Dark Horse and the Future of Global Ford Motorsports
Ford Mustang was born to race. The introduction of Mustang Dark Horse is part of a broader launch of six new racing Mustangs that will compete globally in a variety of series, including GT3, GT4, NASCAR and NHRA Factory X racing.
Two dedicated, track-only Dark Horse Mustangs powered by 5.0-liter V8 engines will only be available for racers and non-street use. Mustang Dark Horse S is designed for the weekend track day enthusiast while Mustang Dark Horse R has been developed for racing.
“We’re taking this all-new Mustang to competition racing and the very definition of a Dark Horse is the perfect fit to introduce this vehicle to the Mustang brand,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “With our race program development underway, we’re confident we have the right car for success.”
Mustang Dark Horse S is built uniquely for motorsports as a stripped-down version of the street-legal Mustang Dark Horse production vehicle. All non-essential parts and trim pieces have been removed for Mustang Dark Horse S. Inside is a full FIA-certified safety cage, safety nets, a race seat with safety belts and a race steering wheel with quick disconnect. Other safety items include electrical disconnects and a fire suppression system.
Driver controls are contained within a central panel, which houses switches and knobs for the headlamps, side indicators, windshield wipers, mirror adjusters and rain light. Also included for Dark Horse S is a pit speed limiter and a data and acquisition display system. A single passenger seat is optional, allowing drivers to share their experience with others and to receive feedback from ride-along instructors.
The exterior of Mustang Dark Horse S features hood pins, front and rear tow hooks, an adjustable rear wing for added downforce and a full exhaust system to help round out the foundation for a unique and fun-to-drive track car. Mustang Dark Horse S will be painted from the factory and ready for individual vehicle liveries.
While Mustang Dark Horse S has the same wheels as the street-legal Mustang Dark Horse, the upgraded brake system provides even further robustness to meet track demands. Multimatic DSSV dampers support driver tunability in addition to the adjustable ride height and camber settings.
Mustang Dark Horse R raises the track-focused intensity, featuring all Mustang Dark Horse S content, as well as special serialization that approves it for racing. It will come standard with strategic seam welding, a fuel cell for increased range, and Ford Performance Parts wheels.
“Both Dark Horse S and R have been further enhanced for performance and stripped of almost every unneeded comfort, keeping only what is needed to provide better performance,” said Krenz.
Beyond Mustang Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R, the brand will continue to compete globally in a variety of race series, and enthusiasts will see those roll out over the next year.
Ford is returning to factory-backed GT3 racing with an all-new Mustang GT3 IMSA race car that will also be available for customers, starting with 24 Hours of Daytona in 2024. Created by Ford Performance and Multimatic, the Ford Mustang GT3, powered by a 5.4-liter Coyote-based V8 engine, will deliver the full endurance racing potential of a Ford Mustang for customers globally.
A new Mustang GT4 available for customers will also debut in the 2023 season and will be available for global GT4 classes in IMSA, SRO and FIA GT.
A new version of the Mustang will debut next season in the Australian Supercars series, and in coming years newly designed models will debut in the NASCAR Cup series and NHRA Factory X racing.