2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe
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About the Author

R. G. Beltzner

R. G. Beltzner

A long time automobile enthusiast, and competitive race driver, Rainer Beltzner provides performance driving and racing instruction for Porsche, BMW, and Ferrari owners and clubs. He's been doing this for over 25 years. Often, Rainer is found driving/teaching on one of the Canadian Tire Motorsport, Shannonville or Watkins Glen tracks. During the “off-season”, Rainer spends his spare time driving and evaluating a broad range of vehicles. Follow Rainer on Twitter @redy2rol.

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A limited production version, the 2019 Mustang Bullitt commemorates the 50th anniversary of the 1968 “Bullitt” movie. At the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, the real 1968 Ford Mustang Fastback in Highland Green driven by Steve McQueen joined the launch of the 2019 Bullitt.

This well used 1968 car purchased in 1974 for $6,000 by Robert Kiernan Jr. and remains in his family today – now worth in the range of $4 million, according to Hagerty CEO McKeel Hagerty.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe – Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

A little movie history

Ford provided two identical Highland Green Mustang fastback for the movie.

Max Balchowsky, a well-known Hollywood car builder modified both cars to accommodate the need to do lots of jumps and handle San Francisco’s steep streets.

As a result, heavy-duty front springs, stronger anti-roll bar, Koni shocks as well as reinforced shock towers were added to the car.

The factory engine for these cars was the 320 hp 6.4L V8 with four speed manual transmission capable of a 13 second quarter-mile @ 105mph. For the movie, the power was increased with ported heads and carburetor upgrades.

Only one of the two cars actually survived, the other crushed. The remaining car disappeared and apparently was later “discovered” in a Mexican junkyard.

The 2001 Bullitt

The 2001 version of the Bullitt based on the 2001 Mustang GT included:

  1. 265 hp 4.6L V8 “tweaked for better airflow and power”
  2. cast aluminum intake
  3. twin 57mm bore throttle body
  4. high-flow mufflers
  5. suspension firmed and lowered by 0.75 in. to give tighter handling

Quarter mile time and speed dropped to 14 seconds @ 97.9 mph as compared to the 1968 version.

Production of this limited edition coupe included 3,041 of the Highland Green; 1,819 in Black and 722 in True Blue for a total of 5,582 cars.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe – Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

The 2008 Bullitt

The 2008 version of the Mustang Bullitt again based on the popular Mustang GT with the usual number of performance and style modifications to make it unique.

Engine power increases to 15 hp over the GT resulting in a 315 hp 4.6L V8. Once again, suspension was stiffened with better shocks, springs and strut tower brace, but this time from Ford Racing.

Front brakes now included 12.4 inch vented discs with high performance brake pads.

Quarter mile time and speed improved slightly to 13.7 seconds @ 102.7 mph as compared to the 2001 version.

Production of this limited edition coupe included 4,377 of the Highland Green and 1,431 in Black for a total of 5,808 cars.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt – 50th Anniversary Edition

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe – Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

The 2019 version of the Mustang Bullitt, once again based on the Mustang GT Fastback Premium with enhancements that add roughly $10,000 to the GT price.

The Bullitt gets the GT’s 460 hp 5.0L V8 engine with 20 additional horsepower for 480 hp @7,000 rpm. Torque remains the same at 420 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm. Fuel delivery is now Port Fuel Direct Injection, as compared to the GT’s Sequential Multi-Port Electronic Fuel Injection.

The 6-speed manual transmission now includes rev matching to mimic rev matching with heel and toe shifts.

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The remaining performance difference to the GT are  identical brakes as the Shelby GT350 and GT350R consisting of:

  1. six piston Brembo front brake calipers
  2. 15.5 inch cross-drilled iron discs mounted to aluminum hats.
  3. Rear brakes
  4. Four piston Brembo calipers
  5. 15-inch iron rotors

The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt base price of $57,525 also includes a number of features that are optional on the GT Premium such as:

  1. auto-adjustable suspension
  2. ride damping system
  3. limited slip differential
  4. active exhaust valves
  5. high performance summer tires
  6. better audio system
  7. 12-inch customizable instrument cluster
  8. navigation and blind spot monitoring

Driving the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Coupe – Photo Credit: R.G. Beltzner

My test Bullitt came in the Dark Highland Green colour. Other than a simple rear badge on the exterior, there was nothing really to identify it as a Bullitt – but it does look different, especially from the front.

Getting in and out of the Mustang is comfortable (seal of approval from my wife who dislikes banging her head when getting in) given the door size and height.

This Bullitt came with the optional but comfortable Recaro leather seats ($1,800), as long as you are ok with no power adjustments and have a smaller posterior. The regular power seats are also perfectly fine.

Once seated, you are greeted with not only the regular array of Mustang toggle switches, but also the larger 12” digital instrument cluster with customizable colours and of course, the billiard ball shifter.

Starting the car, you get a wonderful melody of exhaust sound that can be further enhanced (made even louder) by selecting the dynamic driving mode.

The six speed manual transmission is smooth and automatic rev matching helps with downshifts. Personally, I found the rev matching a bit annoying and preferred to shut it off, reverting to my usual heel and toe approach. The Bullitt’s suspension is comfortable even in the harsher dynamic mode. The dynamic mode provides a sure feel for the road.

The Bullitt corners very well and better than previous generation GT’s. That GT that had a tendency for the rear end to hop around a bit too much.

I also quite enjoyed bringing this heavy car quickly to lower speeds using the Shelby GT350 brake set up. This car and driver enjoy high revs for the feel and sound of power.

Regrettably, this also means I couldn’t use gears four to six for fear of invoking the dreaded 7-day impound courtesy of the OPP. This is a wonderful car that belongs on the track to be driven in a spirited fashion – which is why it comes with a track mode setting as well.

Considerations

Over the past couple of years, I’ve driven and evaluated a number of Mustang models from the 2.3L Ecoboost Convertible, The GT Fastback and Convertible, the Shelby GT350 and now the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt. With the exception of the 2017 version of the GT, I have really liked all of these models.

For a daily fun driver that brings back the feel of yesteryear, I think the 2.3L Ecoboost Convertible would be my choice. Lots of power for everyday driving, great comfort, good sound and a fun drive.

For my “enthusiast” needs, I would go right to the Shelby GT350 with its Ford Racing components, 526 hp and best set up for track. This car is priced very similar to the Bullitt or the GT Premium with necessary options, at around $57,000 – $60,000.

Because I don’t need a back seat, the ideal is the Shelby GT350R at a mere $10,000 more.

The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is a fine machine and I would pick it over the GT – but it gets very close to the price of a higher performance Shelby. I would also be wary of selecting a Bullitt on the basis of the “limited production” perhaps making it a collector car. It’s nice but really not that special.

Base price: $57,525
Price as tested: $61,650

For more automotive insights, follow me on Twitter @redy2rol

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