Hennessey Performance Engineering is developing a S650 Ford Mustang Dark Horse H850 tune, which is expected to have around 850 horsepower. However, the engineering team needs to run some benchmark times to gather some data for the project, and what better vehicles to do it with than a non-tuned Dark Horse, a 2024 Mustang GT, and a 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350R? While at it, they decided to piece together a video of the three legendary cars making their way down a straight line for muscle car fans to enjoy.
Hennessey Ford Mustang GT350R, Dark Horse, and S650 GT Drag Race: Who Wins?
By crunching the numbers, we can get a pretty good idea of what to expect from the performance of the vehicles. A standard Ford Mustang Dark Horse produces 500 horsepower and 418 lb-ft of torque from the factory thanks to the Gen 4 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated Coyote V8. Meanwhile, the S650 Mustang GT has around 480 horsepower with the same engine under the hood, though with some minor changes. Finally, the Mustang Shelby GT350R remains a clear winner with the numbers thanks to its 5.2-liter flat-plane naturally aspirated Voodoo V8 that produces 526 ponies. Of course, plenty of other factors are at play during a drag race, like road conditions, the driver, and the type of wheels and tires mounted to the vehicle.
It’s also important to note that while these numbers are what’s rated from the factory, real-world testing has shown that things differ slightly, though that’s to be expected, especially with a newer engine that has yet to be fully broken in. That said, with more power and a lighter body, the Mustang Shelby GT350R unsurprisingly pulled away from the Mustang Dark Horse in a rolling race. Though the standard GT also surpassed the Dark Horse in the first rolling race, after gaining some traction, the Dark Horse became the victor over the GT for the subsequent races. Overall, Hennessey got the performance numbers for the three cars and had a blast doing it.
We expect the company to commence production of the H850 later this year. It will come with a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty, as all Hennessey upgrades do, and it will undoubtedly offer a significant transformation for the Ford Mustang Dark Horse for the customers already itching to crank out even more power from the new engine.