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2019 Ford Mustang BULLITT Review | carsales


Some cars have their story told long before
they reach the showroom floor. They have a purpose, a tradition to live up
to, a reason for being. And the new Ford Mustang BULLITT is one of
those cars. Celebrating 50 years since the release of
the Steve McQueen Hollywood flick of the same name, this is a Mustang steeped in history,
famous for one of the greatest car chase scenes to dazzle the silver screen. But at the same time, the historical hype
probably shouldn’t define the BULLIT Mustang, because this is undoubtedly the best Mustang
we’ve seen in Australia. It doesn’t really need a Hollywood entrance
because it creates its own. Limited to only 700 examples in Australia,
all spoken for immediately after the BULLITT’s confirmation, this flagship Mustang commands
a $10,000 premium over the current GT with which it shares its key underbody credentials. At its heart is a familiar five litre naturally
aspirated V8, mated exclusively to a short throw six speed manual. Outputs are up six kilowatts and ten Newton
metres via an open air induction system and intake manifold, 87 millimetre throttle bodies,
new air filter, and a power control module borrowed from the Shelby Mustang GT 350. The BULLITT rides standard on Ford’s magna
ride dampers, and includes rev matching, a four mode active valve exhaust, along with
individual drive and steering modes. Above all else, you’re getting a car with
a real sense of occasion, from the fake BULLITT fuel cap at the rear to the highland green
paint work and this really cool white cue ball shifter. It’s a nod to the BULLITT’s pedigree,
without being too over the top. And then there’s the sound. This isn’t a quiet car with a loud mode,
it’s a really loud car with a quiet mode, and it sounds amazing. That sense of occasion really transcends the
driving experience as well. I’ve got to say, I reckon this is one of
the best sounding – if not the best sounding new car that I’ve driven this year, together
with the tactile and stubby short throat six speed manual, it lends the BULLITT Mustang
a really nice mechanical edge. At the same time it really lives up to the
GT premise – it’s broad, comfortable, and it has adaptive dampers that, in their
softest setting, together with the 19 inch wheels, means that the car won’t rattle
your bones out. Noise is well insulated, and the cabin feels
special enough, given the price tag. Equally, if you up the ante, the Ford Mustang
can happily develop into a nice little canter. The engine really finds its speed from about
4,000 RPM onwards, and builds steadily to the 7,500 RPM cut out. Once you’re there, it feels well tied down
and comfortable at a bit of speed. The BULLITT isn’t perfect. There are typical packaging quirks, like the
handbrake being on the wrong side of the console, along with some customary cheap Detroit finishes,
but it balances everyday comfort with performance in a way that encourages you to overlook its
foibles. It’s a charming machine no doubt. Now yes, there is only a three star safety
rating, and the rear seat is virtually useless. Additionally, being a V8 you’re going to use
plenty of petrol. But I like to think of the BULLITT Mustang
as the perfect midlife crisis car. It has historical relevance, it doesn’t
price itself out of the equation, and it’s probably something of an investment, given
there are only 700 coming. If you can’t tell, I’m a bit of a fan. There is a bigger game at play here. See, being a right hand drive market, Australia
has missed out on some of the hottest version of the new Mustang, cars like the GT 350 and
the GT 500. The BULLITT Mustang is a genuine step in the
direction of those cars, and that is its appeal. The fact that it commemorates a 50 year old
chase scene, well, it’s simply a bonus.

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