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The Mustang Dark Horse R joins the racing family of the Mustang FR500, Boss 302R and Shelby FP350S as a track-only turn-key race car from Ford Performance.

This powerful 7th-Generation Mustang will be the official race car of the all-new Mustang Challenge series, a single-make, IMSA-sanctioned racing series exclusively for Mustang and Mustang enthusiasts. With the deliveries scheduled to begin in 2024, the Mustang Dark Horse R is set to make a mark in the grassroots racing scene.

Shout out to my dude, Marcus Cervantes for capturing these awesome images of the DH-R launch photos! Check him out on Instagram!


Key Features of the Mustang Dark Horse R include:

  • Powered by a new, fourth-generation 5.0-liter Coyote V8 engine, delivering 500+ horsepower.
  • Can be purchased through Multimatic for $145,000
  • Equipped with a Tremec 3160 manual transmission and Torsen limited-slip differential for enhanced performance.
  • Includes various track-focused upgrades like aero enhancements and Brembo front and rear brake calipers/rotors.
  • Interior features include a Recaro FIA racing seat, Sparco quick-release steering wheel, and Sparco FIA racing harness for optimum safety and control.
  • The powertrain is enhanced with an upgraded oil system, transmission cooling, and differential cooling for optimal performance.
  • The chassis boasts a roll cage, Multimatic DSSV dampers, adjustable front camber plates, and adjustable anti-roll bars.
  • Braking capabilities are improved with Performance ABS and Brembo race calipers and rotors.
  • It is equipped with Ford Performance Parts R1 Flow-Formed Wheels and Michelin 19” slick race tires for Mustang Challenge.

Mustang DH-R utilizes production-based components with added cooling and performance enhancements.

The Mustang Dark Horse R is built from a production Dark Horse body-in-white chassis straight from Flat Rock Assembly Plant. It utilizes the same 4th-Generation Coyote V8 engine, Tremec 3160 transmission and Torsen differential.

Although Mustang Dark Horse R utilizes the same Dark Horse body from FRAP, there are slight modifications to the body itself. The seams on the production Dark Horse are spot welded while the Dark Horse R gets seam welded to stiffen up the chassis and enhance durability.


As I mentioned earlier, the Mustang Dark Horse R powertrain shares several components from the production-based Mustang Dark Horse but there are further enhancements that improve cooling and performance for track use.

A deep sump high-capacity oil pan that was used on the Shelby FP350S is utilized on the DH-R alongside an upgraded oil heat exchanger. The transmission and differential heat exchangers have been relocated to the front of the vehicle.

Charcoal filter traps have been removed from the dual throttle body intakes to allow the Mustang Dark Horse R to achieve maximum horsepower.

The Ford Performance team found that sealing off the ducting in the front fascia forced air into the radiators to greatly enhance cooling capabilities. There is also dedicated brake cooling ducts that feed fresh air to the front brakes.


The front brake assembly features a set of Brembo Brake calipers, rotors and race pads while the rear brakes utilize the same rear brakes on the production Dark Horse with the exception of an upgraded race brake pad compound.


The Mustang Challenge series provides an exciting platform for Mustang enthusiasts to showcase their driving skills and passion for racing. Managed by the Ford Performance Racing School, this IMSA-sanctioned series will feature 10 to 12 races throughout the year, held in conjunction with North American sports car race weekends. Participants will have the opportunity to compete on specially developed racing slicks by Michelin, providing an unparalleled racing experience.


Ford’s commitment to grassroots racing and its loyal customer base is evident in the creation of the Mustang Dark Horse R and the Mustang Challenge series. Priced at $145,000, the Dark Horse R offers an attainable, factory-built race car that brings together performance and accessibility, making it a dream come true for Mustang enthusiasts.


As Ford Performance continues to push the boundaries of racing and performance, the Mustang Dark Horse R stands as a testament to the legacy of the Mustang brand. With its powerful performance capabilities and purpose-built design, the Dark Horse R is set to leave a lasting impression on the racing world and reignite the spirit of racing for the Mustang community.


2024 Mustang Dark Horse R features and components


  • Front and rear tow hooks
  • Reinforced jacking points
  • Underbody tie-down hoops


  • Recaro FIA racing seat
  • Sparco quick-release steering wheel
  • Sparco FIA racing harness
  • Sparco FIA fire suppression system
  • Safecraft FIA safety nets
  • Driver keypad and button controls
  • MoTeC data display and logging system
  • Fuel cell


  • Upgraded oil system
  • Upgraded transmission cooling
  • Upgraded differential cooling
  • Borla racing exhaust system
  • Ford Performance oil pan


  • Roll cage
  • Multimatic DSSV dampers
  • Adjustable front camber plates
  • Adjustable anti-roll bars
  • Select seam welding

Brakes – Wheels – Tires

  • Performance ABS
  • Brembo race calipers – Front
  • Brembo race rotors – Front
  • Brembo race pads
  • Race brake cooling ducts
  • Ford Performance Parts R1 Flow-Formed Wheels (19” x 10.5” front, 19” x 11” rear)
  • Bespoke Michelin 19” slick race tire for Mustang Challenge, sold separately
  • MSI wheel studs and open lug nuts

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