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2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review +VIDEO By John Heilig

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SEE ALSO: Ford Mustang Bullitt Library


By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

ENGINE: 5.0-liter V8

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 480 hp @ 7,000 rpm/420 lb.-ft. @ 4,600 rpm

WHEELBASE: 107.1 in.

LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 188.5 x 75.4 x 54.3 in.

TIRES: P255/40ZR19 (F)/P275/40ZR19 (R)

CARGO CAPACITY: 13.5 cu. ft.

ECONOMY: 15 mpg city/24 mpg highway

FUEL TANK: 16.0 gal.

CURB WEIGHT: 3,850 lbs.

TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended

COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger, Nissan Z

STICKER: $46,595 (base)


BOTTOM LINE: The Ford Mustang’s latest performance iteration is the Bullitt, created and named in honor of Steve McQueen’s chase car in the movie of the same name. As such, it does offer great performance, but…

They say the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a Mustang, but the only ponies on the car are on the wheel hubs. Ford also says it’s a Bullitt, and it says Bullitt all over the place. We owned a 1965 Mustang, and I miss the appearance of the ponies. I’m sure Lee Iacocca would have missed them too.

The Bullitt is named after the Steve McQueen character who drove a Mustang through the streets of San Francisco in one of the classic movie chase scenes of all time. Under the skin, this Bullitt is probably faithful to the original, although the exteriors are different. This version is more muscular looking with a big maw of a grill (no pony) and much wider tires. It also has Brembo disc calipers at all four corners that do an excellent job of stopping the car smoothly.

Handling is excellent. The suspension is firm, but not harsh. We drove the Bullitt on our favorite hillclimb, but I had to behave because the road is fairly narrow and I wasn’t sure of what may have been coming the other way.

The real fun may be in shifting the 6-speed manual transmission. First, there is a positive clutch that won’t give you leg pains every time you push the left pedal. The shifter itself is nicely located for short shifts with a 2-inch diameter cue ball on the top with the shift pattern imprinted. Get up to sixth, and you’ll eventually have to downshift. The transmission automatically “blips” when you go down gears. It’s fun.

Of course there’s a caveat. With the Bullitt’s wide tires and Mustang’s historic reputation for a light rear end, the Bulitt can be twitchy when the roads are wet. I had a friend following me for a while after a rain storm and he told me later that he kept wondering why I was driving what was obviously a hot car so cautiously.

Front seats are comfortable with excellent side support. They are semi-automatically adjustable, with power front and back adjustment but a manual seat back angle adjustment. Rear seat legroom is sparse, much like our old ’65.

The instrument panel is clear with a tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. There’s a digital speedometer inside the 180 mph analog one, and a shift indicator inside the tach. Additionally, there’s an information panel in between.

In the middle of the dash is a fairly standard infotainment screen with the usual options. I was impressed with how easy it was to program the navigation system. Additionally, there’s a good audio system and heating/cooling.

Trunk capacity is surprisingly good. In our ’65 Mustang, cargo capacity was about as sparse as rear seat legroom, although in both the rear seat backs fold easily to create extra cargo capacity.

Overall, the Ford Mustang Bullitt is a fun, fast car to drive. I would have liked to see more Mustang references (like how much air flow would be reduced by a prancing pony in the grille?). Bullitts are numbered with a plaque on the dash. Our tester was MP002, for Manufacturer’s Prototype #2. I wonder what happened to #1?

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate