Ford is continuing its expansion of Mustang-based race cars with the introduction of the Dark Horse R. This new model will be the fourth of six Mustang race cars that Ford plans to unveil in 2023. The Dark Horse R is positioned below the Mustang GT4 and is based on the Dark Horse road car but has several racing enhancements.
- Ford has released a teaser sketch of the upcoming Dark Horse R Mustang race car.
- The Dark Horse R will be based on the Dark Horse road car but will feature additional seam welding to improve stiffness, a larger fuel tank, and unique wheels.
- Ford plans to add upgrades to qualify the car for various racing series.
- The Dark Horse R will slot below the Mustang GT4 in Ford’s racing lineup.
- The Dark Horse R is expected to be more affordable than the GT4 and aimed at amateur racers.
- Ford plans to release two more track-only Mustang variants: the Dark Horse S and a Mustang destined for NHRA Factory X drag racing.
- Ford’s onslaught of new Mustang-based race cars shows the company’s commitment to motorsports.
Here are some additional details:
- The Dark Horse R is expected to be powered by a 5.0-litre V8 engine that produces around 500 horsepower.
- The car will have a six-speed sequential transmission and a rear-wheel drive configuration.
- The Dark Horse R will have a full FIA-approved roll cage and safety equipment.
- The car is expected to weigh around 2,800 pounds.
- Ford has not yet announced a price for the Dark Horse R.
From the teaser sketch released by Ford, we can see some notable features at the rear of the Dark Horse R, including quad exhaust pipes, a roll cage, and a production-like wing. To improve the car’s stiffness, Ford has implemented additional seam welding and features a larger fuel tank and unique wheels.
Ford intends to upgrade the Dark Horse R to meet the requirements of various racing series. However, the company has not disclosed the specific championships for which the car will be eligible.
According to Ford’s initial announcement in September, two more track-only Mustang variants are expected to be revealed. The Dark Horse S will sit below the Dark Horse R and be based solely on the road car, with safety equipment being the only upgrade.
This variant is designed more for casual track use rather than professional competition. Additionally, Ford is working on a Mustang model specifically for NHRA Factory X drag racing, but details about this variant are currently limited.
Ford is dedicated to expanding its Mustang lineup for racing enthusiasts, offering a range of options to cater to different racing disciplines and driver preferences.
Pros of the Ford Mustang Dark Horse R and Ford’s Mustang race car lineup:
- Performance: The Mustang race cars, including the Dark Horse R, are designed and optimized for high-performance racing. They feature powerful engines, aerodynamic enhancements, and other performance upgrades to deliver impressive speed, agility, and handling on the track.
- Heritage and Reputation: The Mustang has a long-standing legacy in motorsports. Ford’s commitment to expanding its Mustang race car lineup reinforces its reputation for producing capable and competitive racing vehicles.
- Customizability: Ford’s Mustang race cars can be upgraded and modified to meet the requirements of various racing series. This allows drivers and teams to tailor the vehicles to specific racing disciplines, maximizing their competitive edge.
- Accessibility: With multiple variants planned, including the Dark Horse R, Dark Horse S, and NHRA Factory X drag racing model, Ford caters to different levels of racing enthusiasts. Whether someone is looking for a dedicated track machine or a car for casual track use, a suitable option should be within the Mustang race car lineup.
Cons of the Ford Mustang Dark Horse R and Ford’s Mustang race car lineup:
- Limited Practicality: As purpose-built race cars, the Mustang race car variants may lack their road-going counterparts’ practicality and everyday usability. They are designed primarily for track performance and may not be ideal for regular street driving.
- Cost: High-performance race cars often have a significant price tag. The Mustang race car lineup, including the Dark Horse R, is likely expensive, making them less accessible to the average consumer.
- Racing Series Limitations: While Ford plans to upgrade the Dark Horse R and other Mustang race cars to qualify for various racing series, the specific championships for which they will be eligible have not been disclosed. This could limit the options for drivers and teams who have specific racing series in mind.
- Maintenance and Support: Owning and maintaining a race car can be demanding. It may require specialized knowledge, equipment, and support, which could add to the overall costs and complexity of owning a Mustang race car.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse R and the broader Mustang race car lineup represent Ford’s commitment to expanding its offerings for racing enthusiasts. These vehicles offer impressive performance, heritage, and customizability, catering to different levels of racing and driver preferences.
However, there are certain drawbacks to consider. The limited practicality of these purpose-built race cars may restrict their usability for everyday driving. Additionally, the high cost of ownership, potential limitations regarding racing series eligibility, and the maintenance and support required for race car ownership should be considered.