The Ford Mustang Bullitt has returned

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Detroit reveal for the newest incarnation of one of the world’s coolest movie cars

Happy new year, ladies and gentlemen: this is the brand new, limited edition Ford Mustang Bullitt, and if it hasn’t immediately topped your ‘must-buy-for-2018’ list, you may need to check your vitals.

A surprise reveal ahead of this year’s Detroit Motor Show, the new Bullitt is a special edition that marks 50 years since Steve McQueen fired up his gorgeous, Highland Green ‘Stang and decided to lay down one of the best movie chases the world has ever seen across San Francisco in 1968’s Bullitt.

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“It’s my favourite Mustang,” explains the ‘Stang’s chief designer Darrell Behmer. “Devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything, it’s just cool.”

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And that, it most certainly is. We start with the classic 1968 Bullitt Mustang’s exterior hue being deployed to excellent effect here – Dark Highland Green – but it’s also available in Shadow Black.

As Behmer notes, there are no spoilers or stripes, but there are 19in aluminium wheels, subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows and red Brembo brakes. Inside, there’s much leather, a 12in digital LCD instrument cluster, and unique green accent stitching on the dash, door panels and centre console. And the seats.

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Oh, and when you fire it up, the LCD screen gets a ‘Bullitt’ welcome screen.

Also when you fire it up, you’re onto a good ‘un. There’s a 5.0-litre V8 here, producing “at least” 475bhp and 570Nm of torque, along with a top speed of 261km/h – 13km/h more than the ‘normal’ Mustang GT. Add to that an active exhaust (there are valves for noise), an ‘Open Air’ induction system and GT350 intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies, coupled with a new powertrain control module calibration for “optimal performance”. Good.

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Because it’s a special car for a special year, you get a special treat: there’s a manual gearbox on board, equipped with a white cue ball gear knob in a nod to the original. Plus, everything you get in the Mustang GT’s Premium and Performance pack is bundled into this 261km/h lump of nostalgia.

Three options are available: an electronics pack including better audio, memory seats, nav, blind-spot info and so forth, the MagneRide semi-active suspension, and Recaro black leather seats.

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“When making a Bullitt,” Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann notes, “there are certain things is 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.” 

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STORY Vijay Pattni

TopGear
Author: TopGear
Top Gear is a British television series about motor vehicles, primarily cars, and is the most widely watched factual television programme in the world.