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Ford Mustang Dark Horse R article highlights:

  • Ford Performance introduced a track-only Mustang race car variant to sit between the road-going models and the GT3/GT4 race cars. 
  • The Mustang Dark Horse R will start at $145,000 in time for the 2024 racing season. 
  • Ford Performance reports that the Dark Horse R will be the official race car in a Mustang-only IMSA series. 
A Ford Mustang Dark Horse R shows off its new livery on a track.
Dark Horse R | Ford Performance

The 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse is the range-topping pony car in the upcoming seventh-generation (S650) model’s lineup. However, unlike previous generations, Ford Performance produces several track-only Mustangs to compete in specific series worldwide. Enter the Dark Horse R, the track-destined middle ground between the street-legal Dark Horse and the GT3, GT4, and other race-ready models. However, is the new R variant worth its substantial starting price?

How much is the new Ford Mustang Dark Horse R?

A Ford Mustang Dark Horse R shows off its new livery in a side profile shot on a track.
Dark Horse R | Ford Performance

Ford Performance says the track-ready Ford Mustang Dark Horse R will start at $145,000. That puts the track-only R variant at around $85,730 more than the standard Dark Horse. 

ModelStarting price 
Dark Horse$59,270
Dark Horse Premium$63,265
Dark Horse R$145,000

Admittedly, the Dark Horse R is a far cry from the sub-$60,000 ask for the standard Dark Horse. However, the R model does carry over many of the same bragging points of the road-going Dark Horse. 

For instance, the R incorporates the same six-speed TREMEC transmission and a 500-horsepower 5.0L Coyote V8. Moreover, the Dark Horse R makes use of the same 3.73 final-drive ratio and Torsen limited-slip differential as the road version, per Car and Driver. However, the similarities seem to stop there, and the race-ready lunacy begins.  

The Dark Horse R is a race-ready version of the road-going performance car

Unlike the standard Ford Mustang Dark Horse, the R variant ditches all the everyday luxury of the range-topping, road-going model. In fact, the Dark Horse R loses all but one RECARO racing seat and adopts a QD (quick-detachable) steering wheel. 

Of course, Ford Performance complimented the weight savings with proper racing kit like a Sparco racing harness and fire suppression system. Moreover, the new R variant adds oil system, cooling, and Borla exhaust upgrades to the model. Further, the R incorporates race-ready chassis and braking components like a roll cage, multimatic dampers, performance ABS, and Brembo brakes.  

A Ford Mustang Dark Horse R shows off its aggressive fascia on the track.
Dark Horse R | Ford Performance

4 Used Cars That Will Out-muscle a New Ford Mustang Dark Horse

While the Dark Horse R promises to be a stiff, corner-carving coupe, you won’t see it at a Cars and Coffee near you. Instead, the R model won’t be street-legal. It will be a track-only iteration with a model-specific IMSA race series. 

What do you think of the new Dark Horse R? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!