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Lord Vader your new Mustang awaits. This brand new Mustang Dark Horse – love the name – is ready to transport you to the dark side faster than the Millennium Falcon can go into hyperdrive. 

Behold the most-potent production Mustang, a thundering 500-horsepower rolling light saber that will put The Force at your fingertips. Or at least under your right foot. 

But first a huge round of applause for the Ford Motor Company and its high-test-in-his-veins CEO, Jim Farley. 

Just when Chevrolet is ending production of its rival Camaro, and Dodge has already ceased building the Challenger, Farley is continuing to carry the torch for the big ol’ V8-powered, two-door American muscle car by introducing this new, rip-snorting flagship Mustang.  

And snort it does. Tap the button to activate Track Mode, stand on the throttle, and as the tach needle hits the 7,500 rpm rev-limiter, the sound is like Krakatoa erupting. Or AC/DC hitting the high notes in “Highway to Hell”.

Want to be the headliner at your local Saturday morning cars and coffee meet-up, then this is your dream ride. 

Here is a car that’s all about old-school fun. It’s the Fonz in Happy Days cruising to the drive-in, it’s Richard Dreyfuss in American Graffiti and Tony Danza in Hollywood Knights all rolled into one. It’s essentially a turn-key custom hot rod you can buy straight off the showroom floor. 

Of course the headline attraction is the dark pony’s 5.0-liter naturally-aspirated Coyote V8 that’s tuned to 500 horseys and a stump-pulling 418 lb-ft of torque. That, and the active exhaust designed to wake-up the dead.

The V8 is mated to either a Tremec six-speed stick, or Ford’s swift-shifting 10-speed automatic. With either one, you’ll rocket you from standstill to 60 mph in a zippy 4.1 seconds. Flat out, you’ll see 160 mph.

And our test car certainly looked the part of a dark horse with its stealthy Dark Matter Gray metallic paint and matching dark gray 19-inch 10-spoke alloys with black-painted Brembo brake calipers. 

The Dark Horse body make-over also includes a black-gloss lower front bumper, enlarged, snorting “nostrils” on the hood, black side skirts and a look-at-me rear wing. Love all the stealthy-black Dark Horse badges too.

Inside you’ll find a pair of body-hugging Recaro bucket seats with black suede inserts and Indigo Blue side bolsters. They hold you in place like a body lock from Hulk Hogan.

 You also get the latest Mustang’s 12.4-inch LCD digital display and 13.2-inch center stack touchscreen, which gives the dash a much more modern, more techie look. Nice-looking flat bottom steering wheel too.

Fire-up that big Coyote V8, ease the stubby shifter into “drive”, stomp on the throttle, and feel the force. Yes, a four-second blast to 60 mph is slingshot fast, but not insanely so in these days of Tesla Model S and Lucid Air EVs. 

No, the wonderment here is in the theatrics. For lovers of V8 muscle, the soundtrack is nothing less than a symphony of rumble and roar accompanied with the occasional hooligan display of billowing tire smoke. 

But this is no old-school, point-and-shoot speed machine that goes all wobbly at the first glimpse of a curve. Beneath all this Darth Vader bodywork is one highly-capable track star.

With sticky Pirelli P-Zero rubber at each corner, a Torsen limited-slip rear axle, and MagneRide damping, the Dark Horse can carve curves like it’s running on invisible rails. This is, without doubt, the most agile, most nimble Mustang ever.

And the beauty here is that the suspension soaks up lumps and bumps making the car extremely capable as a comfortable daily driver. 

Pricewise, you’ll pay $60,530 for a standard Dark Horse, or $64,525 for the fancier Dark Horse Premium. Considering it suddenly has no real rivals, it makes the car something of a performance bargain. 

As for taking you over to the dark side? Priceless.

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