2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt: Ford’s 50th Anniversary Nod to a Cinema Icon [Review]

Ford reincarnates the iconic Mustang Bullitt for a new era.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt Review
The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt alongside the original 1968 model.[Photo: Arv Voss]

The Old and the New

Bullitt premiered back in 1968, starring Steve McQueen as San Francisco Police Detective Lt. Bullitt. He piloted a Dark Highland Green Ford Mustang in one of the most famous movie car chase scenes in history. Mind you, Warner Brothers filmed the risky segment  without the use of computer-generated special effects. They depicted real, hard-driving action by real people in real time. As an homage to the iconic Mustang Bullitt, Ford produced the 50th Anniversary 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt.

The press launch for this special edition model took place in Sausalito, CA. Ford invited journalists to drive around San Francisco and the surrounding area, where Warner Brothers filed the eponymous movie fifty years ago. Ford has produced Bullitt-badged tribute models before – in both 2001 and 2008.

Looks to Die For

The 2019 version of the Ford Mustang Bullitt may, at first glance, look like a standard GT. However, the simple Bullitt design theme features a clean front grille, with no Mustang badge and a subtle chrome accent around the edges. Around the back, there’s a circular Bullitt badge, which is also on the steering wheel. Pricing for the Mustang Bullitt starts at $47,590, and you can spend up to $52,980 if you choose all options.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt video review
The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt uses a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 480 horsepower. [Photo: TFLcar]


Propulsion comes by way of a longitudinally-mounted 5.0-liter V8 engine. Unlike the standard 460 horsepower GT, the Bullitt cranks out 480 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. To make that extra twenty horsepower, Ford fitted an open air induction system, a Shelby GT350 intake manifold, and an 87-millimeter throttle body. The engine’s motive force is geared to the rear wheels through a 3.73 Torsen limited-slip rear differential. The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is available with an updated, smooth-shifting six-speed manual transmission. There’s even a cue-ball shifter, setting it apart from the standard GT.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
[Photo: Ford]
The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt has the MagneRide active damping system that responds to various road surface conditions. MagneRide adjusts the damping rate every few milliseconds. In turn, that provides the best possible contact for the grippy 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport tires.

There are seven available driving modes in the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt. There’s Comfort, Normal, Sport, Sport+, Track, Drag Strip and Snow/Ice. If you want to adjust steering, exhaust and suspension settings yourself, the customizable MyMode affords that opportunity.

2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt interior. [Photo: Arv Voss]

Comfort and Convenience

Featured highlights of the new Bullitt Mustang include a healthy amount of optional equipment from the standard Mustang GT. To kick things off, there’s a fully-customizable 12-inch digital instrument cluster. The Bullitt also includes the GT Performance Package suspension, six-piston Brembo front brakes with larger rotors and staggered Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires.  Ford also fitted standard active valve performance exhaust and 19-inch American Racing “Torque Thrust” wheels.

The standard sound system is the same nine-speaker unit found on all Premium-level Mustangs. Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support also comes standard. The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt’s 8-way power adjustable standard seats are exceptionally supportive and comfortable. However, there are optional Recaro seats for $1,595, which are manually adjustable and quite snug.

Apart from the seats, there are two other options available for the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt. The MagneRide Damping System costs $1,695. The Bullitt Electronics Package adds navigation, a B&O premium audio system and Ford’s Blind Spot Information System with rear cross-traffic alert for $2,100. Color options for the Bullitt are limited to either Dark Highland Green or Shadow Black.

The Story Behind the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Warner Bros. originally purchased two 1968 Mustangs for the making of the film. A company employee later purchased one of the cars, then sold it in 1970 to a New Jersey Police detective for $6,000. In 1974, the car again changed hands to the Kiernan brothers in 1974 for $6,000. The Kiernans used it as their family car until 1980, despite Steve McQueen’s offer to purchase it in 1977.

In 2001, Robert Kiernan and his 20-year-old son Sean began restoring the original Mustang Bullitt. Sean Inherited the car when Robert passed away in 2014. He carried on the rebuild, firing it up for the first time on July 4, 2016. Last year, the famous pony car reunited with the McQueen family, when Steve’s granddaughter Molly met with Sean in the Ford design studio in Dearborn.

TFLcar’s Take

The 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is not configured to be a top track performer, but rather a hot street rod. Just like Steve McQueen, the Mustang Bullitt is “The King of Cool” in the current Mustang stable. Whether or not you’re an admirer of Steve McQueen or an avid fan of the “Bullitt” movie, the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt is a sheer joy to drive.

It’s particularly suited to tight, twisting roads with severe elevation changes, always displaying remarkable stability. The handling characteristics are stellar, with excellent steering input and feel with a nice, thick steering wheel.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

On Sale: Now
Base MSRP: $46,595
Price as Tested:
Engine: 5.0-liter TI-VCT naturally-aspirated V8
Drivetrain (Layout): Longitudinally mounted front engine, rear-wheel drive
Horsepower: 480 hp @ 7,000 rpm
Torque: 420 lb-ft @ 4,600 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual with downshift rev-matching.
Suspension: Front: Optional MagneRide Damping System/ Double-ball-joint MacPherson strut with stabilizer bar (heavy-duty front springs) and hydraulic gas-pressurized, outboard-mounted shock absorbers.

Rear: Integral-link independent with coil springs and stabilizer bar (Upsized rear sway bar) and and hydraulic gas-pressurized, outboard-mounted shock absorbers.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs and Brembo six-piston front brake calipers
Tires: Front: Michelin Pilot Sport – 255/40 ZR19

Rear: Michelin Pilot Sport P255/40 ZR19

Fuel capacity: 16.0 gallons
Fuel economy (EPA): 15 City / 24 Highway / 18 Combined mpg


Wheelbase: 107.1 inches
Length: 188.5 inches
Width: 54.3 inches
Height: 54.3 inches
Turning Circle: 36.5 feet
Curb Weight: 3,850 pounds