Bullitt came out in 1968, and starred Steve McQueen as Detective Frank Bullitt. As a film, it’s mediocre at best — but its pivotal scene remains one of the greatest car chases of all time. Filmed in and around San Francisco, this electrifying ten minutes set the stage for every other car chase that followed.
So while “The King of Cool” might have gotten top billing, in reality, it was a 1968 Ford Mustang fastback that stole the show. Now, 50 years after the film’s release, Ford has bestowed upon us a modern version of Frank’s car, in the form of the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt. For the full 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt review, specs, pricing and data read on..
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Exterior
Slathered in dark Highland Green paint and wearing 19-inch five-spoke Heritage aluminum wheels, the 2019 Bullitt Mustang has been designed to stand out from the rest of the Mustang lineup. A keen eye will notice the lack of a rear spoiler, quad exhaust tips with what Ford calls a NitroPlate black finish, and a matte black rear diffusor with an integrated reverse light.
A chrome ring around the grille, along with a faux gas cap that sports the Bullitt logo are also present, and help add an air of distinction. Thanks to a refresh for the 2018 model year, the low hood line now utilizes functional heat extractors with LED headlamps and signature daytime running lights. Other aggressive cues are the staggered 255/40-series and 275/40-series Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, a great looking splitter in the lower front fascia, LED tail lamps with sequential turn signals, and massive red six-piston Brembo brake calipers.
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Interior
While Recaro seats are available, it must be said that the leather covered buckets that came in our test car were not only extremely comfortable, but also offer heat and ventilation — along with some pretty trick green stitching. Rear seating was tight for all but the smallest of stature, and trunk space comes in at 13.5 cubic-feet. Our 2019 Bullitt was pretty maxed out, and came with such standard features as a multi-configurable 12-inch LCD digital instrument cluster, a heated steering wheel, dual-zone automatic temperature control and voice activated navigation. Ford’s MyMode application lets one configure the dash for different layouts based on the vehicles driving mode (Normal, Sport+, Track, Drag Strip, Wet/Snow).
Simulated analog gauges can be selected, or if placed in Sport+ or Track mode is engaged, you’ll find a sweeping tachometer that runs to the cars new 7,500-rpm redline. Steering wheel mounted controls also give further access to things like fuel economy, tire pressure, exhaust presets and other vehicle functions and are displayed in the LCD cluster. The turned aluminum dash panel houses ancillary gauges for vacuum and oil pressure and includes a special Bullitt insert with the vehicles build number. Lastly, you’ll notice that six-speed cue ball shifter, and those three pedals that lurk under the steering wheel. For those young folks out there, that’s called a manual transmission, and it’s the only one that comes with the Bullitt. Thus, if you can’t drive a stick, this car isn’t for you.
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Performance
With 15 extra horsepower over the standard Mustang GT (480 horsepower up from 460 horsepower) along with an increase in top speed (163 mph up from 155 mph), the 2019 Bullitt offers those who opt for nostalgia a little more oomph. This increase in power comes by way of the intake manifold, which sports the 87mm throttle bodies from the Shelby GT350, a refined open-air intake, and a new powertrain control module. The 5.0-liter V8 still utilizes sixteen injectors, which Ford says delivers a better fuel charge, and numbers aside, running through the gears of the six-speed manual delivers nothing but a joyful experience. The cue-ball shifter fits perfectly in your hand, and thanks to the active rev matching (which can be turned off), getting that perfect matched downshift is no longer an issue.
In 2018, the Mustang also received some trickle down technology from Ford Performance, by way of chassis tweaks and the MagnaRide Damping System. This system has the ability to change its dampening force within a millisecond, and thus, provide improved handling. When combined with a sticky set of Michelin tires, MagnaRide delivered the best driver/road connection we’ve experienced in any Mustang save the 2017 Shelby GT350. We drove both MagnaRide and non-MagnaRide equipped cars, and truth-be-told, don’t buy a Mustang without it — it’s that good.
The Active Valve Performance Exhaust system is also another highlight that we see on the 2019 Bullitt. It not only allows an owner to control the rumble via the cars individual drive mode, but more importantly, one can now set a time for which the exhaust can fully uncork itself. So if you don’t want to wake your neighbors in the morning when you leave for work? No problem, simply think of this system like an alarm clock for your exhaust, and you’ll get the idea. Ford’s Track Apps, Line-Lock, Launch Control and a host of other go-fast bits are also present, and do nothing but add another layer of fun to what’s already a great car. Braking is handled by large, red Brembo calipers up, and they pulls the Mustang to a halt in no time. A 3.73 Torsen limited-slip rear axle is also standard.
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Safety
Ford has also included a host of safety features (some optional)into the 2019 Mustang. Features such as airbags throughout the cabin, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, a rearview camera, lane-departure warning, distance alert, and a pre-collision-assist system to name a few.
Additional safety features can be viewed at Ford.com.
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Overall
Nearly four decades after his death, many still think there’s never been a human cooler than Steve McQueen. He drank, smoked, raced, and frolicked like no other, and from a car guys perspective, he’s kind of the King. Ford knows this, and while it may seem a bit hokey, they’ve actually managed to capture a little McQueen in this 2019 Bullitt Mustang. Not only is it fast and wickedly fun to drive, but I received more compliments on this car from onlookers than any version of the Mustang I’ve driven in the last five years — and that includes the GT350. So if you’re feeling nostalgic and seek to own not only a great performance car, but a little piece of old school cool, then check out the Bullitt. It’s truly something special.
Drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) of 15-mpg city and 25-mpg highway are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of base of price $46,595.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.