The 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Has 2 Big Advantages Over the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse
The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse tops the Mustang lineup for the first year of the model’s upcoming seventh generation. However, the evil equus isn’t without its hell-bound competition. Now in its final model year, the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat is one of the most powerful muscle cars on the market for 2023. So, how does the incoming Dark Horse compare with the supercharged Mopar monster?
How powerful is the new Dark Horse Mustang?
The new 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse produces 500 horsepower from its naturally aspirated 5.0L Coyote V8 engine. As a result, the new Dark Horse is the most powerful Coyote-powered production Mustang ever and the second most potent naturally aspirated pony car in Ford history.
While the Dark Horse’s power output is a far cry from the massive power reserves of the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat and Hellcat Redeye, the Challenger’s massive weight makes for more comparable power-to-weight ratios. Of course, the Hellcat’s sheer power is difficult to overcome.
|Make and model||Horsepower||Torque||Curb weight||HP per lb|
|2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse||500 HP||418 lb-ft||3,879 lbs||0.129|
|2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat||717 HP||418 lb-ft||4,415 lbs||0.162|
|2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Redeye||797 HP||418 lb-ft||4,430 lbs||0.180|
Car and Driver estimates that the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse and GT models will sprint from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds with the 10-speed automatic transmission. However, even with the traction limitations of the overweight, overpowered Mopars, the Hellcat will likely outrun the Dark Horse. Specifically, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody can hit 60 mph in around 3.7 seconds, should its pilot avoid vaporizing the rear tires.
Are Hellcats spacious?
The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat boasts the segment-leading size of the model’s LA platform. Love it or not, the Challenger is more spacious than a comparable 2024 Ford Mustang. Moreover, the Hellcat’s trunk will accommodate 16.2 cubic feet of volume, nearly 3.0 more than an S650 Mustang.
However, the Challenger’s considerable girth and hellacious horsepower reserves contribute to some of the worst fuel economy figures on the market. For instance, the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody manages just 13 mpg on the highway. Still, the Dark Horse isn’t much better when it comes to sipping gasoline rather than guzzling it. Specifically, TrueCar reports that the upcoming Dark Horse will best the Mopar brute by 1.0 mpg on the highway.
How much is the new 2024 Dark Horse?
The new 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse starts at $59,270 for the standard fastback model. Consequently, the range-topping Dark Horse is more affordable than the 2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat by nearly $10,000.
|Make and model||Starting price|
|2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse||$59,270|
|2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Premium||$63,265|
|2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat||$69,895|
|2023 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Widebody||$75,895|
Despite the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s hilariously high-horsepower performance, the upcoming Dark Horse promises to be a track-ready replacement for the outgoing S550 Mustang Mach 1.
While the current muscle car segment invites comparison, the Dark Horse and Hellcat are at home in two different environments, the track and drag strip, respectively. Still, the Challenger’s spaciousness and gobs of power give it two distinct advantages over the Mustang.