Ford’s Mustang Dark Horse R Brings High-Octane Speed to Race Cars

August 4th, 2023 by

NYE Ford 2023 Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Photo Source: Ford

The day finally came on July 27th, 2023, when drivers received their first proper look at the Ford Mustang Dark Horse R. Ford revealed the brilliant track-only beast to everyone in all its glory after a short initial teaser trailer released on the same day displayed a small glimpse of some of the things fans can expect from the pony car. The cinematic trailer that dropped offered a look at this brute tearing up the track. 

Expectations Revolving Around the All-New Mustang

The intense Dark Horse R was first announced back in September when the S650 was unveiled in the 2022 model year, so it is fair to say that there has been a decent amount of buildup surrounding it. Of note, the new Mustang is set to inherit a plethora of elements from the Dark Horse, integrating some extra liveliness to make it what Ford claims to be a turn-key race car. The purpose is a simple one: This Dark Horse is set to be fully prepared to compete in the new Mustang Challenge spec racing series. Moreover, it aims to bridge the gap between the GT3 and GT4 race cars.

Assembled to be a Quintessential Race Car

As mentioned, the Dark Horse R is built upon the existing high-performance Dark Horse. This incorporates the adjustable rear wing, high-end braking system, and upgraded exhaust. In addition, the new race car includes the 5.0-liter V-8 engine from its road-going brother and delivers an output of 500 plus horsepower. It also ties in the following features, among others:

  • Multimatic DSSV dampers
  • An upgraded Borla exhaust system
  • 19-inch wheels encased in Michelin racing slicks
  • Ford Performance Parts R1 Flow-Formed Wheels
  • A series of improved cooling systems

Not only that, to keep drivers secure in their all-new Mustang-only challenge, the Blue Oval has had to integrate their track car with a number of FIA-approved safety enhancements. To start, there is an FIA-certified safety cage enveloping the driver along with a safety net. The driver seat is a fully developed Recaro racing seat with track-ready seat belts. Further, the steering wheel is quick-release, meaning the driver can detach it in case an emergency presents itself. In fact, the Mustang also features a fire suppression system.

Ford’s Thrilling Commitment

The Mustang Challenge spec racing series, set to commence in 2024, running a ten to 12-race calendar, will provide Dark Horse R owners an opportunity to put their skills to the test against other Mustang enthusiasts. To clarify, it will feature various racing weekends sanctioned by the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) and managed by the Ford Performance Racing School. As a matter of fact, winners of each race will receive payouts, with the overall winner of the series being crowned champion. 

The Dark Horse R has a starting price tag of $145,000 MSRP (Plus destination fee), and the automaker aims to ship all orders for the beginning of its new series in 2024. To increase interest, this is not the first or last racing Mustang that Ford will release. For example, the Mustang GT3 was revealed earlier in the 2023 model year to compete in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. The GT3 was also inspired by the Dark Horse, with several performance upgrades being added to it to make it race ready, including a 5.4-liter V-8 engine under the hood.

Ford’s place in the world of racing has always been strong, but the future looks bright for the all-American brand. If you are enthralled by the possibilities of the Mustang Dark Horse R, please come visit NYE Ford. You are more than welcome to take a look at our current inventory, and if you need any help, we have a trained service team to assist you with financial suggestions to help make paying for a vehicle easier.