Words by Declan Glynn
The multi award-winning 1968 cops and robbers film, Bullitt, is noted for its car chase scene through the streets of San Francisco, and is regarded as one of the most influential car chases in movie history.
Now, more than half a century later, Ford are paying homage to the iconic film, with a limited-edition Mustang Bullitt, which is guaranteed to be a future classic.
Finished in stunning Dark Highland Green metallic paint, this is a proper old-skool muscle car in every way.
The magnificent 5.0-litre V8 petrol engine in the Mustang Bullitt has been allowed to breathe much more freely thanks to a huge new air filter, bigger throttle bodies, and an all-new exhaust.
This results in a 14bhp hike in power (to 453bhp/460PS), plus a thumping 529Nm of torque.
But, the Bullitt’s V8 engine feels and sounds very different to anything we have experienced from Ford in the past, and is a genuine masterpiece of mechanical engineering.
Taking just 4.6 seconds to sprint from 0-100km/h, the naturally-aspirated engine in the Mustang Bullitt is capable of reaching a limited top speed of 263km/h (where permitted).
A standard six-speed manual gearbox (complete with a white cue ball gear knob) features a new auto-blip on downshifts, thereby eliminating the need to master the art of ‘heel and toe’ footwork, because the electronics take care of that instead.
My Ford Mustang Bullitt test car attracted a huge amount of admiring glances no matter where I drove, while the terrific sound coming from the car’s engine and exhaust really set pulses racing.
The front grille of the Bullitt is devoid of any badging, leading to a level of intrigue, as fellow motorists wonder what brand of performance car is behind them, as they look in their car’s rear-view mirror.
On the road, the Bullitt feels unsurprisingly solid, while the slick manual gearbox is extremely well suited to the Bullitt’s magnificent engine.
However, the best aspect about the Bullitt on the move is what it sounds like, especially when you reach the final 2,000rpm of the rev range.
The engine feels a lot sharper than the regular V8 – producing a monster soundtrack to go with it.
Large Brembo brake calipers ensure that the Bullitt stops as effectively as it goes, while the car’s chassis feels well damped, and controlled, on every road surface.
While the Ford Mustang is priced from €49,896 (ex-works), the limited-edition Mustang Bullitt is priced from €73,092 (ex-works).