Dark Horse rises: 2023 Ford Mustang style and specs revealed

Craig Duff

Posted September 19, 2022

Tech meets muscle with the new seventh-generation Ford Mustang, featuring a premium Dark Horse hero version and sharper styling throughout the range.

Ford has released its latest version of the Mustang sports car and is following the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” approach to the iconic Pony Car.

There is little in terms of mechanical or visual differentiation to mark the new-gen Mustang from the previous model, though there’s enough changes to the drivetrain and layout to mark this as a new-gen vehicle.

Ford has also tried to create a more pronounced difference between the four-cylinder and V8 versions, with the latter picking up larger intakes in the front grille to improve airflow, along with extractor vents on the bonnet.

The V8 versions also boast quad exhaust pipes compared to the pair at the back of the four-cylinder versions. The company has also fitted a noise cancellation feature that removes “undesirable” mechanical sounds, while augmenting some aspects of the engine soundtrack.

The 2023 Ford Mustang uses a pair of digital displays housed under the same sheet of glass.
Topping the Ford Mustang range is a new track-focused Dark Horse variant.
Larger intakes on the bumper and functional vents on the bonnet denote the V8-powered Ford Mustang GT.

Dark Horse heads line-up

Topping the Ford Mustang range is a new track-focused Dark Horse variant, delivering around 373kW from the modified 5.0-litre Coyote V8.

Ford Australia is still developing the latest Mustang powertrain for local consumption and has yet to announce power and torque figures, beyond noting both engines will boast more power.

The current Ford Mustang’s 2.3-litrefour-cylinder turbo delivers 236kW of power and 448Nm of torque, while the V8 produces 339kW and 556Nm.

The Mustang Dark Horse will be sold with two transmissions: a Tremec-built six-speed manual gearbox from the previous-generation Mustang Mach 1 and Shelby GT350, and the 10-speed automatic transmissions that is standard in most Mustangs.

Ford Australia has yet to release details on local specifications, but there will be a late 2023 launch of both the 2.3-litre four-cylinder turbo models, along with the V8.

Four-cylinder buyers of the latest model will also be restricted to the 10-speed auto (not that that’s a bad thing), while V8 buyers can choose between manual and auto transmissions.

All versions are equipped with a limited-slip differential.


2022 Ford Mustang GT and Kia Stinger GT comparison | RACV

Bigger brakes to rein Mustang in

Helping rein in the Mustang are bigger brakes fitted with six-piston Brembo callipers up front and four-piston Brembos on the back.

A new steering system is claimed to deliver improved feel and the steering ratio has been tweaked to deliver faster response.

Top-end models use adaptive suspension, an engine brace, Brembo brakes with a sx-piston front and four-calliper rear and a mechanical Torsen limited-slip differential.

Digital displays are standard, with top-end models using a 13.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a 12.3-inch driver’s display in a wraparound housing that gives the appearance of one screen.  

EcoBoost models use a standalone display. All versions adopt Ford’s latest Sync 4 operating system.

The physical climate control switches have been replaced by shortcuts at the base of the touchscreen, with just a single row of switches sitting underneath.

The changes let the Mustang adopt a wireless phone charging pad.

A flat-bottomed steering wheel replaces the round version found in the existing car and Ford has actually defied the trend to clutter the tiller with buttons by fitting fewer switches than in today’s versions.

Previous versions of the Mustang haven’t enjoyed a great safety rating, so the latest iteration picks up more driver assist and safety features, including autonomous emergency braking, lane-departure assist and adaptive cruise control with stop-start traffic and speed sign recognition.

Electrified versions are already sold in the USA in the form of the Mustang E, but Ford has yet to announce plans for any hybrid variants of the seventh-generation vehicle.

Ford also released no less than six race-oriented versions of the Mustang, ranging from the track-day focused Dark Horse S right through to a version that will compete in the Le Mans 24-hour race.


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