New Ford Mustang Goes Like A ‘BULLITT’.

The multi award-winning 1968 cops & robbers film, Bullitt, is noted for its car chase scene through the streets of San Francisco, and is regarded as one of the most influential car chases in movie history. In the film, Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (played by the late Steve Mc Queen) uses a dark green Ford Mustang GT to chase a gang of hitmen, who had initially pursued him.

Now, over a half century later, Ford are paying homage to the iconic film, with a limited-edition Mustang Bullitt, which is guaranteed to be a future classic. Finished in stunning Dark Highland Green metallic paint, this is a proper ‘old-school’ muscle car in every way. However, the Bullitt is more than just a Mustang with a fancy name and trendy paint job, as Ford have made the car truly unique, and utterly desirable, in many ways.

Apart from its delightful dark green paintwork, chrome window surrounds, and new 19-inch five-spoke ‘Heritage’ alloy wheels, it would appear to be much the same car as the regular Mustang. Look more closely, however, and the differences become more obvious. In addition to the regular Mustang specification, the Bullitt benefits from an Active Valve Performance Exhaust System, BremboTM six-piston front brake calipers with larger rotors, a Gauge Pack (Oil Pressure and Vacuum), heavy-duty front springs, an Open Air Induction System (AIS), red painted brake calipers, unique chassis tuning, and unique EPAS, ABS, and stability control tuning for the ultimate performance-car experience.

The magnificent 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine in the Mustang Bullitt has been allowed to breathe much more freely thanks to a huge new air filter, bigger throttle bodies, and an all-new exhaust. This results in a 14bhp hike in power (to 453bhp/460PS) plus a thumping 529Nm of torque. But, the Bullitt’s V8 engine feels and sounds very different to anything we have experienced from Ford in the past, and is a genuine masterpiece of mechanical engineering. Taking just 4.6-seconds to sprint from 0-100km/h, the naturally-aspirated engine in the Mustang Bullitt is capable of reaching a limited top speed of 263km/h (where permitted). A standard six-speed manual gearbox (complete with a white cue ball gear knob) features a new auto-blip on downshifts, thereby eliminating the need to master the art of ‘heel and toe’ footwork, because the electronics take care of that instead.

Other upgrades to Ford’s limited edition Mustang include extensive Bullitt badging on the steering wheel, sills and bootlid, along with Ford’s new SYNC infotainment system, in conjunction with Apple CarPlay and a 12 speaker B&O sound system. Additionally, the Bullitt benefits from a new 12″ LCD digital instrument cluster with unique green back-lighting to match the exclusive colour of the car. In keeping with the Dark Heritage Green colour theme, there is green accent hand stitching on the car’s door trim, instrument panel, premium floor mats, shifter boot, seats, wrapped centre console, and wrapped knee bolster.

My Ford Mustang Bullitt test car attracted a huge amount of admiring glances no matter where I drove, while the terrific sound coming from the car’s engine and exhaust really set pulses racing. The front grille of the Bullitt is devoid of any badging, leading to a level of intrigue, as fellow motorists wonder what brand of performance car is behind them, as they look in their car’s rear-view mirror. On the road, the Bullitt feels unsurprisingly solid, while the slick manual gearbox is extremely well suited to the Bullitt’s magnificent engine. However, the best aspect about the Bullitt on the move is what it sounds like, especially when you reach the final 2,000rpm of the rev range. The engine feels a lot sharper than the regular V8 – producing a monster soundtrack to go with it. Large Brembo brake calipers ensure that the Bullitt stops as effectively as it goes, while the car’s chassis feels well damped, and controlled, on every road surface. The car’s steering is precise, and provides great feedback to the driver, while my test car’s optional RECARO® leather-trimmed sport seats were very supportive and comfortable in equal measure.

Standard security features on the Mustang Bullitt include an active anti-theft alarm system, electronic steeering column lock, and a wheel locking kit, while standard safety systems include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and emergency braking with forward collision warning. A voice-activated touchscreen navigation system with pinch-to-zoom capability is also standard, as is automatic high-beam assist, and an automatic windscreen wiper system.

As is the case with the standard Ford Mustang, the Bullitt is a 2+2 seater, in a fastback bodystyle, and is driven by the rear wheels. With 570mm of leg room and 820mm of head room available in the back seats, there’s enough space for children, while the rear seat backs fold to increase the capacity of the generously appointed boot. The car’s standard 61-litre petrol tank is capable of up to 500km’s between fills when driven on a combined driving cycle. With Co2 emissions of 277g/km, annual road tax is €2,350.

The Bullitt has all the usual Mustang star qualities – and more. It is extremely entertaining to drive, provides a sense of occasion on every journey, and possesses head-turning good looks. The tremenduous soundtrack from the car’s engine and exhaust is the real icing on the cake, and is the reason that the majority of my time in the car was spent with the radio off. While the Ford Mustang is priced from €49,896 (ex-works), the limited-edition Mustang Bullitt is priced from €73,092 (ex-works).

Visit www.ford.ie for further information.