Most people remember the movie Bullitt for its high-octane car chase scene between a 1968 Ford Mustang GT 390 and a Dodge Charger in San Francisco, which was accompanied by a jazz score and an intoxicating V8 rumble. The King of Cool, Steve McQueen, was behind the wheel of the ’68 Stang, making Ford’s pony car even cooler.
This is something the Michigan-based carmaker has banked on a couple of times since the beginning of the century. Two generations of special-edition Bullitt Mustangs were released, the 2001 SN95 model and the retro 2008 S197 model. Both were based on the V8 GT variant and came with some mild styling tweaks and a slight bump in power.
Fast forward to 2018, the film Bullitt is celebrating its 50th anniversary and Ford is honoring this special occasion by unveiling the new 2019 Mustang Bullitt at the 2018 North American International Auto Show.
Like the original car, the theme is to simplify the overall styling. Up front, the galloping horse logo has been removed. What’s left is a plain honeycomb grille with a chrome outline.
Moving to the sides, the '5.0' fender badge has been dropped, while the chrome side window trim comes as standard. The deletion of the standard GT's rear spoiler gives the car a cleaner profile. The only exterior badging is the rear faux gas cap with the Bullitt cross-hair logo. It rides on torque thrust-inspired 19-inch five-spoke aluminum wheels in black with a silver outer flange. There are two colors to choose from: the classic Dark Highland Green or Shadow Black.
The interior features black leather Recaro seats, a 12-inch digital gauge cluster with green virtual dials, and a white cue-ball shifter. The steering wheel gets Bullitt badging as well.
Under its hood is a more powerful version of the revised 5.0-liter Ti-VCT gasoline V8. It gets an Open Air Induction system, Shelby intake manifold from a GT350 with 87mm throttle bodies, and an active valve performance exhaust system, which was enhanced to produce the signature V8 burble. This mill pumps out 475hp and 569Nm. Like a true driver’s car, it comes with a manual transmission. Its top speed has been raised to 262kph. The new Bullitt also features standard Performance Package and MagneRide semi-active suspension system.
The 2019 Mustang Bullitt will hit US showrooms in June 2018. While special edition Mustangs are rarely offered outside North America, we hope Ford Philippines can bring this extra cool variant here.