Ford has unleashed yet another stallion from its stable of racing Mustang muscle cars.

    The Mustang Dark Horse R builds on the formula laid down by the road-going Dark Horse, but does away with more weight and packs more safety equipment in search of even better performance.

    No, you can’t drive it on the road. Yes, it will compete in a racing series – a new one for which it’s been specifically designed, called the Mustang Challenge and set to kick off in 2024 across the USA.

    Ford hasn’t ruled out bringing a version of the Mustang Challenge to Australia, but for now it’s focusing on the American rollout.

    You’ll be able to get a Dark Horse R in our market, but not through your local dealer. Anyone who orders one will need to arrange shipping from Multimatic, the Canadian motorsports specialist Multimatic.

    So, what’s changed? There are no number plates, for starters… a full list is below:

    • Exterior
      • Front and rear tow hooks
      • Reinforced jacking points
      • Underbody tie-down hoops
    • Interior
      • FIA-approved Recaro race seat
      • Quick release steering wheel
      • FIA racing harness
      • FIA fire suppression system
      • FIA safety nets
      • Driver keypad and controls
      • MoTeC data display and logging system
      • Fuel cell
    • Powertrain
      • Upgraded differential, transmission cooling
      • Borla racing exhaust system
      • Ford Performance oil pan
      • Upgraded oil system
    • Chassis
      • Roll cage
      • Multimatic DSSV dampers
      • Adjustable front camber plates
      • Adjustable front anti-roll bars
    • Brakes/wheels/tyres
      • Performance ABS
      • Front Brembo race brake calipers, rotors
      • Front/rear Brembo race brake pads
      • Extra brake cooling
      • 19-inch flow-formed wheels
      • Michelin Pilot Sport slick tyres for Mustang Challenge
      • MSI wheel studs/open lug nuts

    Power still comes from a 5.0-litre Coyote V8 engine, which in the road-going Dark Horse pumps out 373kW.

    It’s mated to a six-speed Tremec manual transmission. The Dark Horse R is rear-wheel drive, like all other Mustangs.

    Pricing for the Dark Horse R starts at US$145,000 (~$213,000) in the USA, with deliveries to kick off ahead of the Mustang Challenge starting in 2024.

    The Dark Horse R joins a family of Mustang race cars that includes GT3 and GT4 racers, a NASCAR racer, a Supercars entrant for Australia, and a drift special.

    MORE: Everything Ford Mustang

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

    Buy and Lease
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers
    Uncover exclusive deals and discounts with a VIP referral to Australia's best dealers