Prior to its unveiling, the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullit had to be one of the worst kept secrets of the 2018 North American International Auto Show. Rumors of its existence wafted throughout the outer reaches of the internet, and it was even spotted out on a photo shoot prior to its big debut in Detroit, but the wait was certainly worth it, with this iteration of Bullit perhaps being the most potent, and distinctively retro looking Mustang offering ever built by Ford.
The exterior styling of the Bullit is largely based on the 2018 Ford Mustang with much of that car's traits present and accounted for here. However, the Bullit also follows the script laid out by other Bullit editions, and emerges on the scene wearing the same familiar shade of green paint (Shadow Black is available as an option) and lacks much of the chrome trim that is sometimes found on standard Mustang GTs. The lone exceptions to this rule are the chrome trim for the window surrounds, and the gaudy looking faux gas cap on the rear fascia. We are willing to live with the latter item, considering how cool the rest of the car is when viewed from multiple angles.
However, the most compelling detail is the one that lets viewers look under the hood, and Ford did not skimp on the details in this very crucial area. Like all Mustang GTs, the Bullit shares the familiar 5.0 liter V8, but Ford engineers added upgrades including a new open air induction system, and 87 mm throttle bodies, as well as the intake manifold from the Shelby GT350. Ford claims that there is also a special Bullit exclusive performance calibration in the PCM, but since the company is claiming that the car is capable of "at least 475 horsepower," it suggests that final tuning specs have not been achieved yet, and that figure could very well go a bit higher for the final production version once it rumbles its way onto dealer lots.
The upgrades are rounded out by 19-inch aluminium torque thrust wheels, as well as an active exhaust upgrade that features black exhaust tips to help ensure that the neighbors will hear your Bullit coming from miles away. All Bullits arrive with manual transmissions that incorporate a classic Q-ball style shift knob on top of the shift lever, and we expect tweaks to the gear ratio for slightly more accurate shift behavior and response.
The interior of the Bullit reflects the essence of simplicity generated by the exterior, with much of the chrome work pitched for more muted accents, as well as a Bullit adorned steering wheel. Ford will offer three different interior options for Bullit buyers, including a Bullit Electronics package that adds navigation, memory seats, an upgraded sound system, and a suite of driver assist technology. However, unless you want the ghosts of both Steve Mcqueen, and the remnants of your childhood haunting you for defiling such a simplistically perfect canvas, we suggest sticking with Mcqueen approved options like the MagneRide semi-active suspension, and the Recaro black leather sport seats with contrasting green stitching.
Ford claims that the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullit will arrive in dealers this summer, with the first production model being auctioned off by Barrett Jackson for charity next week. Proceeds from the sale will go towards Boys Republic, a school that Steve Mcqueen once attended in his youth. In the meantime, you can check out both videos of the Bullit in action below, with the second video featuring Mcqueen's granddaughter Molly who was in attendance for the unveiling of the 2019 Bullit.