Green, subtle, and mean: The Ford Mustang Bullitt roars again this summer

This year’s Detroit Auto Show started off on a bright note for muscle-car and movie enthusiasts. Ford introduced the long-awaited 2018 Mustang Bullitt. It’s a modern interpretation of the car Steve McQueen famously hooned on the streets of San Francisco to chase down hitmen 50 years ago.

“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have. It has to have the right attitude, it has to be unique in some way from a Mustang GT, and more than anything, it has to be bad-ass,” explained Ford Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann. The Blue Oval hit the nail on the head when it comes to styling. The Bullitt comes standard in dark highland green, a tribute to the original, though buyers can order shadow black. It also receives subtle chrome accents around the grille and the windows, and it rides on 19-inch five-spoke wheels. Notice it doesn’t come with stripes, decals, or even emblems; subtlety characterizes the Bullitt, then and now.

Offered only as a coupe, the Bullitt is based on the latest Mustang GT but Ford hasn’t released full technical specifications yet. The only morsels of information published tell us power comes from an upgraded version of the GT’s 5.0-liter V8 tuned to make over 475 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. We’re expecting the final output will lie in the vicinity of 500 hp. Bolted to a six-speed manual transmission, the eight-cylinder sends the Bullitt on to a top speed of 163 mph. It’s 8 mph faster than the normal GT, if you’re keeping track.

The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt will reach showrooms over the summer. The list of options includes Recaro bucket seats, a semi-active suspension, and the Bullitt Electronics Package, which bundles features like navigation (useful for finding shortcuts as you chase bad guys) and an upgraded sound system. Pricing information and full technical specifications will be released in the coming months.

Reunited

In Detroit, Ford displayed the modern-day Bullitt with its predecessor from 1968. It’s one of the two cars that starred in the movie, and even the sharpest automotive historians believed the car was lost until very recently. Warner Bros. sold it to a private buyer after it finished filming Bullitt and it ended up in the hands of enthusiast Robert Kiernan. His son Sean inherited it in 2014 and agreed to show it in public at the Detroit show.

“You know, it was never our intention to keep this car a secret from everybody. It just kind of happened with life. I’m just completely buzzing to join with Ford and the new Bullitt and show this car to the world on one of the biggest stages there is,” Kiernan said.

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