They also revealed the Dark Horse.
The base turbocharged 2.3-liter and aforementioned 5.0-liter engine remains as part of what, on the surface, appears to be a carryover powertrain lineup. But there’s more happening under the hood than it seems, despite Ford refusing to release horsepower, torque, or fuel economy for either engine. The 2.3-liter EcoBoost is “all-new” according to Ford, while the 5.0-liter represents the fourth generation of the popular Coyote V8, which now boasts twin airboxes and dual throttle bodies.
On the transmission front, the four-cylinder Mustang is now automatic-only after just 10 percent of customers raised their hand for the EcoBoost/six-speed combo in the final years of the sixth-gen Mustang. But while the 10-speed is now standard there, the manual trans will soldier on as the base gearbox in the V8-powered Mustang (it represents over 40 percent of GT sales). And as previously reported, both of those gearboxes send power to the back axle alone.
Alongside the revised powertrains, there’s new enthusiast-focused technology. One of the most amusing will likely be remote engine revving, which allows customers to start their car and rev the engine via key fob. The new electronic drift brake is only slightly more practical. Developed alongside noted Mustang fan and drift master Vaughn Gittin, Jr., it takes the appearance of a traditional mechanical hand brake, but according to Ford can make novice drifters look like professionals.
Ford will offer 12 different wheel designs, multiple caliper colors for the Performance Pack’s Brembo brakes, and the Mustang’s typically robust selection of exterior paints. A Bronze Design Series is a refreshing change from the usual black accent packages, coloring the badges and wheels in the rich hue.
The cabin adopts finer texturing and finishes on the leather and plastic, with a broader focus on material quality across the board. A variety of seat upholsteries, the option of colored seat belts or belts with asymmetric stripes, and available accent stitching add a welcomed dose of style. But the interior design sees even more substantial changes, with a flat-bottom steering wheel and a slab-style display taking center stage on most trims.
A 12.4-inch digital instrument cluster atop the steering column is attached to a 13.2-inch touchscreen that’s canted toward the driver. The software is a combination of Ford’s likable and quick responding Sync 4 system, but it runs the Unreal Engine. Like the GMC Hummer EV, Unreal grants the Mustang’s infotainment stunning graphics with excellent animation thanks to an impressive frame rate. Within the Sync display, there are new and more varied options for the MyColor system, and drivers can also move the auxiliary gauges there instead of keeping them in the instrument cluster.
The 2024 Ford Mustang will hit dealerships in the summer of 2023, while we’ll have our first crack at it in late spring of next year.
The Mustang Dark Horse builds on that by including the otherwise optional peformance package as standard equipment. It features a Torsen limited-slip differential with a bigger sway bar at the back, complemented with a strut tower brace and upgraded dampers at the front. Beefier tires sit at all four corners, and larger Brembo brakes with blue calipers handle stopping duties.
Ford isn't ready to release horsepower ratings for any new Mustang models yet, but the Dark Horse will pack a bit more punch from its 5.0-liter Coyote V8 versus the GT. Specialized tuning with other upgrades add power to an engine that, according to Ford, is already more powerful than its predecessors. The previous-generation Ford Mustang Bullitt and Mach 1 pulled 480 horsepower (358 kilowatts) from the V8, and Ford is targeting 500 hp (373 kW) for the Dark Horse. Buyers can choose between the six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission.
For those wanting something a bit more hardcore, there will be a Dark Horse S model aimed specifically at racing. It's a legit race car that comes with a racing seat, a quick-disconnect steering wheel, an FIA-approved safety cage, and a fire-suppression system all mounted in a gutted interior. Ford says it's the foundation for the company's Mustang GT3 racing program that will kick off in 2023.
Speaking to the crowd at the 2024 Mustang’s official debut, Executive Chair Bill Ford announced that the company would return to the famed 24-hour endurance race, following in the footsteps of such legends as the 1-2-3–finishing 1966 GT40. The new Mustang will race in the new-for-2024 GT3 class, which will replace the current Le Mans GTE field of cars.
“The Mustang GT3 will be eligible in 2024,” said Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook. “We look forward to seeing Mustang race there.”
The sketches come from Ford’s Christopher Stevens, the company’s senior exterior designer.