Home » Here’s The Perfect Way To Spec A 2024 Ford Mustang In Every Model From Ecoboost To Dark Horse

Here’s The Perfect Way To Spec A 2024 Ford Mustang In Every Model From Ecoboost To Dark Horse

2024 Ford Mustang How I'd Spec It
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Great news for Ford fans: The build and price tool for the 2024 Ford Mustang is now up. It’s a bit janky as it doesn’t always visualize options, but it being online means that full pricing is out along with full options lists, and is there ever a lot to choose from. So, without further ado, here’s how I’d spec the 2024 Ford Mustang in Ecoboost, GT, and Dark Horse forms.

How Id Spec It 2024 Ford Mustang Ecoboost

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Let’s start with the Ecoboost, the automatic-only rental-spec entry point to the Mustang range. Not only is it devoid of three-pedal engagement, the jump to the Ecoboost Premium to rid yourself of the terrible-looking divorced screens is an eye-watering $5,525. So far, not a great start. However, not all hope is lost. That base Ecoboost Mustang is available with the 2.3L High Performance Package.

Tick this box and your otherwise airport-spec Mustang gets a square set of 255-section summer tires on a very different set of wheels from what you see here, Brembo brakes, beefed-up suspension, recalibrated electric power steering, an electronic drift brake, paddle shifters, a bevy of bracing, and a 3.55 Torsen diff. Best of all, while the old 2.3L High Performance Package was very expensive, the new one costs just $3,495. Tick the box for free Race Red paint and I reckon you’d have a $35,990 performance bargain.

How Id Spec It 2024 Ford Mustang Gt

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Step up to the GT and straight away, there’s a problem for speed merchants: Magnetorheological dampers aren’t available on the basic GT. You need to spend an extra $4,520 for the GT Premium to unlock the privilege of paying another $1,750 for the fancy dampers, at which point you have a $54,355 car because the special dampers also require the GT Performance Package. Mind you, the Dark Horse starts at $60,865, so at least there’s still enough of a price delta to justify a well-specced GT Premium.

Of course, you could say “fuck it,” which is exactly my mindset by selecting the base GT. A five-liter Mustang isn’t supposed to be luxurious, it’s supposed to go through tires like Takeru Kobayashi goes through hot dogs. Yellow performance cars are usually better than non-yellow performance cars, and with Yellow Splash Metallic being a no-cost option, it feels foolish not to get it. It’s the same deal with the manual gearbox, so this Mustang’s a six-speed. Although the configurator doesn’t show the GT Performance Package in images, you bet I’d tick that box as well. After all, $4,995 for Brembo brakes, extra bracing, a Torsen diff, revised suspension, revised nannies, new wheels, and an electronic drift brake sounds well worth it. I’d also spend $1,250 on the active valved exhaust because I like the idea of really hearing the V8 rumble in the country but closing the valves in neighborhoods. The six extra horsepower afforded by the system is neither here nor there.

Add it all up, and my ideal Mustang GT comes to $49,310 including freight. That’s not bad, but it’s also not cheap, especially considering I could spend $42,085 on a base Nissan Z and immediately void the warranty in a spectacular manner with $7,225 in go-fast bits. Helical diff, revised springs and dampers, huge oil cooler, zesty tune, that sort of stuff.

How Id Spec It 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse

Right, no more messing about. Let’s cut to the 500-horsepower naturally-aspirated boss of the new Mustang range: The Dark Horse. First up, color. Blue Ember offers echoes of Mystichrome in the way that it shifts in the light and it’s only available on the Dark Horse Premium, so you bet I’d pop for the top trim. I’d also pop for the $1,650 Recaro seats because I can turn sideways and hide behind telephone poles, so I fall out of most seats in the bends.

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As far as packages go, I’d consider the $4,500 Dark Horse Handling Package mandatory. Not only do the staggered 305/30R19 and 315/30R19 tires sound epic, magnetorheological dampers, adjustable strut hats and a gurney flap sound fabulous fun for trackdays. I’d also spend $1,250 on the Dark Horse appearance group because it’s mandatory to get the Blue Ember paint. I’m also a sucker for a black hood, and the darker blue brake calipers and black roof are just icing on the cake, so I can’t be too mad about the bundling. What I wouldn’t do is pop for the automatic gearbox as the whole point of the Dark Horse is shifting the Tremec six-speed yourself. The result? A $70,860 Mustang. Yeah, that’s several grand more than a moderately-equipped BMW M2, but add the $9,000 carbon package and the M2’s price catapults ahead. Plus, the Mustang has two more seats than a manual Toyota GR Supra, while the $73,950 Porsche 718 Cayman T with no options is purely theoretical at this point, and a different experience altogether.

So how would you spec your 2024 Ford Mustang? Are you going for the friendly Ecoboost, the traditional GT, or the overproof Dark Horse? I’d love to know what trims, options, and colors you’d go for as part of the beauty of Mustangs is that there’s almost a spec for everyone.

(Photo credits: Ford)

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Marques Dean
Marques Dean
8 months ago

I’m sorry to say that Ford has lost with its roots and with reality at the same time. The Mustang used to be an affordable car for the working man. But now they’ve priced it so high that the working man can’t even afford one! $60K for a V8?? For that much I would just buy a S197(last of the live axle pony cars) or a S550 or two of them and still come out ahead with money for mods.
In my life I’ve had plenty Fords and got a lot of car for the money. But over the past few years quality has gone downhill while prices have gone up, and that has alienated quite a few potential customers besides myself.

Something is seriously wrong when a car price and payment is more than a mortgage!

Acid Tonic
Acid Tonic
11 months ago

I just came through the wrong way. My first car was a 95 Escort 5spd. My roomate got a 2005 Mustang GT and had me teach him how to drive manual. The car was amazing to me and I fell instantly in love but was poor so I had to get a much older 98 Mustang GT but it had a lot of mods like a sunroof, 4.10 rear, roush shifter, and bassani exhaust.

Then I would always get stuck in the slightest amount of snow because it was my only car. 225hp stock. Moved up to a 97 Cobra, got it into the 12s, had an Escape for snow duty.

Then I see an Evo IX doing donuts in the snow, months later when my Cobra came out of storage I run right into the same car and it absolutely destroyed my 12.68 in the quarter Cobra by a few bus lengths before I hit 3rd gear.

Ok, never was into imports but this was fast. I research it, feel weird going to test drive an 06 Evo IX in a Cobra. Kept thinking am I crazy? I get inside the car and it is absolutely bonkers fast. It felt like a better Cobra and the rush of torque at 3k was crazy when my V8 didnt come alive until 4800rpm.

So I switched gears and get into owning two different Evos, then the Mustang decided to go and become a real car after I left. I took a 14 second Cobra and modded it down to 12.6 and still a stock one has IRS now and blows that away stock.

Now no manual on the 2.3 which is what I would want. I like turbo engines now and if ai came back wouldnt do an auto. So just as I am thinking, I might come back they are changing up the models to push me away again. Gt500 auto only now? 4 Cyl auto only now? It’s like the mustang is only one vehicle now because no manual means no sale.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
11 months ago

One can do some aftermarket suspension upgrades on the base Ecoboost and end up with a pretty sweet daily driver.

Isn’t that supposed to be half of the Mustang equation?

Parsko
Parsko
11 months ago

I added Rapid Red Metallic paint and a block heater for a total of $40,365 out-the-door. I have always wanted a block heater in one of my vehicles.

Jblues
Jblues
11 months ago

No convertibles yet, I notice.

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
11 months ago
Reply to  Jblues

No Shelbys either.

RootWyrm
RootWyrm
11 months ago

Here is the perfect way to spec every Mustang, including the Mach-E.

1) Open your browser.
2) Click on the address bar and type in ‘www.ford.com’
3) Remember that they haven’t been able to make a single car without multiple recalls or lawsuits or both in a decade.
4) Click on the address bar and type in https://www.gettyimages.com/photos/Cat instead.

Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
11 months ago

I still don’t understand the dual screen setup on the lowest model. Doesn’t that cost more to manufacture? An Ecoboost Premium would do me just fine.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago

55-70k Mustangs? Dear god almighty. I know inflation is a thing and supply chain and whatever but I’d have a really hard time not just going for an M2, 718, or a straight up C8 at that point. Hell if you plan on using the back seats the RS3 is right there too. So is the Supra which is now available in stick.

Maybe I’m getting old or something but in my mind a reasonably equipped GT is a 35-40k car, and the current Mach 1s around me have money on the hoods right now. You can even go buy a nice-ish GT350 for 50 which is manual only and revs to 8300 or something. Honestly I think the S650s will have money on the hoods within a year or so, because the V8 prices are just getting silly.

…and now let’s talk about the star of the show, the high performance ecoboost. For $35,000 that’s a lot of car and a genuine Toyobaru alternative. The lack of a manual sucks but all those handling and braking upgrades are a big deal. It’s not as cool as the current one that has the damn Focus RS engine skunkworks’d into it, but it’s going to be quick and engaging.

*Puts on flame suit* I think that’s going to prove to be the sweet spot to be honest. It’s not like the dealerships are going to order any base GTs anyway…and do you REALLY want a base GT? I’m going to be honest with you all-I don’t think I want to go dancing with that V8 unless I’ve got the Brembos and handling bits.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago

I agree with you, for perhaps a slightly different reason.

The Mustang until now had always been a blue-collar hero, a fun car that anyone who worked for a living could afford and (critically) live with on a daily basis. Back seats, decent space, and critically, a reasonable price tag that came from omitting a lot of the bells and whistles. But you knew you were getting into, and maybe even came to appreciate how much Ford did with fairly little.

The car now seems to be steadily getting away from that, becoming a weekend toy for the well-off, those who want to brag about all the now-common sportscar performance gadgetry but still bask in the implied gritty street cred of the model’s past.

Maybe it’s the way of things, like how the Vette moved from being America’s sports car to a quasi-exotic, but it seems a slightly off-note in a really long-running symphony.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I agree with this take as well. Even with inflation factored in a $50,000 car is not working class anymore. And I hate to keep harping on this *commentariat groans* but until the end of the year you can get a barebones, manual, LT1 Camaro for 36 grand…and probably even a little off of that.

THAT’S a working class sports car. Damn shame it’s going away.

V10omous
V10omous
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The article doesn’t describe it very well, but you can get an Ecoboost for $30K or a GT for $41K, both of which are well under the average transaction price of a new car, and broadly in line with what a Mustang has cost through the years adjusted for inflation.

I agree it is jarring to see that what amounts to a fancy GT can be built to $75,000 but that is hardly the only way to get one.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
11 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

But if you want the handling and braking upgrades (which are mandatory IMHO) you’re looking at mid 50s.

V10omous
V10omous
11 months ago

I mean that depends on what you want to do with the car I guess. Someone looking for street and strip driving only may not need the upgrades.

But certainly the “working class” Mustangs of yore had nowhere near the track prowess of even a base model of today. In fact, they were justly criticized for being one trick ponies (sorry). So it’s a bit unfair IMO to both criticize the price for climbing so high, while also calling premium options mandatory that turn the car into a track weapon that it never was before 2015.

All that said, I do sympathize. The demise of the affordable V8 is the great automotive tragedy of our time.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

You make good points for sure, and I agree. I guess I’m just saddened by how pricey Mustang performance is getting, relative to what else is available (ala Nsane).

I think for plenty of buyers back in the day, the one trick pony (and parts bin corral!) aspect was worth the lower price of admission. Most buyers just wanted cool, fun, and some rambunctious spirt, not low track day times, and so were happy to forgo the latest and greatest. There was something wonderfully only-in-America democratic about that; it’s what’s always hooked me.

I guess I just need to accept that the Mustang is becoming a international sports car, and isn’t really a pony car anymore.

V10omous
V10omous
11 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

The Charger and Challenger models below the Hellcats really did a great job of filling that niche for so long. And the LT1 trim Camaro is an utterly fantastic option for as long as it lasts.

I hope Ford is able and willing to put out a low priced, low option V8 trim below the GT to get some of those buyers.

OpposedPiston
OpposedPiston
11 months ago

I think another key difference here is when/where the go-fast bits get added. Part of the appeal of the Mustang with the supporting parts bin is that you could add the parts you wanted when you wanted or could afford them. They were easy to work on, and easy to get parts for. What we’re seeing here is parts added on at the factory, in packages, with a warranty. That’s going to be a lot more expensive than buying a similar set of parts from your preferred warehouse and putting them on with your buddies Friday night.

Bruce McDougall
Bruce McDougall
11 months ago

I couldn’t find any way to spec a convertible. Maybe it will be offered later.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago

Call me old-fashioned, but I like the wheels shown on the base model here best. Simple and contemporary, with just a touch of a heritage feel. They scream Mustang. All the rest seem kinda over-styled to my eyes.

Counterpoint: the other wheels do fit well with the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ style body though, so maybe Ford does have the right idea.

V10omous
V10omous
11 months ago

“staggered 305/30R19 and 315/30R19 tires sound epic”

This doesn’t sound epic, it sounds ridiculous. Could they really not make a square package so the tires could be rotated? Hard to imagine 10 mm either way being a big deal handling wise.

Ok, it’s a little bit epic. But tires that wide up front are definitely a chore in low speed maneuvering.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
11 months ago
Reply to  V10omous

Eh, with EPAS that wide of front tire doesn’t matter at low speeds.

V10omous
V10omous
11 months ago

I suppose that could be true, my experience muscling 295s around is with an old fashioned hydraulic system.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
11 months ago

As an SN95 owner, I’d wondered when Ford would bring back the mystichrome color concept.

It seems perfect for our social media era. And I’m betting there will be less of a hue and cry now over the likely restrictions on getting the paint for repair/restoration.

Data
Data
11 months ago

I would wait a year for the inevitable Ford recalls. When was the last time Ford released a vehicle without some major recall?

Bronco -Hard top and engine fires
Maverick/Escape/Corsair – Engine fires
Mach-E – Battery connectors overheating, windshields and panoramic roofs detaching
F-150 Lightning – Battery may self immolate

Jblues
Jblues
11 months ago
Reply to  Data

Perhaps the S550 Mustangs? I own one and I can’t seem to remember a major recall.

rctothefuture
rctothefuture
11 months ago
Reply to  Jblues

Weren’t rear diffs blowing and the EcoBoost transmissions grenading?

JDE
JDE
11 months ago
Reply to  rctothefuture

eh, even just the 2022 models have 3 current recalls campaigns. they only affect a small number of vehicles though.

Outside of maybe the Darkhorse R though, there is not all that much new and groundbreaking going on. Maybe the twin throttle bodies might have a few hiccups, the tacked on Tablets on the dash maybe as well, but otherwise it should be not that bad.

Cheats McCheats
Cheats McCheats
11 months ago

No, I will pay 15,000 for a 66 Biscayne that can run 10.4 for when I want to go fast, and then spend 10,000 for a used Prius for daily bad weather driving and about 8,000 on a MT-07 to have fun on nice days and still come out cheaper than a Mustang with a 2.3 4 cyl.

Ecsta C3PO
Ecsta C3PO
11 months ago

If we’re going that route:
Set aside $40,000+, buy the weirdest $1000 car I can find, drive it ’till it dies, donate the car to Kidney Cars for $700, rinse and repeat for 130 vehicles.

Serial Thriller
Serial Thriller
11 months ago

Please post more details on the 66 Biscayne.

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