The Dark Horse has nailed the 500-hp mark from its Coyote V8, but there are improvements across the board.
Just in time for the holidays, Ford has revealed the official outputs of the new Mustang range, and it's headlined by the 500-horsepower 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 in the new Dark Horse model. We've known since the reveal of the track-ready Dark Horse that Ford was targeting 500 hp, and now that magic number has been confirmed - along with 418 lb-ft of torque - to make this the most powerful naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 Mustang ever.
The seventh-generation Mustang GT now produces 480 hp and 415 lb-ft as standard from its V8, while the 2.3-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost model generates 315 hp and 350 lb-ft.
These better outputs will be music to enthusiasts' ears, especially since the new Mustang is said to be much more difficult to tune than previous models.
The Dark Horse's fourth-generation Coyote V8 is now the most powerful non-Shelby edition of the Mustang ever, and introduces enhancements like a specially balanced crankshaft and forged piston connecting rods. These help the engine cope with higher cylinder pressures and piston speeds.
The strengthened camshafts, meanwhile, improve the V8's durability in demanding track conditions, allowing the V8 to be reliably extended to its 7,500-rpm redline. The V8 also comes with a dual throttle-body intake which improves breathing. While no 0-60 mph time has been shared, the Mustang Dark Horse should dip below 4.5 seconds for the benchmark sprint.
Nearly as impressive is the upgraded Mustang GT V8, which now makes 480 hp and 415 lb-ft, up from 450 hp/410 lb-ft in the current model. Previously, sources indicated that the new GT would be no more powerful than its predecessor, but we're happy to find out this isn't the case.
Even better, the new GT can be upgraded with an optional active-valve performance exhaust system which raises outputs to 486 hp/418 lb-ft. This exhaust delivers a custom V8 sound but also allows owners to reduce the level of noise for discreetly slipping out of the driveway on early mornings without waking up the entire neighborhood.
Ford says that an upgraded oil pan and other structural improvements have also been introduced for the latest Coyote V8. For both the GT and Dark Horse, horsepower and torque ratings are the same regardless of whether you choose the automatic or manual transmission.
"Mustang has always pushed the envelope," said Ed Krenz, Mustang chief engineer. "From Mustang GT to Dark Horse, this is our best 5.0-liter V8 yet. It's naturally aspirated awesomeness."
Krenz was joined by several other special guests for the Mustang Holiday Dinner; in the video below, the group discusses aspects like the new Mustang's superior aerodynamics and digital dashboard.
But it's not only the V8s that have been improved. Customers who weren't hellbent on a V8 muscle car found the previous Mustang EcoBoost provided a surprisingly appealing combination of performance, price, and efficiency. The new 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine delivers 315 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque; while torque is the same, it's 5 hp up on the 2023 Mustang EcoBoost.
The new Mustang EcoBoost now has the most standard power for any four- or six-cylinder Mustang, and to make it sound more exciting, there is an available active-valve performance exhaust system. While only marginally more powerful than before, Ford says that the EcoBoost engine is new from the ground up.
It utilizes the Blue Oval's new Modular Power Cylinder (MPC) architecture and promises to be more efficient than the current EcoBoost, which returns a best of 25 mpg combined as per the latest EPA ratings. Ford is targeting 1 mpg more combined.
The new EcoBoost engine also has a new Bore to Stroke ratio, Port Fuel injection with direct injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, variable cam timing, and integrated Exhaust Gas Recirculation. We expect a similar 0-60 mph time of around five seconds for the new Mustang EcoBoost, but it'll be interesting to see if the drivability and character of this mill has been improved following the many changes.
"Mustang EcoBoost fans are also getting a boost in power to make every Mustang more fun and visceral to drive," said Krenz.
The 2024 Ford Mustang will go on sale in the United States in the summer of 2023 in both coupe and convertible body styles.