Ford late on Thursday revealed the new Mustang Dark Horse R race car together with an associated one-make series known as the Mustang Challenge. The series starts in 2024 and will be sanctioned by IMSA.

Pricing for the turnkey race car starts at $145,000 and deliveries will begin in time for the first season of the Mustang Challenge. Ford hasn’t said how much a season of the Mustang Challenge will cost.

Ford said it designed the Mustang Dark Horse R to also be eligible for competition in “numerous” grassroots racing series, making the car ideal for up-and-coming drivers.

As the name suggests, the Mustang Dark Horse R is based on the Mustang Dark Horse, a track-focused but road-legal sports car that will join the rest of the redesigned 2024 Mustang range in showrooms this summer. A Mustang Dark Horse S track car is also planned at some point.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

The Dark Horse R shares most of its parts with the regular Dark Horse, including a 500-plus-hp version of the Coyote 5.0-liter V-8. Also borrowed from the road car is the 6-speed manual transmission, Torsen limited-slip differential with a 3.73 final drive ratio, and aerodynamics package.

Key upgrades for racing include tow hooks and reinforced jacking points, improving cooling for the drivetrain, a Borla high-flow exhaust system, Multimatic DSSV dampers, adjustable front camber plates, adjustable anti-roll bars, Brembo racing brakes up front (stock Brembos remain at the rear), and custom 19-inch wheels wrapped in slick tires from Michelin.

The Dark Horse R’s cabin also comes stripped of features not required for track use. In place of these are an FIA-certified roll cage, safety nets, a race seat with safety belts (front passenger seat available), and a steering wheel with quick disconnect. A Motec data display and logging system also replaces the stock dash displays.

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford Mustang Dark Horse R

Ford hasn’t published a calendar for the first season of the Mustang Challenge but said the season will last 10-12 rounds, with some rounds coinciding with race weekends of other series. Each round will feature two practice sessions, one qualifying session, and two sprint races, with cash prizes awarded to top finishers.

The Dark Horse R is one of several racing versions of the latest Mustang. Others include the Mustang GT3, Mustang GT4, and Mustang GT Supercar. That last one is designed for Australia’s Supercars touring car series. Still coming is a new Mustang NASCAR race car that will compete starting in 2024.



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