As we post this article on August 30, Southern Georgia is cleaning up from Tropical Storm Idalia. It struck Florida as a Category 3 Hurricane, and we certainly extend positive thoughts to those dealing with the aftermath. But we also extend some respect to the crew at Steeda and the owner of this 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, who braved the storm to get what could be the first dyno session on Ford’s potent pony.
The pulls take place at Steeda Performance in Valdosta, Georgia. That’s just over the border from Florida and about 60 miles as the crow flies from the Gulf of Mexico, so yeah, they got a bit wet during this dyno session. Low atmospheric pressure and high humidity from the storm aren’t ideal conditions for making horsepower, and these could be factors in this Mustang video as the car’s owner isn’t particularly happy with the outcome.
Between multiple runs over two days, the Dark Horse maxed out with 408 hp and 357 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. Ford rates the engine as having 500 hp at the crankshaft, and if that’s accurate, there’s approximately an 18 percent parasitic driveline loss between the engine and the wheels happening here. That seems a bit off, especially since we’ve seen the 2024 Ford Mustang GT make the same power on a dyno.
It’s worth mentioning that the Dark Horse in question only shows 310 miles on the odometer and has a 10-speed automatic transmission. As such, the shop couldn’t get a true 1:1 ratio that’s preferred for wheel dyno testing. Furthermore, previous pulls took place with the car still in a break-in mode under 300 miles and running 87-octane fuel. The tank was drained and filled with 93 octane, and the owner clocked some extra miles to theoretically clear the break-in period. That said, clearly there are all kinds of variables that could be affecting this dyno session.
Compared to the Mustang GT, the 2024 Mustang Dark Horse features numerous upgrades to its 5.0-liter V8 though the 500-hp factory rating is only 20 hp more (14 with the GT’s optional exhaust upgrade). That suggests Ford could have more power waiting in the wings for future Coyote-powered Mustangs, and with Dark Horse models now reaching customers, it will be interesting to see how other dyno runs compare to this hurricane-handicapped session in Georgia.