Every few years, Ford hand picks a select model of its flagship Mustang to honor the homage of what can be commonly referred to as the best car scene in all of film, Steve McQueen’s abuse of a highland green GT in 1968’s “Bullitt”. However, each model is meticulously chosen, playing true to what made the original car so fitting for the film. Fords first iteration was in 2001 with the “New Edge” Mustang, and then again in 2008 with the S-197.
Both these cars, much like the 2018 and 19 Bullitt’s, received upgraded exhausts, along with other performance modifications for a reasonable package price. Essentially, Ford sold you a bolt-on GT, straight out of the factory. However, none has been so leaps and bounds over the original as the 2019 version. With Ford stepping into the realm of 10 Speed automatic transmissions, there was that underlying fear that the Bullitt would not come how it should, with a 6-speed manual. However, when Ford announced the Bullitt as a manual only car, sharing components with the GT 350 to raise its horsepower, it was destined to be great. Right off the bat, the inside is littered with miniscule details paying homage to the original car, having brushed aluminum all over the interior as well as green stitching in the seat and dash. One of the best features however, at least in my opinion, is the ebony white shift knob, engraved with the transmission pattern.
This transmission is paired to the Coyote 5.0 which has been around since 2011, getting a generous horsepower increase every generation. For the 2019 Bullitt, the 5.0 makes 475 HP, using a GT 350 throttle body, intake, and a completely redesigned open-air filter to boost the HP 15 up from the base GT. The Bullitt also features a Magneride suspension that soaks up the corners beautifully. However, you’ll be better off keeping this car in a straight line, where it really gets to shine. In second gear, the acceleration is incredible, shoving you back into your seat all the way to the 5.0’s almost 7500 rpm redline, all while the active exhaust is yelling into your ear. Because it is naturally aspirated, the Bullitt makes power in almost any gear at any RPM, not hesitating to quickly reach triple digit speeds. However, you’d want to be downshifting, even if you’re not looking to stomp on the throttle. New to the 2018 and 19 GT performance models, the Bullitt offers active Rev-Matching, making every downshift crisp and smooth. Paired with the active valve exhaust in “track mode”, the feeling (and sounds) of rev-matching perfectly goes unmatched.
The new Bullitt comes in either Highland Green or Black, with only around 10 percent of customers choosing the black option. Starting at $46,595, the Bullitt is only around $3,000 more than the Level 1 Performance package Mustang GT. In my opinion, this makes the Bullitt Ford’s best deal at the moment, being a small price to pay to feel like another Steve McQueen, flying through the streets of San Francisco.
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