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Detroit show: Ford loads new Mustang Bullitt

Special-edition Ford Mustang pays homage to 1968 film Bullitt, packs at least 354kW


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16 Jan 2018

FORD has finally gone official with its Mustang Bullitt at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, uncovering the V8-powered pony car that pays tribute to the 1968 movie where it gets its name.

However, Aussie hopefuls will have to temper expectations as the latest special-edition Mustang is currently only confirmed to be produced in left-hand drive for the North American market – just like other pony car specials including the Shelby GT350R.

Propelled by a specially tuned 5.0-litre Coyote V8 engine, the Mustang Bullitt produces at least 354kW of power and 569Nm of torque – up from the 303kW/525Nm offered in the current version of the Australian-delivered bent-eight sportscar – that will gift the rear-drive Ford a top speed of 262km/h.

Building on the Mustang GT Premium and Performance Package, six-speed manual-only Bullitt versions are available in two unique duco colours – Shadow Black or the movie-inspired Dark Highland Green – and will also sport a white cue ball shift knob in homage to the 1968 Steve McQueen movie.

Heated leather seats, a 12.0-inch all-digital instrument cluster with a unique Bullitt welcome screen are fitted to the special Mustang, while old-school 19-inch ‘torque thrust’ aluminium wheels and red-painted brake callipers adorn the exterior.

Other exterior tweaks include chrome accents around the grille and front windows in homage to the original movie car, a blackened grille and rear bootlid adorned with a Bullitt badge.

Inside, the leather interior is accentuated by green highlight stitching, while the Bullitt nameplate can also be found on the dashboard and steering wheel.

Factory options include the MegneRide semi-active suspension, Recaro leather front seats and Bullitt Electronics Package that bundles satellite navigation, driver memory seats and mirrors, upgraded sound system and blind-spot monitoring.

On hand to reveal the Mustang Bullitt was Steve McQueen’s granddaughter, Molly McQueen, who also starred in a short movie introducing the new model.

Not the first Mustang to carry the Bullitt name, Ford first released a movie-inspired pony car in 2008 with its fifth-generation model that was available in the same black or green exterior paint colour.

Ford Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann said above all else, the Mustang Bullitt needed to be “bad ass”.

“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have,” he said. “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.”

Australian sales of the Ford Mustang have continued to grow two years after the sixth-generation version launched locally, with 2017 seeing the Blue Oval brand register 9165 sportscars – a year-on-year growth of 47.6 per cent.

Ford took out the title of most popular sportscar on sale in 2017, handily beating the Mercedes C-Class coupe and convertible (2818), BMW 2 Series (1750), Hyundai Veloster (1935), Mazda MX-5 (1459) and Toyota 86 (1619).

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