The highly anticipated 2024 Ford Mustang has been revealed, with an Australian release due next year that includes the special edition ‘Dark Horse’ variant. Debuting 60 years after the pony car was first unveiled to the world, the new Ford Mustang keeps elements such as the 5.0-litre V8 and manual transmission alive, while adding a host of modern technology to the interior with the inclusion of the SYNC4 infotainment screen and digital drivers display.
Enthusiasts will surely appreciate Ford’s move to bring back the famous marque in its seventh generation with pillars of its history in the V8 engine, manual transmission, and FR layout for what will likely be the last time.
“Investing in another generation of Mustang is a big statement at a time when many of our competitors are exiting the business of internal combustion vehicles,” said Jim Farley, CEO of Ford Motor Company in a statement. “Ford, however, is turbocharging its ICE growth plan, adding connected technology, opinionated derivatives, and hybrid options to our most profitable and popular cars – all in the Ford Blue family – on top of investing $50 billion in electric vehicles through 2026.”
Let’s take a look at the 2024 Ford Mustang Lineup and all the changes that have been made.
An all-new cockpit takes inspiration from a ‘fighter jet’ to offer the driver two flowing and curved displays that can be quickly customised to show the information the driver wants or needs to see.
Gamers (and future customers) will appreciate the Mustang’s digital instrument cluster that’s built on Unreal Engine 3D software found in modern video games and can be customised to display different animated designs and new drive-mode-dependent instrument clusters.
“We’re taking advantage of every pixel,” said Craig Sandvig, Ford Mustang interaction design manager. “We can be creative showing necessary driving information yet also give the driver control to decide how to display everything from selecting colours to classic Mustang gauges to simply creating a ‘calm’ screen where only minimal details are displayed.”
The digital instrument cluster flows into Ford’s SYNC4 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that’s mounted horizontally (as opposed to vertically like you’d find in the new Ford Ranger). We far prefer it in this horizontal application.
“We knew what customers wanted – it was a case of designing the most digital Mustang ever while retaining the all-important driver-focused cockpit,” said Ricardo Garcia, Ford interior design manager.
There’s a new flatbottom steering wheel for space when heel-toe downshifting, and on the exterior, new animated welcome lighting greets the driver as they approach. A wireless mobile phone charger has been integrated into the centre console, new overhead USB ports are installed above the cockpit (great for dashcams) and a new Bang & Olufsen sound system rounds out the premium cabin.
While the exterior design is ultimately more refine than redesign, we still love the look of the current generation Ford Mustang so you won’t find us complaining here. The idea to sculpt the roofline just right for easy helmet access is a game-changer for taller people like us and we particularly love the rear end angle with the extended rear spoiler module housing a signature tri-bar lighting design. The redesigned diffuser looks great and further improves aerodynamic balance in the rear.
Each model in the Mustang lineup carries its own unique front end. On the GT you’ll find larger, more aggressive grill openings, engineered to allow increased airflow, reflecting the increase in power and performance. And the aerodynamics continue onto the front end with the addition of new hood vents and redesigned front splitter.
“Both the EcoBoost and GT Mustang have unique styling cues that deliver on their promise of Mustang Performance,” said Christopher Walter, design manager, Mustang. “The new Mustang is more chiselled and edgier, leaning into Mustang’s classic brawniness and timelessness.”
Ford will offer a range of next-generation Driver Assistance Technologies, including speed sign recognition, Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control – with stop-and-go functionality (automatic only), Lane Centering Assist, Evasive Steer Assist and Reverse Brake Assist.
Sitting at the top of the consumer pecking order is the famous Mustang GT with Coyote V8 engine. The engine will return in its fourth generation and is set to deliver the most naturally aspirated horsepower of any Mustang GT, producing more than 480hp and backed by either a six-speed manual transmission or 10-speed automatic with reconfigured shift patterns to match the selected drive mode.
“This is the most athletic and confidence-inspiring Mustang EcoBoost and GT to drive yet,” said Ed Krenz, Mustang’s chief engineer. “Whether driving an automatic or manual transmission, thanks to drive modes combined with fine-tuned digital engine, suspension and steering controls, we’re now able to give drivers peak performance everywhere from their favourite roads to their local track.”
Six individual drive modes will be available to the driver of the 2024 Mustang, including Normal, Sport, Slippery, Drag, and Track plus a customisable setting with up to six individual profiles, tailored to the driver’s view ahead of them. As each mode is selected, high-fidelity graphics in the digital instrument panel bring the mode to life like a videogame.
There’s no substitute for the joy that heel and toe downshifting can offer, but artificial rev-matching is also included in the Mustang GT manual to hold RPM when the clutch is engaged to retain peak torque between manual gear changes.
Power figures are yet to be revealed, but the 2024 Mustang Ecoboost will arrive with a new generation 2.3-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder eco-boost powerplant with power and performance figures to be revealed at a later date. The same six-speed manual transmission and 10-speed automatic will be offered to customers, and the engine option is designed for customers who desire Mustang’s fun-to-drive feeling with fuel efficiency benefits.
Ford Australia has confirmed that the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse will arrive on Australian shores.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse is set to become the muscle car’s most performance-focused variant yet, locked in as part the next-generation range due in Australia late next year.
Revealed today alongside the new seventh-generation Mustang, the road-going Dark Horse variant of Ford’s iconic muscle car is claimed to be the first new performance nameplate for the car in 21 years.
The Dark Horse is expected to extract more power from the ‘Coyote’ 5.0-litre V8 used by the standard Mustang GT, with an output of 373kW – compared to in excess of 336kW for the GT.
As with the upcoming Ford Mustang GT, the Mustang Dark Horse’s V8 will be equipped with twin throttle bodies for the first time, while the flagship variant gains stronger conrods from the Shelby GT500.
The Mustang Dark Horse will be available with a choice of two transmissions: a Tremec-built six-speed manual from the previous-generation Mustang Mach 1 and Shelby GT350, and the 10-speed automatic used across most of the Mustang range.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse will be equipped with a number of features aimed at weekend track days, including brake cooling ducts, an auxiliary engine oil cooler, a rear axle cooler, a lighter radiator and more powerful cooling fans.
In addition to the power-focused upgrades, drivers can look forward to a larger rear sway bar, adaptive suspension, heavy-duty front dampers, a strut tower, under-bonnet engine brace, Brembo brakes (six-piston front, four-piston rear) and a Torsen limited-slip differential.
Some of these handling upgrades are new to the Dark Horse, while others – such as the brakes and Torsen differential – are shared with the standard 2023 Mustang GT.
Cosmetic changes for the Mustang Dark Horse above the regular Mustang GT include darkened LED headlights, a gloss black grille, a Dark Horse-specific front bumper, side skirts and rear wing, as well as a revised rear diffuser and darkened quad exhaust tips.
According to Ford, the Dark Horse’s unique badges depict a mustang (the horse) facing forwards, rather than a side-on angle, as seen on the car's main emblem – said to be a first for the nearly 60-year-old nameplate.
To help put the power to the road, the Mustang Dark Horse’s 19-inch wheels (9.5-inch/241mm wide front, 10-inch/254mm wide rear) are wrapped in Pirelli P Zero tyres as standard.
The optional handling package steps it up to 10.5- and 11-inch wide wheels, shod in recently-introduced Pirelli P Zero Trofeo RS rubber.
The handling package also adds stiffer springs, larger front and rear sway bars, and a Ford GT-inspired rear wing with an integrated Gurney Flap.
Lightweight carbon-fibre wheels are also set to become available as an optional extra next year, made by Australian company Carbon Revolution.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse benefits from a number of interior equipment upgrades available on the seventh-generation model – such as a 12.4-inch instrument screen and 13.2-inch infotainment display – although it features a number of bespoke elements to separate it from its lesser-equipped stablemates.
A suede-wrapped steering wheel with Indigo Blue stitching incorporates a Dark Horse-exclusive drive mode button, while automatic examples gain anodised silver paddle shifters on the back of the wheel.
Blue contrast stitching is used on the car’s door panels, seats, gear shifter surround and centre console, complemented by blue seat belts and ‘Black Alley’ interior trim highlights.
The optional Mustang Dark Horse Appearance Pack adds Deep Indigo Blue perforated seats.
Ford has announced it will build two track-only variants of the Mustang Dark Horse – the Dark Horse S and Dark Horse R.
The Ford Mustang Dark Horse S is a more stripped-out version of the road car, featuring an FIA-certified roll cage, safety nets, six-point harness and quick-disconnect steering wheel, with all the car’s controls moved to a central panel.
Front and rear tow hooks, bonnet pins, an adjustable rear wing, racing exhaust system and upgraded brakes will also be fitted to the Dark Horse S.
Taking things a step further, the Dark Horse R scores a seam-welded chassis for additional rigidity, a larger fuel cell and additional Ford Performance parts.
The new 2023 Ford Mustang range is due in Australian showrooms towards the end of 2023.