Celebrating the 50th anniversary of iconic movie ‘Bullitt’ and its fan-favourite car chase, Ford has come out with the new Mustang Bullitt. The original Mustang GT fastback played a prominent role in the 1968 movie, and most notably in a chase scene that set new standards in filmmaking. The film’s nearly 10-minute-long sequence followed Steve McQueen chasing down two hitmen in his Mustang through the streets of San Francisco.

Third-generation member of the McQueen family, Molly, starred in a special movie of her own introducing the new third-generation Bullitt at the North American International Auto Show this week. In the film, Molly races a new Mustang Bullitt through a parking structure battling a Dodge Charger for the final free space.

Helping it win that particular spot was the Bullitt version’s upgraded 5.0-litre V8 engine that will deliver at least 475 bhp/644 Nm, pushing the car to a top speed of 262 km/h – 13 km/h faster than the latest Mustang GT.

To be available in America in mid-2018, the Mustang Bullitt is equipped with a manual transmission, and the gear shifter features a white cue ball shift knob that was present in the original. An active valve performance exhaust system is standard with new Black NitroPlate exhaust tips, and retuned to give the car a signature burble, as well as new Open Air Induction System and Shelby GT350 intake manifold with 87mm throttle bodies and powertrain control module calibration for optimal performance.

“This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool,” said Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer. “As a designer, it’s my favourite Mustang – devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything – it’s just cool.”

Exterior paint choices are limited to Shadow Black and the classic Dark Highland Green – as used in the movie. Other features that pay tribute to the car McQueen drove are subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows, classic torque thrust 19-inch aluminium wheels, red painted Brembo brakes, and a unique black front grille. Inside and out, the vehicle uses minimal badging; only the circular gas cap Bullitt logo on the rear centre is visible on the exterior.

Customers can also add a Bullitt Electronics Package or opt for MagneRide semi-active suspension system which optimizes driving performance.

The original Bullitt Mustang (left) meets the latest version.

“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have,” said Carl Widmann, Mustang chief engineer. “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.”

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The latest Ford Mustang is also available in Malaysia. Visit www.sdacford.com.my for more information.

[Chips Yap]

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