Ford’s new Mustang has made its debut with a sharper new look, a V8 engine and manual gearbox, and introduces a new hardcore Dark Horse track-focussed model
The world’s biggest selling sports car has been overhauled, with Ford debuting its all-new Mustang at the resurrected Detroit Auto show. It retains its familiar four-seat coupe or convertible body combination, rear-wheel drive and a gutsy 444bhp naturally aspirated V8 engine.
In principle the new S650 Mustang isn’t too far removed from the S550 model it replaces, but Ford’s been hard at work to sharpen every area of the package highlighted by a new track-focused Dark Horse model variant. The new Mustang will enter production from summer 2023, with right-hand drive production dates still yet to be confirmed.
Under the bonnet are updated versions of the two engine options already familiar to the current model, with the turbocharged 2.3-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost complimenting the 5-litre V8; the latter’s changes focus on a new induction system, dual air intake and dual throttle bodies operating on each cylinder bank.
Power or torque figures are currently unconfirmed but they’re expected to grow marginally from the existing GT which has a Porsche 911 Carrera-matching 444bhp, and a peak torque figure of 390lb ft. Two transmission options are available as before, with a standard six-speed manual and an optional ten-speed automatic – the former coming with a new rev-matching function. While this might be a hallmark of its not quite ‘all-new’ status, the Mustang still has a mechanical handbrake, which is appreciated in the halls of evo.
All US-spec V8 models also come with a standard Performance Pack, combining a few upgraded chassis elements including 19-inch wheels, a limited-slip differential, uprated Brembo brakes and a valved exhaust system. Ford’s excellent Magneride adaptive dampers are still an option, too.
Ford Mustang GT Dark Horse
Sitting above the GT is a new and more dynamically-focused Dark Horse model that incorporates a wide spread of bespoke hardware elevating it above the existing Mach 1 in terms of specification. It starts with a further development of the 5-litre V8 engine, which comes with a further bump in power that Ford says will make it more powerful than any other Mustang fitted with the Coyote V8. This will give the Dark Horse at least 454bhp, the current peak figure from the Mach 1.
Alongside the extra power, the Dark Horse incorporates new cooling hardware including an auxiliary engine oil cooler, transmission oil cooler (for the automatic), a lighter and more efficient radiator and more powerful cooling fans. This is matched to a completely different six-speed manual transmission sourced from Tremec, as well as a different Torsen limited-slip differential.
The chassis also has its own upgrades, including bespoke spring rates and upgrades to the standard fit Magneride dampers. A thicker anti-roll bar on the rear axle is also included with a strut brace mounted across the front suspension towers and a rear K-brace. The wheel and tyre package is also new, featuring staggered widths on bespoke 19-inch wheels front to rear (19 x 9-inch front, 19 x 9.5-inch rear) wrapped in Pirelli P Zero rubber.
Dark Horse models will then be available with a further Handling Package that combines a few visual upgrades including a larger rear wing and front splitter, with further modifications to the springs, front and rear anti-roll bars and even wider 19-inch wheels (19 x 10.5-inch and 19 x 11-inch, front and rear) running on Trofeo R rubber.
Design and interior
The new Mustang’s design is derived from the previous model, with a much sharper look underpinned by similar proportions. This is defined in the modern age by a coke-bottle silhouette, created by a typical rising haunch over the rear wheel.
Yet the new element you might notice more is the larger grille and slim LED headlights that now sit below the main belt line. This provides the new Mustang with an aggressive new face, punctuated by typical triple-light elements that match the slimmed rear lights.
The cabin has been totally reimagined, with new digital interfaces set into a single bank atop the dash. The new high-resolution interfaces are made up from a 12.4-inch driver’s and 13.2-inch main touchscreen display that both clean up the dashboard, without removing too many hard-keys.
Dark Horse models feature their own subtle upgrades, including a set of Recaro seats and a thicker steering wheel rim. It also features unique colour and trim elements, including Alcantara inner sections and blue stitching.
Alongside the road car’s debut, Ford has also revealed a variety of motorsport variants including a factory-supported GT3 class racer that will compete in the North American ISMA championship and return to Le Mans in 2024 in European FIA GT3 series. Ford’s commitment to the Australian V8 Supercars series has also been confirmed, as well as a GT4 and future NASCAR entries.
This article originally appeared at evo.co.uk
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