2024 Mustang Dark Horse packs 500 hp, GT up to 486 hp


While we’ve seen the 2024 Mustang in all of its brand-new-sheet-metal glory, Ford has been slow-playing the power numbers from its revised 5.0-liter “Coyote” V-8. We finally have solid specs, and they are seriously impressive.

The freshened 5.0-liter uses a new, twin-throttle-body intake for improved airflow. In the standard 2024 Mustang GT it produces 480 hp and 415 lb-ft of torque. An optional active-valve performance exhaust system increases the output to 486 horsepower and 418 lb-ft of torque, while giving the driver on-demand authority to switch between rowdy rumble and civilized burble.

Of course, it’s the newly minted Dark Horse that gets the most grunt. The track-oriented trim unlocks some special engine internals, including forged connecting rods cribbed from the GT500, a unique crankshaft, and strengthened camshafts to give it 100 horsepower per liter. Total output is 500 hp and 418 lb-ft of torque. All Coyote V-8s also get a new oil pan along with structural improvements to the engine that help it deal with its increased output. These upgrades make for the most powerful Mustang GT ever, and the Dark Horse is now the second-most-powerful naturally aspirated Mustang—behind the 526-hp Shelby GT350.

Dark Horse drivers will have the choice between a unique six-speed Tremec manual gearbox as standard, or an optional 10-speed automatic (only the former will get a transmission cooler). A Torsen limited-slip differential is included, as well, along with a number of handling upgrades: thicker rear sway bar, standard MagneRide adaptive dampers, lightweight strut-tower brace, K-brace, staggered 19-inch wheels (9.5 inches wide up front and 10 inches wide in the rear) and Pirelli P-Zero tires. Check the box for an additional handling package to add stiffer springs, even thicker front and rear sway bars, and still wider wheels (10.5 inches front / 11 inches rear) wearing more aggressive Pirelli P-Zero Trofeo rubber. A unique rear wing with an integrated Gurney flap ensures improved downforce.

2024 Ford Coyote V-8
Ford gave us a look at the new 2024 Coyote V-8 as an early holiday present. Ford

“Every time someone gets behind the wheel of a Mustang, we know they want to feel that strong connection to their vehicle—and we’re just as invested in creating that bond,” said Suzanne Robinson, Coyote engine program supervisor. “With the increased responsiveness you get from the new dual throttle bodies, we’re wringing every ounce of performance we can out of our engine so Mustang enthusiasts can have that experience.” 

Ford obviously wanted to keep V-8 fans happy, and those performance numbers ought to do it, but Dearborn also improved the whole stable, starting with the entry-level 2.3-liter ponies. For fans of turbocharged power, the base, EcoBoost Mustang offers a bump in output to 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque, up from the 310 hp in the 2023 Mustang. It too is available with the optional active-valve performance exhaust system, which is specifically designed to highlight the new turbocharged mill. The new 2.3-liter design features a new bore/stroke ratio, plus both port and direct injection that brings it in line with the Coyote V-8 and its 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 brethren. The four-cylinder twin-scroll turbocharger should provide a nice, broad torque curve while Ford is also promising improved fuel economy compared to its predecessor.

You can expect to see both EcoBoost four- and Coyote eight-cylinder 2024 Mustangs on dealership lots starting in the summer of 2023.

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