rises to 486 ponies. EcoBoost models receive a slight bump to 315 hp.

Sure, there have been more powerful Mustang models through the years, the fourth-generation Coyote V8 in the Dark Horse is the most powerful naturally aspirated 5.0-liter production engine ever offered by Ford. It features more robust, upgraded internals, namely forged connecting rods, a unique balanced crankshaft, and strengthed camshafts. I’m wondering if the piston ring lands are up to the test and I’m praying they’re not using Hypereutectic pistons (which was a big weakness for early 90’s Mustang GTs).

In addition to a modest power increase, the changes help the Mustang Dark Horse enjoy its 7,500-rpm redline.

This fourth-generation Coyote mill also resides in the GT. Its standard 480-hp rating matches recent iterations of the Mustang Bullitt and Mach 1, thanks to a new dual-throttle body design. You’ll need to select the optional active performance exhaust system to get the 486-hp peak, though. Torque is up to 418 lb-ft with the exhaust upgrade, or 415 lb-ft without it. Power ratings are the same for cars with automatic or manual transmissions. No point buying a Mustang with an automatic transmission unless you’re commuting in los Angeles traffic, or you’re afraid of messing up your manicure.

Buyers considering the base model ‘Stang get a turbocharged 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that Ford says is all-new. Even though displacement is the same, the mill has a new bore-to-stroke ratio, a new direct injection system, and a plethora of other changes for a bit more power while also targeting better fuel economy. With 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of twist, it’s officially the most powerful base-model Mustang Ford has ever offered.

“Mustang has always pushed the envelope,” said Ford Mustang Chief Engineer Ed Krenz. “From Mustang GT to Dark Horse, this is our best 5.0-liter V8 yet. It’s naturally aspirated awesomeness. And Mustang EcoBoost fans are also getting a boost in power to make every Mustang more fun and visceral to drive.”

Expect the seventh-generation 2024 Mustang to reach dealerships in the summer of 2023. In the meantime, check out Ford and other automakers with a 2022 Motor1.com Star Awards recap in the Rambling About Cars podcast, available below.