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Hennessey Performance pits the Mustang Dark Horse against the regular GT with surprising results.
HENNESSEY PERFORMANCE PITS THE MUSTANG DARK HORSE AGAINST THE REGULAR GT WITH SURPRISING RESULTS.
This new 7th-generation Ford Mustang is quite the looker, and the much-hyped Dark Horse is the range-topper for the Ponycar. It’s a factory-spec beast that’s been beefed up and trimmed down in all the relevant places to make it better than anything else that’s rolled off the Michigan production line in the Mustang’s long and very successful history. “For decades, Mustang has competed against the most premium brands on the greatest world stages and won. We surprised everyone, and we’re going to surprise them again with a track-capable Mustang that puts a new level of performance, styling and American engineering in the hands of everyday customers who still want the thrill and excitement of a V8 sports car,” said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company. The intention behind the Mustang Dark Horse was to improve handling dynamics as much as possible so that the car can be better kept pointing in the direction the driver chooses and to allow the car to be better employed as a weekend track day toy. If owners choose the optional Handling Package that’s been made available for the Dark Horse, some extra bits get tightened up a bit more to make the Mustang more capable for weekend circuit driving. Being the car that’s at the top of the hierarchy ladder, it’s going to cost more than the other models, but before you shell out heaps of cash for a Dark Horse, it’s a good idea to do your research to see if the new nameplate, the first one to appear on a Mustang in 21 years, is worth the premium.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse is powerful, it makes use of Ford’s iconic 5.0 V8 Coyote powerplant bi in this guise after a host of relevant tweaks, it’s rated to produce a pretty impressive 373 kW (500 hp) and unlike all the way most other sportscars are going these days, it can be had with a perfect ratio 6-speed manual transmission. Most will likely be sold with the 10-speed auto transmission though, because people like easy. The regular Mustang available for 2024 is the good old Mustang GT 5.0, and this too has the Coyote powerplant but can only be had with the same 10-speed auto ‘box. In this guise, there’s less power, but the stats are still quite close. Power in the GT is rated at a decent 358 kW (480 hp). In the world of aftermarket tuning, a decent software flash and an aftermarket exhaust would be able to make up that power difference. So that now begs the question, is the Dark Horse worth the premium over the GT? Of course, the suspension tweaks and the styling changes alone made it worthwhile, but for those who focus on performance, this is a genuine question. Local pricing rumours suggest the GT will be listed in the region of R1,150,000 and the Dark Horse will hover near the R1,500,000 mark. That’s quite a difference. The chaps at Hennessey Performance noticed that things on paper were quite close, so they filmed a comparison between the two cars to see how they compare. We’re pretty sure that Hennessey did the test so that they have some base performance figures to show once they’ve carried out one of their insane aftermarket conversions on the car. Check out the footage and let us know if you’d have the GT or the Dark Horse based on the performance offered up. On looks, the Dark Horse is a winner, hands-down.
Take a look at the YouTube video that directly compares the new range-topping Mustang Dark Horse to the regular 5.0 GT. Considering the massive price difference between the two cars, the performance difference doesn't seem that big: 2024 Ford Mustang GT vs. Dark Horse Mustang // Stock Comparison // Dig and Roll Drag Race | Hennessey Performance
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