One of the most notable things about the new 2024 Ford Mustang is how iterative it is. Although it’s part of a whole new generation, it looks a lot like the outgoing model. But that doesn’t mean it hasn’t improved, and Hennessey Performance decided to find out by how much.
In a new video, the tuning shop pits a stock 2024 Mustang Dark Horse against a stock 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350R to see if the highest-performance S650 currently on sale can take on one of the highest-performance Mustangs from the last generation.
Although it’s not a totally fair fight it could reveal how much of a step forward the nameplate has taken with the generational shift if it can take on such a track-focused model.
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Indeed, for those who need reminding, the 2020 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 is powered by a naturally-aspirated 5.2-liter, flat-plane crank V8. For the R model, the high-revving engine’s power was pumped all the way up to 526 hp (392 kW/533 PS) and 429 lb-ft (582 Nm) of torque.
On the other hand, the 2024 Mustang Dark Horse has to make do with just 5.0 liters and a cross-plane crank. It’s also down on power, with just 500 hp (373 kW/507 PS) to get it down the drag strip.
However, Ford gave it a special six-speed manual transmission from Tremec (or a 10-speed auto), brake cooling ducts, an auxiliary engine oil cooler, a rear axle cooler, a lightened radiator, and more, on top of the improvements made to the S650 Mustang’s chassis, anyway.
However, in the end, it wasn’t enough to close the gap to the GT350R, which pulls out a healthy lead by the end of the roll-race quarter-mile. So the old Shelby’s still got it, but fans of the new Mustang have a lot to look forward to, and more high-performance models that will likely go even faster.