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The Ford Mustang has delivered reasonably priced thrills since it roared onto the scene in 1964. Now in its seventh generation, the original pony car is better than ever. Featuring significant updates, the new Stang keeps the hot-rod spirit sprinting into the 21st century. The 2024 model offers various trims and price points, from the entry-level EcoBoost to the range-topping Dark Horse Premium. Still, $60,000 is a lot of coin. Is the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Premium’s price justified?

2024 Ford Mustang: Price, specs, and features

The 2024 Ford Mustang is a chiseled, refined machine like an athlete emerging from training. From its dramatic bodywork to its high-tech interior, it’s a muscle car for a new age. And with seven trim levels and two body styles, Ford makes a Stang for various tastes and budgets.

The 2024 Ford Mustang comes in the following configurations, listed from lowest to highest starting MSRP:

  • EcoBoost Fastback: $30,920
  • EcoBoost Premium Fastback: $36,445
  • EcoBoost Convertible: $39,020
  • EcoBoost Premium Convertible: $41,945
  • GT Fastback: $42,295
  • GT Premium Fastback: $47,015
  • GT Premium Convertible: $52,515
  • Dark Horse: $59,270
  • Dark Horse Premium: $63,265

What makes the Mustang Dark Horse Premium special?

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

Among the many trims, the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Premium steals the show with its low-key style and track-ready performance. Thanks to its blacked-out headlight surrounds and pony emblem, this souped-up Stang has a purposeful look. A prominent hood vent hints at its performance capabilities, and monoblock Brembo brake calipers peek through the spokes in the alloy wheels.

The enhanced V8 harnesses 500 hp, sent to the rear wheels via a Tremec six-speed manual and a 3.73 Torsen limited-slip differential. Transmission, differential, and engine oil coolers keep temperatures down during spirited driving. And the Active Valve Performance Exhaust emits racy V8 sounds.

In addition, Ford added heated and cooled seats, aluminum pedals, and an electronic-locking center console inside the Dark Horse Premium. And the titanium anodized blue gear shift knob and leather-wrapped flat-bottomed steering wheel look right out of a race car.

2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse reviews are unanimous

The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Premium has earned praise across the board.

Car and Driver reviewers rate the new Mustang 9 out of 10 and praise its poised handling and refined steering. They achieved a 0-to-60-mph time of only 4.2 seconds in a GT model with the Performance Pack, placing the pony car in supercar territory. C/D’s testers also noted the Dark Horse’s track-focused hardware and performance potential.

Reviewers at The Drive went further, calling the Mustang Dark Horse “the next best American track car.” They highlight the understated yet exciting exterior, Tremec manual gearbox, and fade-free brakes.

Motor1 had a similar experience, noting the Dark Horse’s “power and poise” whether on the street or a closed circuit. Its reviewers especially like the V8’s high-rpm thrills, opting to stay above 5,000 revs for optimal performance. And they praise the optional Recaro seats for their superb support and style.

It’s safe to say the Dark Horse Premium is worth its $60,000-plus sticker price.

How does the 2024 Ford Mustang compare to the competition?

The seventh-gen Ford Mustang is an appealing all-around package. But how does it stack up to rivals?

The Dodge Challenger is a decidedly old-school ride. With its narrow grille and round headlights, it looks straight out of the 1960s muscle car heyday. Compared to the Mustang, the Challenger has a similar starting price of $31,965, but it’s more of a boulevard cruiser than an athletic sports car. The Challenger is available in a range of trims, from the base-model SXT to the top-trim $89,830 SRT Super Stock.

The Mustang and Camaro have competed since the beginning. And Chevy’s latest edition of its muscle car keeps that tradition going. Starting at $30,900, the Camaro features edgy sheet metal, modern powerplant options, and a composed chassis. Track enthusiasts should consider the $73,695 ZL1, packing a supercharged 650-hp V8, magnetic ride control, and Brembo brakes.

Last but not least is the new-gen Nissan Z, sporting svelte styling and a 400-hp twin-turbo V6. Compared to the Mustang, the Z is more of a sleek sports car than a brawny hot rod. Not only that, but the Z’s suspension also strikes a pleasant balance between road-holding and comfort.

The 2024 Ford Mustang brings significant upgrades to the storied nameplate. The exterior is muscular yet sleek, and the modern engines are potent and efficient. But the Mustang Dark Horse Premium is a singular muscle car with track capability and street style like little else. It’s the Mustang in its purest form.