It didn’t take a detective to sleuth out the existence of a Mustang Bullitt based on the latest Mustang platform. However, today at the North American International Auto Show, Ford made the third iteration of the movie-inspired Mustang official. The company again infused the spirit of the movie’s iconic 1968 Mustang co-star into a modern package just in time for the film’s 50th Anniversary this year.
This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool,” Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer
As you would expect, the latest version of the Bullitt maintains a familiar theme. The giveaway, despite its low-key appearance, is the familiar Highland Green paint scheme, but Shadow Black is also an available option. Closer inspect reveals those subtle nods to the movie car, including the unique grille, clean flanks and Bullitt trunk medallion. It might be a modern version, but this second-gen S550 screams Bullitt.
From the Highland Green paint to the badge-free grille to the Torque Thrust-style wheels, the 2019 Mustang Bullitt would make Steve McQueen proud.
“This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool,” Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer, enthused. “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.”
Making it cooler than your average Mustang is a bit of increased performance. Engineers set out to create the ultimate street Mustang. They made the Bullitt a higher caliber by adding the intake from the Shelby GT350 and feeding it with a unique 87mm throttle body and an open air box.
The suspension and Brembo brakes under the Bullitt is similar to a Performance Pack Level 1, but some unique aero under the car keeps it stable up to 163 mph. Pushing it to that speed is an estimated 475 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque thanks the the addition of a new cold air intake, intake manifold, and a revised calibration. That is a 15-horsepower improvement over the output of the base Gen 3 Coyote 5.0-liter engine.
“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.”
Carrying on that bad ass nature, the Bullitt will only be available with a manual transmission, so 10-speed auto fans need not apply. Likewise, these cars will only be offered with a limited number of options: the Bullitt Electronics Package, Magneride, and leather Recaro seats.
Inside, the interior remains largely unchanged when compared with a Mustang GT, but the latest Bullitt does get its own green upholstery stitching, steering wheel medallion, and door sill plates, and dash plaque. The 12-inch digital dash is standard and it will have a unique Bullitt start-up screen.
Expect to see the 2019 Mustang Bullitt to jump out of dealer lots this summer. Until then, you can watch the movie again to brush up on your chase-scene driving skills, as you can always change the drive mode in the new Bullitt for similar driving occasions.
Out back, the Bullitt retains that clean, wing-free trunklid, which is adorned with the expected Bullitt medallion. Besides the badge and paint, the only other telltale signs this Mustang is ready to take on the streets of San Francisco are the Black NitroPlate exhaust tips. The exhaust is also said to have a unique tuning.