by Don Sikora
Note: The following story was excerpted from the October 2019 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.
Arguably the most famous Mustang of all is the dark-green 1968 Mustang GT fastback that Steve McQueen’s character Lieutenant Frank Bullitt drove in the 1968 motion picture Bullitt. Ford celebrated that iconic car with special-edition Bullitt Mustangs in 2001 and again in 2008-09. For 2019, Ford has released a third Bullitt Mustang, and like the others, it’s our choice for a future collectible.
2019 Mustang Bullitt
The 2019 Bullitt is based on the Mustang GT Premium with Performance Package. Like the movie car, the exterior is lightly modified for a cleaner, more purposeful appearance. Up front there are unique upper and lower grille inserts, and the upper grille’s usual “pony” emblem is deleted. Subtle chrome accents around the grille and side windows further the retro vibe. Out back, the GT’s decklid spoiler has been left off and a simulated gas cap with a Bullitt logo rests on the panel between the taillamps. There are also quad exhaust tips finished in “NitroPlate Black.”
Exterior colors are limited to Dark Highland Green—like the original movie car—and Shadow Black. Bullitts roll on 19-inch “Heritage” alloy wheels with dark-finish five-spoke centers, and inside the rims the beefy Brembo-brand brake calipers are painted red. Mustang Chief Designer Darrell Behmer described the latest Bullitt this way: “As a designer, it’s my favorite Mustang—devoid of stripes, spoilers, and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything—it’s just cool.”
Under the hood, Mustang’s 5.0-liter V-8 received the Shelby GT350’s intake manifold, an Open Air Induction System, and a Bullitt-exclusive tune. The result is 480 hp and 420 pound-feet of torque. A “regular” Mustang GT has 20 less horsepower but the same torque rating.
Bullitt Mustangs are exclusively available with a six-speed manual transmission, and Ford says the car’s active exhaust system has been retuned to give the Bullitt its signature exhaust burble. A strut-tower brace runs above the 5.0, and it wears an additional Bullitt logo. Top speed is a claimed 163 mph, eight more than a stock Mustang GT.
Moving inside, the office is black with Dark Highland Green accent-stitch detailing. The Bullitt logo appears on the steering wheel, dashboard, and door-sill plates, while the shifter is topped with an old-school white “cue ball” knob. The standard 12-inch digital instrument cluster features Bullitt-specific welcome graphics. Recaro sport seats with additional Dark Highland Green stitching are optional for $1595.
There are only two other options. A $2100 Bullitt Electronics Package adds a blind-spot monitoring system with cross-traffic alert; upgraded 12-speaker stereo with trunk-mounted subwoofer; memory functions for driver’s seat, side mirrors, and ambient lighting system; and touchscreen navigation. Also, MagneRide semi-active suspension is available for an extra $1695.
Base price of the Bullitt is $46,595. For comparison, a 2019 Mustang GT Premium with Performance Package starts at $42,945.
- Price premium not crazy for a special-edition car
- Consumer Guide® was impressed with Bullitt’s muscle-car power and attitude,
along with the great brakes and shifter
- Some buyers might wish Mustang GT’s 10-speed automatic was optional on
- Expected muscle car shortcomings, including a small rear seat and mid-teens
fuel economy, are part of the deal
The 2019 Bullitt deftly applies the “less is more” design motif of the original 1968 movie car to the latest Mustang GT. The Dark Highland Green paint, five-spoke wheels, and subtle chrome accents work together surprisingly well, making this Bullitt a definite head turner and quite desirable.
2019 Mustang Bullitt