To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the iconic Steve McQueen-starring Bullitt, Ford has developed the 2019 Mustang Bullitt package sure to bring back childhood memories for potential buyers raised on one of Hollywood’s greatest chase scenes. A Mustang GT with style aplenty and subtle performance upgrades, the 2019 Bullitt stands head-and-shoulders above previous Bullitt iterations (as does just about every version of the current Mustang). Ford is banking that McQueen’s aura will extend to the new car, which otherwise sits at a price point that leaves it slightly underwhelming from a driver's perspective compared to similarly priced competition.
The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt doesn’t just have to hearken back to the original film’s iconic car—as plenty of buyers may not have even seen the film at this point—but it does have to match the subtle coolness associated with Steve McQueen, whose turtlenecks, leather jackets, and understated passion for automobile racing has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Sure, the Bullitt comes in Dark Highland Green with black wheels, with no logo in the front grille to distract from the car’s mean stance. It also only comes in Fastback with no convertible on the options checklist (though a black paint job can be had, but who would do such a thing?)
Throw in a Bullitt logo on the rear end along with a thin chrome accent around the door windows, and the rest of the car is mainly a Mustang GT with a specific combination of colors selected. Of course, that means it is probably the best looking Mustang to come out of Detroit since perhaps the first generation way back in the 1960s, thanks to the modern resurgence of retro styling (see the current Challenger, Charger, and Camaro for context).
DRIVETRAIN & MECHANICALS
At heart, the Bullitt stays true to the original vibes of muscle car mania with a normally-aspirated, 5.0-liter Coyote V8 under its long hood. The rev-happy engine pumps out 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque, or around 20 horses more than a standard V8 GT thanks to an intake manifold and throttle body upgrade sourced from the Shelby GT350. A 7,500 RPM redline complements the fact that Ford went fully old-fashioned and offered the Bullit only with a six-speed manual transmission (complete with white cue ball shift knob) rather than the 10-speed automatic on option for non-Bullitt Mustangs.
The Bullitt will sprint to 60 miles per hour in under four seconds, and its powerplant is supported by an active exhaust system featuring quad tips for a subtly beefier roar, Brembo brakes, and 19-inch wheels. The trans features rev matching, while a Torsen limited-slip differential helps to maintain the perfect balance of confidence and madness. Magneride adjustable suspension is a key box to check on the options list, perfect for quick hops over the top of San Francisco’s hills. Line-lock and launch control come standard, though Ford suggests only using them during track sessions.
INTERIOR & TECH
Inside, the Mustang Bullitt presents the driver with an enormous badge on the steering wheel, in case they missed the cue ball shifter, stitched center console, and Bullitt logos on the door sills. Recaro seats are an option, with stitching in green a la the exterior’s proper color. The customizable instrument cluster is a 12-inch digital display, to go along with plenty of aluminum trim. Ford’s Electronics package throws in a 12-speaker sound system, blind-spot monitoring, and navigation as well as memory seats and mirrors.
As has become standard on sports cars, the Bullitt Mustang has adjustable steering, and selectable drive modes including what will prove to be popular Sport and Track modes plus Normal, Snow/Wet, Drag Strip, and a customizable MyMode setting. Activate the Track or Drag Strip modes for Line-Lock and Launch Control burnout fun.
Other amenities include a heated steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, and push-button start. Two USB charging ports, remote keyless entry, and a split-folding rear bench seat round out the standard features.
PRICING & BUYING
For a special edition of an already special car, Ford managed to keep the Bullitt’s entry price relatively reasonable. A sticker starting at $47,590 buys just about everything most drivers will need and love, other than upgraded suspension. Among the few options package, the electronics upgrade may sound attractive, everyone’s phones can provide navigation, while the V8’s deep bass should drown out an upgraded sound system. Recaro seats add another $1,595.
The Mustang Bullitt is a stylish edition of the GT package, at an almost $11,000 higher price point. Style points have to be very important to buyers, as a Shelby GT350 starts at $56,935—not much more than a well-equipped Bullitt but that few thousand bucks buys another 46 horses, as well as a beefier Tremec transmission.
Bullitt buyers may be committed to the car’s history and good looks, but will no doubt wonder whether to shell out for a Chevy Camaro ZL1 with its supercharger (at $61,500) or the blistering straight-line power of a Dodge Challenger in any of its iterations (the 717-hp Hellcat starts at $58,650 while the 485-hp Scat Pack starts under $39,000).