2019 Mustang Bullitt: From Hollywood Superstar to Supercar
Latest iteration of the hit film car looks stunning but has the 2019 version finally shaken its ‘appearance package’ stigma?
If you know who Steve McQueen is (and who doesn’t, really?), then you inevitably know what he’s most famous for. Ford’s relationship with the iconic 1968 Warner Brothers film, Bullitt, its cult following, and the Mustang crowd in general, is what lead to the creation of the tribute New Edge version in 2001. As cool as that modernized, Dark Highland Green McQueen mobile looked, it was (at the time) quite underpowered. And it’s no wonder, really.
For some strange reason, Ford decided it was best to throw the underwhelming, binned 4.6-liter modular V8 powerplant they used in the New Edge pony. It chugged out 265 hp and 305 ft-lbs of torque with some mods, namely custom aluminium intake and a wider diameter throttle body. Sure, it also sported a lower ride height, 13-inch rotors and larger sway bars.
However, history reminds us that the original 1968 Mustang GT 390 McQueen used cranked out 320 naturally-aspirated horses. Apropos, some found it hard to consider the New Edge version as anything but a bumped up Mustang GT with an embossed “BULLITT” emblem on the back. The 2008 version was a more serious effort with its bumped up 315-hp motor, tuned exhaust and better rear springs. However, it still left something to be desired.
So here were are. The 2019 model year for the Bullitt Mustang has risen yet again from the ashes. Has it finally shed the baggage of its predecessors? Does it have enough flair to cut through the bountiful stock GT crowd on the streets?
A Cut Above the Rest
Let’s be very clear here: This isn’t just an appearance package for the S550. It’s got more horsepower than a stock GT, more stopping power, better grip and better airflow. This year’s Bullitt also has some nice perks, including an optional Bang & Olufsen 12-speaker system and green-stitched Recaro seats.
Simply debadging your car, trashing the rear spoiler and getting a Dark Highland Green replica paint job just won’t cut it this time. You’ll need to put a little more elbow grease into it. Which is exactly what Ford did this time around.