You may remember the movie Bullitt and the iconic chase scene through San Fran where Steve McQueen drove a dark “Highland Green” 1968 Ford Mustang G.T.390 Fastback after two hitmen in a 1968 Dodge Charger R/T 440 Magnum. Well, Ford has brought back the Bullitt with Ford’s Racing Technology and the launch of the limited edition 2008 Mustang Bullitt (most recently at the 2007 LA Auto Show) just happened to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the release of the Warner Bros.’ film that gave the original car its name. The Bullitt represents Ford’s latest customized special additions that help keep the Mustang fresh.
“The 2008 Mustang Bullitt embodies the true spirit of the 1968 movie car,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. “Like the original Bullitt, this car dials the driving dynamics up a notch for Mustang enthusiasts who love the performance, handling and the sweet sound of Ford power that only Mustang can deliver.” Chief engineer Paul Randle would agree with Kuzak: “The 2008 Mustang Bullitt delivers balanced performance. Comfort is not compromised for performance. Performance is on demand. You can easily take Bullitt from the track to the street and back onto the track with confidence.”
Bullitt packs firepower under the hood. The 4.6-liter, 3-valve V-8 delivers 315 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 325 pound-feet of torque at 4,250 rpm. Engine calibration is designed to increase throttle response for a snappier acceleration feel. The redline has been boosted by 250 rpm to 6,500, with top-end speed bumped to 151 miles-per-hour. Gears are selected via a Tremec 5-speed manual transmission, and the shifter is topped with a polished aluminum shift ball designed specifically for the 2008 Bullitt.
Ford engineers modified the 2008 Mustang Bullitt’s chassis and suspension to fine-tune handling and ensure the extra horsepower and torque from the 4.6-liter V-8 is put to good use. The live rear axle uses a unique 3.73:1 gear that helps launch the Bullitt with vigor. Stock Mustang GT shocks and struts were swapped out for new units that allowed engineers to dial in a more aggressive driving dynamic while still maintaining the outstanding ride and balance of the base Mustang GT. A tower-to-tower brace designed specifically for the Bullitt lends additional torsional and lateral stiffness to the chassis for improved cornering and holds a unique serial number for each Bullitt.
The 2008 Mustang Bullitt wears unique cast-aluminum Euroflange wheels, offering a modern twist on the original movie car. The Dark Argent Gray spokes feature a satin finish, while a bright-machined lip completes the look. Calipers are colored to match the wheel. The wheels are wrapped in the same P235/50ZR 18 BF Goodrich g-Force T/A KDWS tires used on Mustangs at the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. The brakes also have been improved versus the base Mustang GTs. More aggressive front pads were developed specifically for Bullitt and improve fade resistance and pedal feel.
The custom-designed exhaust system continues Mustang’s traditional use of a true dual-exhaust system with a new H-pipe specifically developed for Bullitt. The all-new mufflers, featuring larger 3.5-inch chrome tips (versus the 3-inch tips on the standard Mustang GT) are tuned to minimize backpressure, maximize horsepower and provide the Bullitt with its powerful exhaust note.
In a time where fuel prices are rising with no end in sight, the Bullitt can run on either premium or regular fuel. Ford recommends premium fuel for optimum performance, but the adaptive spark ignition will adjust the spark to burn regular fuel without damaging the engine. Bottom line: Bullitt carries on the Mustang tradition of affordable performance with a $31,075 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Get them while you can: a limited production run of 7,700 units is planned when the Bullitt goes on sale next year.