What's the news?
If you remember just a month or so ago, we told you that Ford was going to honour the legendary Steve McQueen film Bullitt with a special version of the revised Mustang. What we didn't know at that stage was whether any examples would come to Europe, but, following its continental debut at the Geneva Motor Show, Ford has confirmed we'll be getting some units over here (here being Europe - no word on the Irish allocation if any) . Production of European Mustang Bullitts will start in June.
Following on from previous US-only special editions of Mustang Bullitt in 2001 and 2008 - and of course harking back to THAT chase scene in the 1968 police procedural movie starring McQueen and set in San Francisco - the 2018 edition again features 19-inch Torq Thrust-style alloy wheels, red Brembo brake callipers, a 'faux' Bullitt fuel-filler cap and a choice of just two exterior colours - Shadow Black or, more appropriately given the original car in the film, Dark Highland Green. Other features paying homage to the 1968 Mustang used in the movie include chrome accents around the front windows and the grille, this latter item finished in black.
All revised 2018MY Ford Mustangs, and not just the Bullitt special edition, now have a 12-inch, all-digital LCD instrument cluster. The difference for the Bullitt is that it has a unique welcome screen in green, which shows an image of the car rather than the galloping pony Mustang logo. The Bullitt also earns a white cue-ball gearshift knob, seats with green stitching and a driver's seat memory function (black leather-trimmed Recaros are an option), along with a 1,000-watt, 12-speaker B&O Play premium audio system. Each Mustang Bullitt will feature an individually numbered plaque in place of the traditional Mustang emblem on the passenger-side dashboard.
The 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine is retained from the regular Mustang and for all facelifted models it has gained power anyway, rising from the original 431- to 450hp for 2018MY cars. The Bullitt goes further, though, although it's not at the numbers Ford claimed at the Detroit showing of this car, where it was said to deliver 481hp and 569Nm. Instead, you'll have to 'make do' with 464hp and 526Nm, which are hardly shabby outputs.
These are achieved thanks to an 'Open Air Induction System' and intake manifold, plus 87mm throttle bodies and the ECU settings from a Shelby Mustang GT350, apparently. The Bullitt also has a rev-matching function for downshift 'blips' of the V8, which is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission. MagneRide adjustable suspension is also part of the Bullitt's kit list, as is an active valve performance exhaust system to 'enhance the V8's signature burble' and a host of driver assistance technologies like Blind Spot information with Cross-Traffic Alert.
"Nothing captured the spirit and excitement of Mustang quite like that amazing car chase in Bullitt," said Steven Armstrong, group vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ford Motor Company. "The new Mustang Bullitt will pack a similar punch when it goes on sale later this year with more power, high specification and - just like the film's star, Steve McQueen - dripping with understated cool."