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The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse channels specialty and Shelby models of past generations for the first model year of the seventh-gen Mustang. Moreover, unlike the Dodge Challenger, the Ford model survives for another generation. However, the Blue Oval’s pony car isn’t the only American performance vehicle to live on; the C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray continues to bring mid-engine magic to the model. Still, even with the cutting-edge balance of the C8 Corvette, the Dark Horse has it beat in two significant ways. 

What does the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse do that the C8 Corvette doesn’t?

An orange C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray drives on a desert track.
Chevrolet Corvette Stingray | General Motors

While the mid-engine, eighth-generation (C8) Chevrolet Corvette Stingray does a lot well, it drops the ball in several facets. Specifically, the Stingray fails to cross the 500 horsepower mark, and its automatic-only platform lacks a thrilling manual transmission. However, the upcoming Dark Horse delivers the magic 500-horsepower number and a three-pedal setup.  

Is the Dark Horse Mustang manual or automatic?

A Blue Ember Metallic 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse drives through a tunnel.
2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse | Ford

The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse offers a 10-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox. Better yet, the Ford model’s manual is a close-ratio TREMEC unit instead of the Getrag-sourced MT82 in the Mustang GT. 

That’s good news for fans of the upcoming Dark Horse. Specifically, the MT82 has a history of issues like premature wear and failures. Unfortunately, the Corvette goes without any semblance of a manual gearbox, opting instead for a quick-shifting eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. 

How much HP will the Dark Horse have?


Dodge Challenger Hellcat Vs. Ford Mustang Dark Horse: Old-School Takes on Next-Gen

Ford says the new 2024 Mustang Dark Horse will produce 500 horsepower from its naturally aspirated 5.0L Coyote V8 engine. To achieve the magic number, Ford endowed the familiar Coyote with forged internals, dual throttle bodies, and twin air intakes, per Car and Driver.

However, the performance nameplate is more than just a magic horsepower figure; it’s the second naturally aspirated Mustang model to boast 100 horsepower per liter of displacement. Compared to the Corvette, it’s a brutish brag. The Stingray stops at 495 horsepower with the performance exhaust option. Further, the C8 model produces around 79.8 horsepower per liter of its 6.2L V8 mill.  

While the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse offers a track-happy manual gearbox and produces more horsepower than the C8 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the ‘Vette is in a different category altogether. With mid-engine construction and 0 to 60 mph times under 3.0 seconds, the Stingray is more of a supercar than a performance coupe akin to the Mustang. Even with grippy Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS rubber, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and Gurney flap-equipped rear wing, the Dark Horse will have a difficult time outrunning a Stingray Z51 just about anywhere.