Nostalgia is a good sale trigger for Ford’s 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt.
The revived 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is the most powerful Bullitt model ever produced.
The revived Mustang Bullitt salutes the 1968 movie. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of iconic movie “Bullitt”, the new limited-edition Mustang Bullitt features retuned 5.0-liter V8 engine that packs at least 475 horsepower and 420 lb.-ft. of torque and tops out at 163 mph.
“This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool,” said Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer. “As a designer, it’s my favorite Mustang – devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything – it’s just cool.”
The all-new Mustang Bullitt car is equipped with a manual transmission, and the gear shifter features a white cue ball shift knob as a nod to the original. The vehicle packages all Mustang GT Premium and Performance Package content into a vehicle that maintains the original Bullitt’s understated persona.
An active valve performance exhaust system is standard with new Black NitroPlate exhaust tips, and retuned to give the car a signature burble, as well as new Open Air Induction System and Shelby GT350 intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies and powertrain control module calibration for optimal performance.
Other standard equipment includes a heated leather steering wheel and a 12-inch all-digital LCD instrument cluster, identical in function to the cluster introduced on 2018 Mustang, but with a unique Bullitt welcome screen that starts in green with an image of the car rather than the pony.
“Ford has made Bullitt-badged tribute models three times in the last 18 years – in 2001, 2008, and now the current model. In each case, the Bullitt edition gets dark green or black paint and comes with a somewhat hotter engine than the corresponding Mustang GT of the same year. For the 2019 Mustang Bullitt, Ford has delivered all the regular performance goodies plus a few special ingredients not available on any other Mustang,” commented digitaltrends.
Exterior paint choices are limited to Shadow Black and the classic Dark Highland Green – as worn in the movie. Other features that pay tribute to the car McQueen drove are subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows, classic 19-inch five spoke heritage aluminum wheels, red painted Brembo™ brakes, and a unique black front grille. Inside and out, the vehicle uses minimal badging; only the circular faux gas cap Bullitt logo on the rear center is visible on the exterior.
“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “It has to have the right attitude, it has to be unique in some way from a Mustang GT, and more than anything, it has to be bad ass.”
That reputation was born after a Mustang GT fastback played a prominent role in the 1968 movie, and most notably in a chase scene that set new standards in filmmaking. The film’s nearly 10-minute-long sequence followed McQueen chasing down two hitmen in his Mustang through the streets of San Francisco.
The Original Bullitt movie car
Two identical 1968 Mustang GT fastbacks were used in the filming of the classic Warner Bros. movie “Bullitt” that debuted in theaters on Oct. 17, 1968. After filming, the cars went their separate ways: the hero vehicle driven by McQueen in the movie was sold by Warner Bros. to a private buyer, and the other – used in many of the jumps during the famous chase scene – was sent to a salvage yard. That jumper vehicle resurfaced in Baja, California, in early 2017, but the other was lost to history. Until now.
Sean Kiernan, owner of the hero vehicle, inherited the car in 2014 from his late father, Robert, who had purchased the vehicle in 1974. To fulfill his family’s lifelong dream, Sean contacted Ford and the two parties worked together to reveal his movie star car alongside the all-new 2019 Mustang Bullitt at the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
“You know, it was never our intention to keep this car a secret from everybody,” Sean said. “It just kind of happened with life. I’m just completely buzzing to join with Ford and the new Bullitt and show this car to the world on one of the biggest stages there is.”