Op-Ed: 2024 Mustang GT is About to Break Records at the Drag Strip

As the first drive reviews are trickling out on the 2024 Ford Mustang using the new S650 platform, it’s just a matter of time before we have “full instrumented tests.” For those of us in the enthusiast space, the biggest question is the quarter-mile times.

Let’s start with the facts. The S650 has been admitted by Ford to be much more evolutionary than the clean sheet that the engineering team started with on the S550 platform (2015-2023 model years). That means the S550 will be a pretty good predictor of how the 2024 Mustang GT will perform when factoring in a few things.

Most magazine tests had the 460hp, 2022 Mustang GT running 12.6 at 113 to 115mph with a manual trans, and 12.1 at 118mph with the 10-speed auto. Both versions weighed about 3,860 pounds. For those wondering, the fastest known pass is 11.835 at 119mph on stock tires, but on average good drivers in optimal conditions have gone 12.1 at 116 to 117mph. The Gen II Coyotes (2015-2017 model years) were running two tenths slower with 25hp less.

How does the S650 compare? According to some it weighs about one hundred pounds less. The tires look to be comparable in size and design, which means the weight alone should help the S650 shave a tenth off its quarter-mile time. However, reports on weight are varied and we all know that among base GTs and Premium versions weight could vary, so take this with a grain of salt. Small improvements on the electronics and chassis side, along with a jump to 480hp (486 with the optional exhaust) are a little safer bet to step up the performance. And, as we all know, the Dark Horse version makes an impressive 500hp – still with only 5.0L of displacement. Both versions of the Gen IV Coyote only make a modest improvement over the previous generation in torque (5-8 lbs-ft).

Expect to see a good driver click off an 11.92 at 119mph with the 2024 Mustang GT, however, the Dark Horse should run 11.78 at 121mph. But I fully expect to see a Hail Mary run of 11.73 in the GT, and the Dark Horse tickling the mid-11.6s, when the weather cools off. 

For perspective, this is just a hair slower than a Challenger Hellcat, which makes the 2024 Mustang GT the fastest naturally aspirated muscle car in the modern era – thus putting it in the running for the all-time fastest list. The fastest known time with a sixth-gen Camaro SS is 11.90 at 117mph (but 11.95 to 12.0 are more common among good drivers with optimal conditions).

What do you think Chevy and Dodge will have to say about this? It seems each is about to cut ties with its pony cars, and Dodge clearly put its effort into the Demon’s last hurrah. While the Demon 170’s heroics are impressive, let’s face it – nothing is more effective at showing us how far we’ve come by comparing these all motor variants – which, by the way, just happen to pass stringent emissions testing.

It’s hard to believe that a 392ci Hemi or a 427ci LS7 do not have the times to back up their potential. The Mustang could quietly ride off with the title of the first and the fastest pony car ever built, pound for pound. 

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Scott Parker

Scott dreamed of being in the automotive media in high school, growing up around car shows and just down the street from Atco Raceway. The technology, performance capability, and craftsmanship that goes into builds fuels his passion.
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