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The Ford Mustang Dark Horse tops the Blue Oval pony car’s range for 2024. However, the Dark Horse is more than a one-trick pony; the Mustang model boasts a few bragging rights that nothing else in the current lineup can claim. Check out a few of the Dark Horse’s finer qualities, like the most powerful 5.0L Coyote engine of any factory ‘Stang.

The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse packs an engine and a badge that sets it apart from the rest of the lineup

A new 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse in a dark tunnel with rear lights illuminated.
2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse | Ford

Fast Ford fans are excited for the return of the notchy, row-happy TREMEC TR-3160 six-speed manual transmission. However, the noir pony car has a few other claims to fame for 2024.

  • The most powerful factory 5.0L Coyote V8 engine of any Mustang
  • First naturally aspirated Mustang with exactly 100 horsepower per liter of displacement
  • The Dark Horse badge is all new; it doesn’t rest on historical connections like the Shelby GT350 or Mach 1

The 500-horsepower gorilla in the room resides under the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse’s hood: a naturally aspirated 5.0L Coyote V8. Nothing special, right? We’ve had Coyote-powered Mustangs since the post-facelift S197s of 2011 and on. Unlike previous Coyote-powered models, the Dark Horse produces that oh-so-satisfying 500-horsepower figure. 

Power like that makes the Dark Horse the most potent factory Coyote-powered Mustang in the model’s history. What’s more, only the now-discontinued Shelby GT350 outmuscles the Dark Horse without the addition of forced induction. Therein lies another of the Dark Horse’s bragging rights: horsepower relative to displacement.

The Dark Horse’s 5.0L Coyote V8 is the first eight-cylinder Mustang to produce exactly 100 horsepower per liter of displacement. Furthermore, the Shelby GT350 and the Dark Horse are the only supercharger-free ‘Stangs with 100 or more horsepower per liter. Of course, some adamant fans will tell you that classic big blocks are criminally underrated regarding horsepower and torque. 

Finally, the Dark Horse badge is all-new for 2024. You won’t find a long heritage of classic Dark Horse models. That’s a change for the Mustang nameplate; most V8-powered Mustangs wear tenured badges dating back to the first generations, like the GT, Shelby GT500, and Mach 1.


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