Detroit – There’s something going on at Ford headquarters in Detroit. It’s like a racing fuel drip has been inserted into the Ford Performance department and they’re going all out to keep the needle well into the red.
Consider the new Ford Ranger Raptor heading to our shores soon. As soon as the previous generation was launched in 2019 with a 2.0-litre twin-turbo diesel engine, the world almost immediately asked for more power.
Our hopes were ignited with the announcement that Ford would be launching a next-generation Raptor along with the news that they would also be developing a diesel V6 in tandem with Volkswagen.
A perfect combination we thought.
“Don’t jump to conclusions” seems to have been the thinking in Detroit. We tell you what. Here’s a petrol 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 engine with 292kW and 583Nm.
In the same vein the announcement that the new Mustang would also have a road-going tricked-out Dark Horse edition underscores this.
But apparently this wasn’t good enough, so the people at Ford have introduced a Mustang Dark Horse S for weekend track racing enthusiasts and a Dark Horse R that’s been developed exclusively for racing. Obviously neither will be allowed on the road.
They’ve not just been designed and built for show but actual racing, including a return to the iconic 24 hours of Le Mans.
“We’re taking this all-new Mustang to competition racing and the very definition of a Dark Horse is the perfect fit to introduce this vehicle to the Mustang brand,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director at Ford Performance Motorsports.
“With our race programme development under way, we’re confident we have the right car for success.”
Inside the Dark Horse S is an FIA-certified safety cage, safety nets, race seat with safety belts (there’s an optional passenger seat), race steering wheel with quick disconnect, electrical disconnects and a fire suppression system.
Driver controls are in a central panel that houses switches and knobs for the headlights, indicators, wipers, mirror adjusters and rain light.
It’s also fitted with a pit speed limiter and a data and acquisition display system.
The exterior features hood pins, front and rear tow hooks, adjustable rear wing and a full-on racing exhaust. The factory will also paint it in your individual racing livery.
Underneath that there’s upgraded stopping power, Multimatic DSSV dampers and adjustable ride height and camber settings.
The Dark Horse R raises the bar with strategic seam welding, a fuel cell for increased range, Ford Performance Parts wheels and a special serialisation that approves it for racing.
Ford will continue to compete globally in a variety of race series.
They are returning to factory-backed GT3 racing with a new Mustang GT3 IMSA racing car that will also be available for customers, starting with the 24 Hours of Daytona in 2024.
Created by Ford Performance and Multimatic, the Ford Mustang GT3, powered by a 5.4-litre Coyote-based V8 engine, will deliver the full endurance racing potential of a Ford Mustang for customers globally.
A new Mustang GT4 available for customers will also debut in the 2023 season and will be available for global GT4 classes in IMSA, SRO and FIA GT.
A new version of the Mustang will debut next season in the Australian Supercars series, and in coming years newly designed models will debut in the NASCAR Cup series and NHRA Factory X racing.
Long may it last.