Home Automobile 2024 Ford Mustang Darkish Horse Reaches Mach 2.0

2024 Ford Mustang Darkish Horse Reaches Mach 2.0

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2024 Ford Mustang Darkish Horse Reaches Mach 2.0

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UPDATE 8/25/23: This overview has been up to date with check numbers.

It is laborious to keep away from feeling melancholy upon seeing the 2024 Ford Mustang Darkish Horse. Neglect for a second that we’re at Charlotte Motor Speedway and about to drive the Roval; the looming extinction of the V-8 pony automotive hangs like a black cloud on this sizzling, humid day.

Hey, a minimum of the top is simply starting.

The Darkish Horse appears to be like appropriately ominous painted in darker hues, like Vapor Blue Metallic, which reduces the distinction with the black parts on the hood and within the space engulfing the headlights and grille that appears like goth lipstick. As with the 2024 Mustang EcoBoost and GT, the outside styling and the brand new inside with its dual-screen sprint characterize probably the most important adjustments to the automotive, now in its seventh technology. Your reception to each is probably going tied to your age and reverence for the long-lasting nameplate.

HIGHS: Extra ponies for the improved V-8, chassis delivers a great deal of stick, handsomely advanced form.

We’ll push that debate apart together with the melancholy as a result of, as we talked about, we’re at Charlotte Motor Speedway and about to drive the Roval.

From Mach 1 to Darkish Horse

Contemplate the Darkish Horse an evolution of the spectacular outgoing Ford Mustang Mach 1. And that automotive, the quickest in our Lightning Lap LL2 class (for automobiles below $75,000), is not a foul place to start out. Other than the outside and inside, the adjustments to the chassis and powertrain are comparatively minimal however welcome.

Pop the hood and the “5.0” badge sits prominently atop the double-overhead-cam 32-valve V-8 with its new dual-throttle-body intakes that snake all the way down to enlarged openings within the bumper. Together with enhancements additionally seen on the GT, the Darkish Horse engine beneficial properties solid connecting rods from the GT500. At the side of strengthened camshafts and distinctive engine tuning, the engine makes 500 horsepower, neatly matching that of the 2007 GT500, which used a supercharged 5.4-liter V-8.

preview for 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse Reaches Mach 2.0

Driving the Mustang Darkish Horse

Each single pony feels current and accounted for. Their livid sound echoes proudly off the Roval partitions as they propel this 3975-pound coupe—when did the Mustang get so heavy?—simply into triple-digit speeds. And at our check observe, they push the Darkish Horse to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds and thru the quarter-mile in 12.5 seconds at 115 mph.

Of the usual lively exhaust’s 4 modes, Regular, Sport, and Monitor begin at Very Loud and progress to Even Louder. We sheepishly admit to placing it into Quiet mode on the street drive to attenuate droning.

A six-speed guide is commonplace, and it is the transmission you need to get—take into account this your obligation as a red-blooded American when it is supplied in a rear-drive automotive with a V-8. As with the previous-generation Stang, a transmission divide exists between the GT and the track-oriented trim ranges. Whereas the GT retains its Getrag MT-82, the Darkish Horse makes use of the Tremec TR-3160 from the Mach 1 and the dearly departed Shelby GT350. However, each transmissions function computerized rev-matching (that you may disable) and allow no-lift shifting, the place you retain the fuel pedal pinned throughout a fast upshift.

In the event you’d fairly abdicate a level of driving enjoyment, the 10-speed computerized ($1595) will definitely produce faster acceleration and lap instances. Throughout our drive, the shift logic in Monitor mode was good sufficient to maintain the automotive within the right gear for many corners, and it made satisfyingly fast gear adjustments at 7500 rpm (the guide has an annoying gentle limiter 250 rpm sooner than the indicated redline).

LOWS: Display screen-based sprint is a disconnect, no-lift shift would not prefer to be rushed, lateral assist missing for some our bodies.

If that’s the case far this sounds much like the Mach 1, that is as a result of it’s. A smattering of adjustments contains bigger anti-roll bars, totally different chassis tuning, and the opposite upgrades made throughout the Mustang line, like dashing up the steering ratio and enhancing the system’s general rigidity.

Whereas 19-inch Pirelli P Zero PZ4s measuring 255/40 entrance and 275/40 rear are the usual fitment, the largest influence comes from the brand new Pirelli Trofeo RS tires, obtainable optionally as a part of the Dealing with bundle ($4995) and sized 305/30 up entrance and 315/30 on the rear. You could recall the Trofeo R tire for famously being commonplace on the McLaren Senna [MS1] [MS2] [SM3] and the Camaro Z/28. The RS is an evolution of that design, specializing in delivering excessive traction however with longer life. For instance, whereas the R’s treadwear ranking was 60, the RS’s is 180. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S and Cup 2 on the previous Mach 1 have been fairly magical. On our skidpad, the brand new Pirellis persist with 1.07 g’s of grip, barely higher than the 1.05 g’s of the final Mach 1 we examined on Cup 2s.

So outfitted, the sheer traction means the Darkish Horse delivers confidence rapidly and simply. Inside a lap or two, we’re in a position to hold the fuel pinned via the banking whereas accelerating above 100 mph. The event workforce additionally credit the tires for enhancements in on-road refinement.

Nearing 135 mph on the huge braking zone main into the infield, the Brembo six-piston entrance calipers chunk laborious on 15.4-inch rotors (the four-piston rear calipers clamping 14.0-inch rotors assist too), delivering large stopping pressure that, at the side of the usual magnetorheological dampers, retains the Darkish Horse steady and managed. Additionally they hauled the Darkish Horse to a cease from 70 mph in 142 ft.

Twice on this spot, although, the auto rev-matching did not activate in the course of the three-two downshift. The automobiles we drove have been preproduction, and nobody else on the occasion voiced an identical grievance. However, this failure within the belief fall that comes with studying a brand new observe added some hesitancy.

Equally, whereas tire grip is ever-present, the steering lacks essential communication when delivering or adjusting midcorner. Whereas the wheel is direct and correct to the path it is pointed, it tells you little concerning the entrance tires’ habits. You discover their limits and sense the street texture by listening to them (assuming you are not being deafened by the exhaust) or by feeling it via the seat.

The Torsen limited-slip rear differential transmits energy to the bottom effortlessly, and the Darkish Horse’s limits are beneficiant while you do stumble via them. In Monitor mode, Ford’s AdvanceTrac stability-control system permits for small, encouraging quantities of slip that you may preserve and proper. It is a good instrument to lean on for novices or observe first-timers, particularly on the Roval, which favors partitions in lieu of runoff.

Complaints are minor. First, neither the bottom nor the optionally available Recaro seats ($1650) present enough lateral assist for extra slender drivers, which means you will need to spend money on a kneepad or danger bruising your knee from bracing it towards the unforgivingly inflexible door armrest. Second, these with out mechanical empathy would possibly discover the guide’s no-lift-shifting function a contact sluggish. Ford reps say that is intentional, in order to not upset the rear when you’ve got a small quantity of steering in. We would want to manage the shift ourselves midcorner and shift as rapidly as potential on the straights. And there is this: Within the Monitor mode gauge-cluster configuration, the bar-style tachometer goes to 9000 rpm, regardless that you are shifting round 7000 rpm, leaving some two inches of ineffective crimson bar staring again at you.

Mustang Darkish Horse pricing

The Darkish Horse begins at $60,865 (together with vacation spot and a $1300 gas-guzzler tax), or simply beneath the place a Mach 1 loaded with its Dealing with bundle, Recaro seats, and some different choices ended up. And really very like that automotive, the Darkish Horse performs on observe whereas delivering pleasing on-road manners. Whereas the opaque comms from the entrance finish imply it lacks the poise and sharpness of the also-not-long-for-this-world Chevy Camaro and its 1LE variants, no matter dynamic shortcomings exist do not actually matter. The Mach 1 was already faster than the SS at Lightning Lap, and the improved Darkish Horse is—and this bit is essential—truly on sale.

VERDICT: Ford retains the dream alive.

Whereas the top could also be coming for V-8 pony automobiles, the Mustang Darkish Horse is right here now.

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Specs

Specs

2024 Ford Mustang Darkish Horse

Automobile Kind: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE

Base/As Examined: $60,865/$73,205

Choices: Darkish Horse dealing with bundle (adjustable strut prime mounts, revised chassis tuning, wider 19-inch wheels and tires), $4995; gear group 700A (numerous inside trim upgrades, anti-theft system, wheel locking package, common storage door opener, reminiscence driver seat), $3995; Recaro bucket seats, $1650; look bundle (blue seat accents, blue brake calipers, black roof), $1500; premium flooring mats, $200

ENGINE

DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, port and direct gas injection

Displacement: 307 in3, 5038 cm3

Energy: 500 hp @ 7250 rpm

Torque: 418 lb-ft @ 4900 rpm

TRANSMISSION

6-speed guide

CHASSIS

Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 15.4-in vented disc/14.0-in vented disc

Tires: Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS

F: 305/30ZR-19 (98Y)

R: 315/30ZR-19 (100Y)

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 107.0 in

Size: 189.7 in

Width: 75.5 in

Peak: 55.2 in

Passenger Quantity, F/R: 55/30 ft3

Trunk Quantity: 13 ft3

Curb Weight: 3975 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS

60 mph: 4.1 sec

100 mph: 9.7 sec

1/4-Mile: 12.5 sec @ 115 mph

130 mph: 16.4 sec

150 mph: 23.2 sec

Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 5.0 sec

High Gear, 30–50 mph: 9.4 sec

High Gear, 50–70 mph: 8.8 sec

High Pace (mfr’s declare): 166 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 142 ft

Braking, 100–0 mph: 278 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.07 g

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 17/14/22 mpg

C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

Headshot of Carlos Lago

Deputy Editor, Video

From promoting them to testing them, Carlos Lago has spent his total grownup life consumed by automobiles. He presently drives the artistic behind Automotive and Driver video.

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