The iconic Ford Mustang Bullitt

Hugh Maguire: on a car which celebrates a movie

The iconic Ford Mustang Bullitt

The original Ford Mustang was launched way back in 1964 and to say the least the Mustang has earned Iconic car status over its 50 plus years on the road, selling over nine million units since then.

This week I am behind the wheel of the big 5.0 litre V8 Mustang Bullitt a car which salutes the famous movie Bullitt, featuring Steve McQueen. While I doubt many will bear the painful €2,350 annual road tax and 18 mpg fuel returns it really is unique. So here we go.

So has it got street cred?

It looks fantastic. I cannot think of any other car I have road tested recently that has attracted so much attention. Kids want to photograph it and on a number of occasions I saw other motorists passengers taking a video of the car as we dove along the motorway. Its big, its brash and its cool! The black alloys and the fact that there is no Ford badging, just the word “Bullitt” on the rear add to the intrigue.

So what’s it like inside?

Inside the cabin is nicely finished with leather upholstery, Recarro seats and judicious use of brushed aluminium trim. It all looks very well. The big dashboard and heavy gearshift leave you in no doubt that while designed with the European market in mind this is really is a big cruiser for the American highway.

Specification is excellent and too numerous to list here but it has everything you could wish for. Highlights include Race Track APPs with Accelerometer, a limited slip differential, reversing camera and much more.

The cabin is roomy up front but the two rear seats are strictly for the kids. The boot is quite good and can hold a reasonable amount of bags.

What’s under the bonnet?

Powered by a mighty 460 bhp 5.0 litre petrol V8 mated to a close ratio 6-speed manual gearbox this rear wheel drive beast has raw power.

Press the push button keyless start and this muscle car burbles into life rocking the car with its torque. It sounds absolutely intoxicating and will be any petrol heads dream.

Acceleration is rapid and relentless but rapid cross country driving is hampered by a rather heavy and ponderous gearshift.

Forget about fuel economy if you buy this expect an average of around 20mpg on a good day! Road tax a whopping €2,350.00!

What is it like to drive?

American cars were never as good as their European counterparts in the handling department.

Despite a modified for Europe suspension (and optional €3,030 Magne-Ride suspension on this test car) its not up to European sports car standards.

Accelerate early out of a damp roundabout and the tail will swing out quite rapidly needing quick corrective action by the driver, although the stability control will kick in to assist. In short this car can bite back. I am very familiar with many European brand sports coupes with 400 bhp plus going through the rear wheels and they are much more stable.

So this car is not he most fun to hustle along a twisty country road. However on the motorway its a very refined cruiser.

Verdict

All said and done I could not fail to love the Mustang Bullitt. Yes its a bit crazy, its a bit loud and maybe a bit brash. But in this ever more boring, politically correct world we live in its a breath of fresh air (forgive the pun). I loved it and if you are into this sort of car you will too.

The Mustang Bullitt costs €73,092 before options like Magne-Ride.