By Asian Journal Auto Editor
The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is based on one of the most iconic cars ever portrayed in popular culture. Along with actor Steve McQueen, a Highland green Ford Mustang GT was the star in the 1968 thriller movie Bullitt, featuring probably the best car chase ever filmed. The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is not the first version of this car. The first two Bullitt versions were offered in 2001 and from 2008 to 2009.The third issue rides on the sixth-generation Mustang platform in V-8–powered form, and has all the features that make a Bullitt and then some – first up is the trademark customary Dark Highland Green metallic paint – this mix is simply beautiful with a rich sparkling hue in daylight, that turns to a menacing dark tone at night. There are other subtle differences- a plain black grille with the Ford pony and a chrome surround, more chrome trim around the side windows, and dark-finished 19-inch wheels that look like the iconic five spoke Torq Thrusts as on the 1968 version. Four black finished exhaust tips exit the rear.
There is no spoilers, air dams or any other distractions save for a rather over large Bullitt badge on the rear trunk. It looks fabulous – low, long and sleek. It is carefully understated, but still drew long glances, thumbs up, and questions of what is that? The ambience is also spread to the inside with a dark ebony interior and a cool cue ball shifter for the six speed manual transmission.
The Bullitt has special engine upgrades. The 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 offers 480-500 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque thanks to a larger 87-millimeter throttle bodies, a recalibrated engine management computer, and a performance intake manifold borrowed from the Shelby GT350. There is also a larger radiator to handle extra cooling duties. Also added are: Brembo six-piston front brake calipers shrouding 15.0-inch brake rotors, a Torsen limited-slip differential with shorter 3.73:1 gears, along with a stiffer rear anti-roll bar. A six-speed manual is the only transmission offered. The rubber is a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, sized 255/40R-19 in front and 275/40R-19 in back. .
Our tester was priced at $57,525 and ended up at a stickered $61,650 with as standard equipment such blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, a premium B&O audio system, with 12 speakers, voice activated touch screen with navigation, driver memory seat, mirrors and ambient interior lighting. Options included Recaro sport seats ($1800). Interior wise, the Mustang Bullitt is all black with its ebony leather trim. The sixth generation digital dash is well laid out with good sight lines for the instrumentation. Luddites will have to get used to the myriad of controls on the steering wheel and the center stack with its maze of menus for functions- but hey it’s 2019, not 1969! Get with the program. The front cockpit is roomy, but the optional Recaro seats seem like they are designed for race car driving with the firm high seat bolsters. Mind you they do what they are supposed to – hold you firm and tight in fats cornering. The standard seats might be a better option, if you intend on putting a lot of highway kilometers on the car. Surprised to see, no power seats!
On the road, the Bullitt delivers more smiles per mile than most cars, soaking up the myriad looks, glances and approving thumbs up of other motorists, Gunning the throttle is intoxicating, with the Bullitt’ s multi-mode exhaust system offering a deep bellowing V8 rumble. The as standard manual shifter needs a slower action to engage each gear, but combined with a firm clutch, it’s very rewarding, once you get the hang of it. Pure fun! Each upshift snick of the gears delivers a nice whoosh of power. With nearly 500 horsepower on tap, the variable cam timing means the engine does not feel overwhelmed. Be warned, this is a fast car with tremendous acceleration.
Handling wise, the Bullitt hunkers down and snarls forwards with each upshifts. The steering is direct with a nice progressive feel, offering tactile, satisfying feedback. The ride is an uneven thing – the limited travel of the suspension, especially in the rear, resulting in skips and hops on less than perfect roads and bumps. Nevertheless, the Bullitt is so much fun to drive with wonderful dynamics – slightly old school muscle car, but with infinitely better brakes, safety and performance. The 2019 Bullit is my favourite Mustang for now with an excellent blend of style performance and understated desirability. A muscle car that to be enjoyed every day you own it.
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt: Priced from $57,525. Price as tested with options and destination delivery – $61,650.More info at www.Ford.ca