The Ford Mustang is an icon, as it represents one of America’s most recognisable muscle cars and the dream of cruising along the sunny western coast of the US.
But one film can say it contributed to the success of the Mustang, and that was the 1968 film ‘Bullitt’, which starred legendary actor Steve McQueen driving a Mustang in one of cinema’s best chase scenes.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of that scene, Ford decided to take its latest Mustang and give it the special edition treatment by painting it in Highland Green, adding more power and fitting Bullitt designation throughout.
But is this limited edition model just a gimmick, or can it capture the spirit of the ’68 Mustang? We take a look…
Well it’s safe to say that Ford wanted to give this Mustang a robust feel to match its muscle car heritage, and the Bullitt is fitted with the 5.0-litre V8 engine found in the standard Mustang GT. Here it has 10bhp extra over the regular unit, so it now develops 454bhp and 529Nm of torque.
The unit is paired to a six-speed manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, with the Bullitt capable of getting from 0-60mph in 4.4 seconds and reach 163mph. It can feel a bit sluggish at first when you put your foot down, but offers its power over a wide range. It can be hard work but it’s a lot of fun when you get it right.
Ride & Handling
It’s no secret that the Mustang is quite a brutish car and is a stark contrast to many sports car offerings from Europe. Saying that, the Bullitt is surprisingly composed and easy to hustle along twistier sections of road – just don’t expect it to feel like a hot hatchback.
Our test model was fitted with the optional MagneRide dampers, which helped the Mustang feel settled when cruising along the motorway and collected when it was pushed around narrower roads. With the power on board, motorway journeys will be a breeze, with the Bullitt feeling refined and comfortable – although the engine can be very thirsty indeed.
Interior & Equipment
As with other special editions, the Mustang Bullitt comes with additional equipment as standard over the normal version – one of those being rev-matching technology, which makes gear changes smoother and will soon be fitted to the rest of the Mustang line-up. An active exhaust system is also fitted to invigorate the engine note.
Other kit includes a 12-inch LCD infotainment display that runs the Sync3 system, air conditioning, automatic LED headlights and a B&O sound system. Unique tweaks to the interior have also been added, with the leather Recaro seats getting green contrasting stitching and a white cue ball shifter, which is a reference to the ’68 Mustang, while a Bullitt plaque is placed on the dashboard.
Exterior detailing includes 19-inch alloy wheels, red Brembo brake callipers, a faux Bullitt filler cap and additional Bullitt badging, which complement the authentic Highland Green body. You can choose to have it in Shadow Black – but it just wouldn’t be right, so we’d stick with the green.
The two-seat model can feel a bit cramped, however, with the large seats contributing to that feel. Also, some cheaper plastics can be found – but that’s offset by the performance the car has to offer. This car isn’t built to be practical, but the 408-litre boot is large enough for most situations.See Available Ford Mustang deals
The standard Mustang GT costs £42,145, but with the additional equipment and uprated engine, the Mustang Bullitt costs an additional £5,400. That is quite a substantial increase considering that you only get a small bump in power and some minor design changes – but if you want to feel like a 60s heartthrob, then it might just be worth it.
As you would expect from a large, throaty V8, fuel economy isn’t the best, as Ford quotes 22.8mpg and emissions of 277g/km CO2 – meaning this won’t be the cheapest car to run.
Admittedly, there isn’t the biggest difference between this and the standard Mustang GT, but if you want that extra special feel from your American bruiser, then the Bullitt is well worth checking out. The performance is impressive, and the rev-matching technology really helps with making gear changes much smoother – allowing you to put the power down. If you don’t feel that the unique features are worth it, then you’ll be happy with the standard Mustang V8 – but if rocking a dark green sports car and 60s references are your thing, then the Mustang Bullitt could be the right car for you.