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Ford CEO Jim Farley Reveals the Secret Behind the Mustang Dark Horse Name

Ford launched the seventh-generation Mustang in Detroit with a surprise reveal of the new performance series dubbed Dark Horse. According to Ford’s CEO Jim Farley, the name is about more than just a shade of grey or the repeated sinister word in the press release.
Ford CEO Jim Farley reveals the secret behind the Mustang Dark Horse name 14 photos
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On Wednesday, Ford introduced the seventh-generation Mustang and, along with it, its first new Mustang performance series in 21 years. Ford called it Dark Horse, which seemed like a fitting name for the unique metallic paint color called Blue Ember. Ford talked enthusiastically about the new performance series and found that “menacing” no longer accurately describes the new Mustang. Instead, it flooded the press materials with the word “sinister.”

Of course, there’s nothing sinister about a car unless it’s killing people or is otherwise evil. Still, we get the spinners’ intention to associate that with the “dark” in its name. Nevertheless, according to Ford CEO Jim Farley, there’s nothing dark or sinister about the Mustang Dark Horse. The color is also unimportant, as Ford’s intention with the name was more profound.

Another meaning of dark horse is “a candidate or competitor about whom little is known but who unexpectedly wins or succeeds,” according to the Oxford Languages dictionary. And that’s exactly what Ford wants, especially in the context of returning to Le Mans.

“To compete at Le Mans, we have to really have breakthrough technology to win against Ferrari and Porsche,” Farley told reporters following the vehicle’s Wednesday night reveal. “They’re the established players, we are the dark horse.”

But this is not limited to racing, as Ford acknowledges its underdog status, including in the burgeoning electric vehicle market. Ford’s CEO also revealed how he sees competition in the automotive industry. According to Automotive News, it’s Ford versus everybody, not just in racing but in other areas.

“I had a shirt at the dealer show [earlier this week in Las Vegas], it said ‘Ford vs. Everyone.’ That’s kind of our attitude,” Farley said. “We want to be a dark horse. We’re a dark horse against Tesla in the EV business.”

 
 
 
 
 

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