Ford Mustang Bullitt Edition
Update 3/28/2019: The Rocky Mountain Automotive Press announces the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt as 2019 Car of the Year.
- Rear Wheel Drive
- 5.0 L
- 6-Speed manual transmission
- 475 horsepower (93 Octane)
- 420 lb-ft torque (93 Octane)
- Top speed of 163 mph
An iconic Mustang
As a gearhead, it’s just of the lifestyle to be familiar with every movie that has decent cars or car chases in them. There are a couple of iconic Mustangs when it comes to this. Eleanor (a GT500) is one example, from the movie, “Gone in 60 seconds”. Another is the 1968 Highland Green Fastback in the movie Bullitt. Steve McQueen hurls the Mustang around on the steeply sloped streets of San Francisco, not to mention, jumps a couple of intersections. 2018 mark the 50th anniversary of the movie, so it seems fitting that Ford should bring out the Bullitt edition this year.
It’s a Mustang and I’m in San Fran
Just so you know how much of an icon this car is to ‘car-people’, like myself, I tried to recreate the moment myself (minus the actual car chase). I had the opportunity to visit San Francisco, and I needed a rental car. Ok, you probably know where this is going, yes I rented a Mustang. It seems legit right, if I put enough imagination into it I could pretend to be Steve McQueen for just a day. I envisioned driving down the undulating streets just like he did. I didn’t even care if it was the exact same street. Here’s that scenario actually panned out. I picked up the rental mustang, it was white. Ok, I can just pretend it’s green from the inside. It’s a base model, with the V6 (I kinda wanted the V8), but hey ho, it’s still a Mustang and I’m still in San Fran, right?
A gearhead dream went wrong
I left the airport thinking, “whoa this is going to be so much fun”, only to be hit with lanes upon lanes of Interstate rush hour traffic. Maybe another day. Or maybe not. Just looking at the commute time it would take to get a couple of miles in the city, I opted out. Dreams crushed. I did get to ride as a passenger on the sloped streets of San Fran. In a Prius taxi.
But then, it came alive again in the 2019 Mustang Bullitt
At a recent press event, I was excited to see the Bullit Edition Mustang on the list of cars to test. This time, it ‘s not San Fran, it’s Denver but there were opportunities to open it up. It’s Highland Green and it IS a Bullitt.
As quoted in the movie, “You believe what you want. You work your side of the street, and I’ll work mine”.
I get in the Mustang Bullitt, and the first piece of trim I notice is the creme colored cue ball for the shifter. Hooray it’s a cue ball but more importantly, hooray…it’s a 6-Speed manual transmission.
A common problem I personally have with sports cars is getting the seat adjusted just right for being 5″3′. I’m small, I still need to reach the clutch but don’t need my head wearing the steering wheel like a necklace. The Mustang seat adjustment has enough variation that I can indeed get a good driving position. It’s nice to be able to see out the windshield!
The Ebony leather seats with green stitching are comfortable and have enough of a bolster to keep you in. This one did not have the optional Recaro seats, which I’d suggest if you like even more of a bolster.
Behind 19″ Heritage wheels sits some bright red Brembo brake calipers. This was the second piece of the car that hit me like a brick wall. Put it this way, if you are quick enough, the brakes just might stop you from going through a brick wall. They have a lot of stopping power. If I had a coffee in the car, the first time I touched the brakes, the coffee would have spilled. Learning the light touch took no time as I made my way out of some industrial streets.
Opening up the Bullitt
It drives like a regular Mustang in ‘Normal’ mode. It’s livable and comfortable as an everyday driver (except maybe in snow). Although it does have selectable drive modes which include; Normal, Sport+, Track, Drag Mode, and Snow/Wet. ‘Sport’ mode is great for some spirited driving. ‘Track mode’, however, is where it’s at. Switching to ‘Track’ mode makes this car come alive. Track mode will automatically turn off the traction control too. It also has a line lock feature to warm up the rear tires for drag racing. I did not have the chance to test this feature, although I’d have loved to!
Mustang Bullitt vs Mustang GT350
Having previously tested the GT350 I wasn’t expecting the Bullitt to be anywhere close. I was wrong. The Shelby GT350 has 51 more hp and 9 lb-ft in torque. Having driven both Mustangs only once, I couldn’t tell the difference in power. Of course, there could have been weight difference based on specs to cancel out that 51hp, but it wasn’t enough to make a notable difference.
Exhaust screams V8
I accelerate through 2nd gear, also watching the digital rev counter, shift to 3rd, (gear shifts are smooth, fast, and satisfying). In 3rd I plant the accelerator, turning into a wide long sweeping bend. The back wheels skipped a little to the outside before punching traction through the rest of the turn. Probably thanks to the 3.73 TORSEN® limited-slip rear axle. By this point, the exhaust is just screaming V8 to the world. Which, by the way, it does have the ‘active exhaust’ so you can make it quieter…if you choose to do so. Otherwise, it’s an incredible exhaust note to listen to.
Steering response is good, as is the feedback through the wheel. This Mustang Bullitt was equipped with the MagneRide suspension, and as I said with the GTR350, it works.
A Classy Classic
The Highland green color and minimalist clean looking interior give the car a classic class. It certainly didn’t look out of place when I was taking photos in front of the Wolley’s Classic Suits. In fact, an airline pilot came over to chat about that car. I asked him what he drove and his reply was an AMG Mercedes. Whilst the Bullitt isn’t a luxury car per se, my point here is that it does have class.
For more information or find a Mustang Bullitt contact your Ford dealer.
You might also like: Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 in Wyoming and 7 Sports Cars with the Most Horsepower Per Dollar.
BULLITT and all related characters and elements© & TM Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s18)