Ford Introduces Mustang Dark Horse R: A Turn-Key Race Car for One-Make Race Series

Aug 2, 2023 2 min read
Ford Introduces Mustang Dark Horse R: A Turn-Key Race Car for One-Make Race Series

Coming soon...

Ford is taking the iconic Mustang to new heights with the introduction of the Mustang Dark Horse R, a customer racing version based on the new Dark Horse road car. This exciting addition to the Mustang lineup has been specially designed for a one-make Mustang Challenge race series in the USA, scheduled to commence in 2024.

Whatever the power output, Ford is making the new Mustang difficult to tune.

As its name suggests, the Dark Horse R shares its foundation with the Ford Mustang Dark Horse road car, boasting the same 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated V8 engine. However, to adapt to the high cornering forces in racing, the Dark Horse R features some essential modifications, such as an altered oil pan, a racing exhaust, and additional cooling measures for the drivetrain. The Tremec H-pattern manual gearbox and Torsen limited-slip differential ensure a potent and thrilling driving experience.

Built on the same body-in-white as the production Mustang, the Dark Horse R is equipped with a racing fuel cell for extended races and track sessions, alongside a full roll cage for enhanced safety. Multimatic's two-way adjustable dampers and adjustable front and rear anti-roll bars provide precise handling, while race-spec Brembo brakes and Michelin slicks developed specifically for the Mustang Challenge series ensure impressive stopping power and grip.

Beyond the one-make race series, Ford is in discussions with the SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) and other organizations to explore the Mustang Dark Horse R's eligibility for wider racing formulas. Priced at $145,000, plus taxes, the Dark Horse R offers racing enthusiasts the opportunity to compete on the track with a powerful and finely tuned race car.

Unlike an 'arrive-and-drive' series run by Ford, the Dark Horse R will be available for purchase by race teams and individuals. However, insiders estimate the total cost for a season to be around $250,000, highlighting the considerable investment required for professional racing.

The Dark Horse R is designed to emphasize mechanical grip over aerodynamics, with a modest fixed rear wing. The car will be devoid of traction control, adding an element of excitement and skill to the racing experience, but it does feature a race-spec ABS system for enhanced control.

Additionally, Ford has confirmed that a more affordable version, the Dark Horse S, will be unveiled soon, specifically tailored for track days rather than professional racing. While certain details are yet to be finalized, the Dark Horse S will share similarities with the R model, featuring the same cage and utilizing the road car's engine and transmission. However, to reduce costs, the Dark Horse S will forego the racing fuel cell, making it ineligible for some racing series but an ideal choice for track day enthusiasts.

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