For nearly a year, Mustang enthusiasts have waited to get their hands on the 2024 Mustang, and for some, that time has arrived. The most anticipated model is the Mustang Dark Horse, which sports 500 horsepower and 418 lb-ft of torque at the flywheel right off the showroom floor. Of course, we all want to know how that output translates to the rear wheels.
To find out, Steeda teamed up with the influencer Velocity_5.0 to test his fresh-off-the-lot Dark Horse optioned with an automatic transmission and the base suspension. In the face of Hurricane Idalia bearing down on Steeda’s Valdosta, Georgia, campus, they tried testing the car immediately with mixed results.
“We ran pulls yesterday but the car was down on power. Not only was the tank full of dealer-supplied 87 octane, but the car was possibly in some sort of break-in mode since the odometer read only roughly 115 miles,” Steeda Director of Marketing Chris Cervenka explains. “We drained the tank, put in 93, but saw a small bump in power — still not where it should have been.”
Still feeling like something was amiss, Velocity_5.0 put another 300 miles on the car to possibly free it from some sort of break-in mode. Along the way, they also installed Steeda’s resonator-delete H-pipe for a more aggressive sound.
So-configured, they strapped the car to Steeda’s in-house Dynojet and ran the car in fifth gear to avoid the factory speed limiter. fifth gear in this 10R80 auto features a 1.52:1 ratio. A 1:1 ratio is ideal for dyno testing, but running a stock car in the 1:1 seventh gear runs into that pesky limiter. The results were an SAE-corrected 408.11 horsepower at 7,280 rpm and 357.20 lb-ft of torque at 5,060 rpm.
Those numbers seem a bit low, which is likely attributable to the fifth gear ratio. However, they provide the first look at real-world, rear-wheel Dark Horse numbers. It will be interesting to see what numbers manual cars deliver as those trickle out, but the real tale is in what gains can be had and how the cars run at the drag strip.