Ford Mustang GT Vs Dark Horse Vs EcoBoost All The Differences - SUV VEHICLE

Ford Mustang GT Vs Dark Horse Vs EcoBoost All The Differences

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Summary

  • The new S650 Mustang retains the best parts of the previous model while making major improvements in styling, technology, and performance.
  • The Mustang offers two engine options: a turbo inline-four and a naturally aspirated V-8, providing different levels of power and performance.
  • Performance packages are available for each model, allowing for further enhancements in suspension, chassis, and other performance-related features. Appearance packages are also available to add unique exterior changes to the Mustang.


The Mustang is one of the most iconic nameplates in the automotive industry. With almost six decades of history, the Ford Mustang has morphed from a pony car to one of the best performance cars in the world. Whenever a new generation Mustang is announced, it is a big deal as it means that the world will get to see another evolution of the beloved American muscle car.

The new S650 builds upon the success of the previous model with similar but more aggressive styling and retains the best parts of the outgoing generation while making major improvements everywhere else. In a world of downsized turbocharged engines, Ford has stuck to its old-school recipe for part of its latest Mustang lineup, by continuing to offer a big V-8, a manual transmission, and rear-wheel drive. Its interior has also received major improvements and better technology.

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In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including Ford, Ford Authority, and MotorTrend.


Coyote V-8 Vs. EcoBoost Inline-four

The latest Mustang was launched with only two engine options, a turbo inline-four, and a naturally aspirated V-8. The entry-level Mustang EcoBoost Fastback features the inline-four engine just like the previous Mustang. There is no V-6 option available as it was already discontinued with the previous generation, back in 2017. This potent engine only makes five more horsepower than the previous car with similar torque figures.

Engine Specifications

Engine

EcoBoost I-4

NA V-8

NA V-8

Displacement

2.3 liters

5.0 liters

5.0 liters

Power

315 horsepower

480 horsepower

500 horsepower

Torque

350 pound-feet

418 pound-feet

418 pound-feet

Transmission

10-speed automatic

Six-speed manual/10-speed automatic

Six-speed manual/10-speed automatic

Drivetrain

Rear-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive

Rear-wheel drive

0-60 MPH

4.5 seconds

4.2 seconds

4.1 seconds

Top Speed

145 MPH

155 MPH

166 MPH

(Source: Ford)

Coyote V-8 With A Few Differences

The Mustang GT and Dark Horse both feature the beloved Coyote V-8 engine. This engine was first introduced in the fifth-gen Mustang for the 2011 model year and has remained the performance engine of choice for the Mustang. The latest Coyote engine is an evolution of the S550 mill with revised internals and now features dual air intakes and dual throttle bodies for even sharper throttle response.

The Dark Horse features a modified version of the Coyote engine forged pistons, crankshaft, and connecting rods from the previous top-spec Shelby GT500. This helps the Dark Horse make 20 more horsepower and a little bit more torque than the regular GT.

Both models come with the same 10-speed automatic as the EcoBoost Mustang but are also available with two different manual transmissions. A six-speed Getrag manual is available for the Mustang GT while the Dark Horse employs a six-speed Tremec manual transmission.

The Tremec in the Dark Horse was also formerly featured in the previous-gen GT350 and legendary Mustang Mach 1. It has now been carried over to the Dark Horse for more precise shifting. No matter the transmission you pick, they all send power exclusively to the rear wheels.

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Performance Packages For Each Model

A gray 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse
Ford

Beyond the standard performance of each model, there are some add-on performance packages available for each model. The EcoBoost has a 2.3-liter high-performance package that further tunes the suspension and chassis for more dynamic driving. Some of these upgrades include:

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Paddle shifters
  • Electric hand-operated parking brake
  • Heavy-duty front springs
  • Unique chassis tuning
  • EPAS, ABS, and stability control tuning
  • Upgraded rear sway bar
  • New 19-inch carbonized gray aluminum wheels
  • 19-inch Brembo performance brakes
  • 3.55 Torsen Limited slip rear axle
  • Raised decklid spoiler

The Mustang GT performance package already includes most of the upgrades that come with the 2.3-liter high-performance package but adds unique changes for this car. Some of the extra add-ons for the GT performance package includes:

  • K-brace
  • The performance raised rear wing
  • 3.73 Torsen differential for the manual

The Dark Horse Is Already A Performance Package

Track-ready Mustangs usually come along, a few years after launching the main vehicle. But this time Ford gave us a track-ready Mustang from the start. The Dark Horse follows the footsteps of previous cars like the Boss 302, Mach 1 and GT350.

It gets the best engine, suspension, transmission, and chassis tuning available for the naturally aspirated Mustang. The engine has already been upgraded to make more power than the standard Coyote V-8, and it comes with every performance enhancement feature available.

These include Magneride shocks, a performance rear spoiler with a gurney flap, further revised chassis tuning, and the Tremec six-speed manual. But you can further enhance the capability of your Dark Horse with the handling package which further adds;

  • Wider 305 front and 315 rear section tires from the standard 255/275 setup
  • Dark tarnished painted aluminum wheels
  • Adjustable strut top mounts

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Mustang’s Visual Differences And Configurations

2024 Ford Mustang GT
Ford

Each Mustang in the lineup has some exterior changes that are unique to each model. Some of these changes may just be for aesthetics but a lot of it has to do with the performance of the vehicle. The EcoBoost is the base Mustang with a less aggressive front fascia, a flat hood, dual exhaust tips, and the Mustang horse logo. But it gets more aggressive with the GT and Dark Horse.

The GT’s hood vents, a more aggressive grill, bigger lower intakes, and a front splitter. It also gets bigger side skirts, a bigger rear spoiler, a more aggressive diffuser, and quad exhaust tips. It also gets the distinct 5.0 Fender badges and GT badge at the rear. The Dark Horse gets even more aggressive with a much larger lower intake, with black accents under the headlights giving it the illusion of a much larger grill.

It gets a more substantial front splitter, slightly larger side skirts, and extended cladding for the wider front wheels. There are quad exhausts just like the GT but with a bigger rear spoiler for more downforce. Finally, it gets distinct Dark Horse logos on the fenders and rear to distinguish it from other models. Convertible versions are also available but not on the base Mustang GT and Dark Horse trims.

Appearance Packages

Ford allows you to add some personality to your Mustang with a few stylish appearance packages. There are three appearance packages available for the 2024 Ford Mustang which are the Bronze Appearance Package, Nite Pony Package, Dark Horse Appearance Package, and Wheel and Stripes Package. Each one comes with its own set of unique exterior changes.

Bronze Appearance Package: This features bronze badges and bronze wheels.

Nite Pony Package: This features black exterior elements on wheels, front and rear pony badges, black mirror caps, black painted roof, and dark headlamp bezels giving the Mustang a menacing look.

Wheel and stripes package: This includes hood and side stripes with machined-face aluminum with tarnished dark-painted pockets.

Dark Horse Appearance Package: Although the Dark Horse already has unique features from the onset, there is a specific combination known as the Dark Horse Appearance Package, which includes;

  • Blue seat accents
  • Black painted roof
  • Grabber blue caliper
  • Ember metallic paint

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Subtle Interior Changes For Each Model

2024 Mustang Center Stack
Image Credit: Ford

The interior layout is the same in every trim but some options are available depending on the trim you go for. For starters, the all-new Mustang comes with digital screens but the base EcoBoost comes with two separate LCD screens. A 12.4-inch instrument display and 13.2-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It can also be optioned to flow seamlessly together with an integrated piece of glass that connects both screens. This seamless configuration is standard on the GT and Dark Horse.

Base versions of each trim come standard with cloth bucket seats which can be optioned with vinyl trim. Premium versions all get leather seats and trimmed bucket seats and are available with Recaro leather seats only. The Recaro seats are only available with the fastback coupes and the Dark Horse gets additional microfiber suede inserts.

There are also some interior colors available depending on the trim you choose:

  • Black Onyx (EcoBoost and GT)
  • Space Gray (EcoBoost and GT)
  • Emberglo (EcoBoost and GT)
  • Carmine Red (EcoBoost and GT)
  • Black cloth with blue accents (Dark Horse)
  • Black/blue Dinamica (Dark Horse)

Interior Technology And Features

Despite being a performance muscle car, the new Mustang has a lot of new features and technology. The large digital screens are the most obvious changes in the interior. Its interface is built using the Unreal Engine 3D creation tool used for making video games, this gives it a crisp and clear appearance. Apart from displaying vital information related to the vehicle, it can also show performance-related information like lateral and longitudinal g-forces, acceleration, and lap times.

Other convenience features include:

  • Cabin Particulate Air Filter
  • Dual-Zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control
  • Ambient lighting
  • Remote start
  • Memory seats
  • Six-speaker Sound System
  • 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system (optional)
  • Two Smart-Charging USB Ports
  • Wireless charging pad
  • 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot

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Pricing And Availability

Two 2024 Ford Mustangs driving on a highway
Ford

The latest generation S650 Ford Mustang has already gone on sale and is available as a coupe or convertible. You could also opt for an automatic or a manual for a more engaging drive. Prices start around $31,000 for the base EcoBoost Inline-four and top out around $64,000 for the Dark Horse Premium.

Trim

Price

EcoBoost Fastback

$30,920

EcoBoost Premium Fastback

$36,445

EcoBoost Convertible

$39,020

EcoBoost Premium Convertible

$41,945

GT Fastback

$42,710

GT Premium Fastback

$47,230

GT Premium Convertible

$52,730

Dark Horse

$59,485

Dark Horse Premium

$63,480

(Source: Ford)

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