ROLL out the red carpet. One of the most famous movie-based muscle car liveries is coming to Australia – the Ford Mustang Bullitt.
It will arrive here in limited numbers, and in right-hand drive. The confirmation comes just months after the Steve McQueen special was unveiled in Detroit alongside one of the original 1968 Ford Mustang GTs from the film of the same name.
“Steve McQueen as Bullitt created a legend, and Mustang Bullitt is the perfect way to salute an icon of the silver screen,” Ford Australia chief executive Graeme Whickman said. “We’re excited to offer Australian buyers the Mustang Bullitt, especially on the 50th anniversary of the legendary film.”
Ford has not confirmed how many of the Dark Highland Green Bullitts (US owners can also option it in black) will make it here, or when they’re likely to arrive.
Other special features of the car released for the US market include a white cue ball for the top of the six-speed manual gearshift lever, and a larger serve of performance – 354kW and 570Nm – from the 5.0-litre V8.
In McQueen’s movie, the Mustang GT fastback played a prominent role, most notably in a chase scene that set new standards in filmmaking. The movie’s almost 10 minute-long sequence followed McQueen chasing down two hitmen through the streets of San Francisco. It ends in a typical Hollywood fireball as McQueen axle-hops the Mustang to a stop to watch on as the bad guys are consumed in the flames – good guys rarely come last.
The Bullitt version of the Mustang is a combination of the US-market car’s premium and performance packages. Its exhaust includes an active valve performance system and is framed in exhaust tips finished in black ceramic coating, while the retuned engine gives the car a “signature burble”. The Bullitt also gains an open air induction system – what we’d probably call a cold air intake – and Shelby GT350 intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies and powertrain control module calibration.
There are also subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows, Torque Thrust 19-inch aluminum wheels, red Brembo brakes, and a unique black front grille. Ford has given the Bullitt minimal badging; only the Bullitt logo on the rear centre of the vehicle – a throwback to the older Mustangs’ fuel caps – is visible on the exterior.
The multimedia system is tweaked to show the original fastback GT on start-up.
Ford will introduce the facelifted Ford Mustang here in a few months’ time. Of benefit, we already get the Performance Pack as standard.
The improved Ford Mustang will come at a cost. All models across the range will see price hikes, with the entry-level four cylinder Mustang Ecoboost Fastback manual rising $5000 to $49,990 while the enthusiast’s choice, the V8-powered Mustang Fastback manual breaches the $60K mark to sit at $62,990 before on-roads – a jump of $5500, or nearly 10 percent.
At the top will sit the Mustang GT Convertible automatic, which rises by $8793 to cap off the range at $74,709.