- Ford Performance has announced a new track-only version of the Mustang Dark Horse.
- Called the Dark Horse R, the new race car slots between the street-legal Dark Horse and the more intense GT3 and GT4 racers.
- Carrying a starting price of $146,595, the Dark Horse R will race in a spec-series sanctioned by IMSA.
There are race cars aplenty over at Ford Performance this summer, and the manufacturer has announced its third Mustang Dark Horse-derived vehicle of the summer. Carrying the Dark Horse R moniker, the newest race car fills the gap between the road-going Dark Horse and the more intense GT3 and GT4 variants.
The Dark Horse R is a turn-key race car, meaning you won’t be seeing any Dark Horse R badges on your local thoroughfares. The new car will compete in the new Mustang Challenge spec-racing series sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). As the name implies, the Mustang Challenge will consist entirely of Dark Horse Rs when it launches for the 2024 season.
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The 500-hp 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 makes its way over from the road car, as do the Tremec six-speed manual transmission and Torsen limited-slip differential and 3.73 final-drive ratio. After ripping out the stock seats (and all the other interior bits), Ford Performance stuffed in a single Recaro FIA racing seat, a quick-release steering wheel, and a racing harness, along with other safety goodies.
Further race-prep comes by way of upgraded oil and cooling systems, a Borla exhaust system, Multimatic dampers, adjustable anti-roll bars, and brake upgrades courtesy of Brembo. As for wheels and tires, the Dark Horse R nets its own 19-by-10.5-inch front and 19- by-11-inch rear flow-formed wheels along with specially made Michelin racing slicks for the Mustang Challenge.
Pricing comes in quite a bit higher than a run-of-the-mill Ford Mustang, but that’s to be expected for a turn-key race car. The Dark Horse R starts at $146,595, with Ford planning to begin deliveries in preparation for the start of the Mustang Challenge season in 2024.
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Associate News Editor
Jack Fitzgerald’s love for cars stems from his as yet unshakable addiction to Formula 1.
After a brief stint as a detailer for a local dealership group in college, he knew he needed a more permanent way to drive all the new cars he couldn’t afford and decided to pursue a career in auto writing. By hounding his college professors at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, he was able to travel Wisconsin seeking out stories in the auto world before landing his dream job at Car and Driver. His new goal is to delay the inevitable demise of his 2010 Volkswagen Golf.