Will the Shelby GT350 Lose Fame to the New Dark Horse?

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is a performance benchmark among the S550 generation of Ford Mustangs. However, the naturally-aspirated Shelby vocalist will have to share one excellent record with the upcoming 500-horsepower Ford Mustang Dark Horse. Even though the models are from two different generations, the pony cars will share a horsepower crown among Ford Mustangs. 

How much HP does a GT350 make?

The 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R make 526 horsepower (HP). While that might not seem like much compared to the supercharged power of the Shelby GT500, it’s a unique figure. First, the GT500 produces 760 rampaging ponies due to the efforts of a supercharger and hard-working cooling system. Instead, TrueCar says the 2020 Shelby GT350 produces 526 horsepower from a naturally aspirated 5.2L Voodoo V8 without forced induction. 

The Shelby GT350, like this one, and the new 500-horsepower Ford Mustang Dark Horse have 100 horsepower per liter.
Shelby GT350 | Ford

The Voodoo V8 is the only engine that the GT350 offered, and the Shelby model is the only vehicle to get that engine from the factory. Moreover, the GT350’s 5.2L engine used a flat-plane crank construction instead of a cross-plane application. As a result, the GT350 could rev all the way up to 8,250 rpm.

However, one of the GT350’s claims to fame is the record of the only naturally aspirated engine in the Mustang library with 100 horsepower per liter of displacement. That is, it was the only naturally aspirated engine with 100 horsepower per liter until now. 

How much horsepower does a Dark Horse make?

The new 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse might not pack a supercharger, but it still produces 500 horsepower. However, unlike the flat-plane crank 5.2L Voodoo engine in the Shelby GT350, the Dark Horse develops its power from a cross-plane 5.0L Coyote V8. That means a lower redline, but 500 horsepower is nothing to dismiss. In fact, it’s Ford’s most powerful naturally aspirated factory 5.0L Coyote V8 application ever. 

Moreover, the Dark Horse is the second Mustang to produce 100 horsepower per liter of displacement. While the Dark Horse won’t sing like the GT350, it still shares the horsepower ratio victory with the Shelby model. Also, since the seventh-generation Ford Mustang will be the last conventional pony car formula from the Blue Oval, it’s great to see an all-original, high-horsepower special edition Mustang break records. 

Why is GT350 so good?

The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R pack unique, high-revving flat-plane crank 5.2L V8s, sharp track-ready components, and the venerable Shelby nameplate. Also, unlike the Coyote-powered GTs, the GT350 has just one excellent transmission option: the six-speed Tremec TR-3160. 

Related

Voodoo or Magic? Why Is the Shelby GT350 So Special?

To get horsepower in the vicinity of the venerable Shelby GT350 or the new S650 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, you’d have to stretch to a supercharged option, like the S197 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 and its 662 horsepower. While Ford likely won’t revive the GT350’s Voodoo V8, it’s only fitting that one of the final gas-powered Mustangs produces a satisfying 100 horsepower per liter. 

Would you rather have a Shelby GT350 or a new Dark Horse? Tell us in the comments below!