The track-focused Dark Horse will be the apex of the S650 Mustang lineup when it emerges in 2024, armed with a five-liter Coyote V8 producing more than 500 horsepower. But summer 2023 is still quite a ways away, and so it might be a while until you hear one loudly and triumphantly proclaim its existence in public. Fortunately, someone on YouTube has happened to record that critical moment, during Ford’s Stampede event last week where the highly anticipated pony car was revealed.
In the short video, we have the chance to hear the Dark Horse idling as well as the full rasp it can produce under acceleration. Part of that sound is a byproduct of the dual throttle bodies Ford has implemented in this latest-gen Coyote, which not only optimize airflow but add some complexity to the exhaust note. It’s a good one — a tone we should all appreciate before every Cars & Coffee event in due course erodes the novelty away.
The Dark Horse is an interesting package in the Mustang family, as it incorporates some innovations from the Shelby side of the operation, albeit in a context that less so prioritizes out-and-out power and focuses more on responsiveness.
In addition to those twin throttle bodies, this Mustang gains the connecting rods and some forged components last used in the 5.2-liter Predator V8 that gave the Shelby GT500 760 horsepower. Cooling has been beefed up considerably in kind, and a Torsen limited-slip differential and six-speed Tremec gearbox come standard. You can even option carbon fiber wheels, if you’re willing to pay the princely sum.
The result is a Mustang that can back up its bellows with real performance on track — and doubly so if you spring for the Dark Horse S and R, which are not as street legal, to put it mildly. It’s all a part of Ford’s all-fronts attack on motorsport with the seventh-gen ’Stang that has racing fans so excited.