2019 Mustang Bullitt is a 163mph tribute to Steve McQueen

Chris Davies - Jan 14, 2018, 4:50 pm CST
2019 Mustang Bullitt is a 163mph tribute to Steve McQueen

Ford knows a good retro opportunity when it has one, and so it’s brought the 2019 Mustang Bullitt to the Detroit Auto Show 2018. The special edition comes on the fiftieth anniversary of the classic movie, Bullitt, with a 5.0-liter V8 engine and of course the option of the classic Dark Highland Green paint job.

More powerful than a regular Mustang GT, the special edition is de-badged just like the movie car. It sits on special 19-inch wheels and has a manual transmission with a white cue ball shifter knob, again, just like the original. Ford says it should deliver at least 475 horsepower and 420 lb-ft. of torque.

Together that should be enough for a top speed of 163 mph which, if you’re keeping track, is an all-important 8 mph faster than the Mustang GT the Bullitt Edition is based on. That donates its Premium and Performance packages, too, though the Ford engineers have thrown a little extra in as well.

That includes an active valve performance exhaust system, paired with Black NitroPlate exhaust tips. They’re retuned to give the car its signature burble, while there’s an Open Air Induction System and the intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies from the Shelby GT350. A new mapping for the powertrain control module makes the most of the new hardware.

Inside, the 2019 Mustang’s digital LCD instrument cluster is fitted as standard. That operates the same as in the regular car, complete with user-customizable layouts, but has been given a special Bullitt welcome screen in place of the usual pony. The steering wheel is heated leather, and the seats are leather-trimmed with green accent stitching that’s also found on the dashboard, center console, and door panels.

It’s the detailing where the Mustang Bullitt really shines, though. If you don’t opt for the Dark Highland Green paint your only other choice is Shadow Black. The chromework is limited to some subtle splashes around the black front grille and front windows; the 19-inch aluminum wheels have a class torque thrust design, and hide red painted Brembo brakes. The circular faux gas cap has a Bullitt logo.

Ford will be offering only three options on the car. The Bullitt Electronics Package adds navigation, a memory seat for the driver which also adjusts the mirror, and an upgraded sound system. It also throws in a blind-spot information system with cross-traffic alerts. MagneRide semi-active suspension is the second option, while Recaro black, leather-trimmed sports seats are the third.

Bringing the new car out on stage was someone with a vested interest in Ford getting the Bullitt right. “It was incredibly important for him to pick a car that the rest of the world could afford, especially on a detective’s salary,” Holly McQueen, granddaughter of Steve McQueen, said of the original Mustang featured in the classic movie. “Secondly, it was badass.”

How much this new “badass” Mustang Bullitt will cost is unclear at this stage, as is its release date and just how many of the cars will be made.

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