Bullitt Mustang Impressions
Ever since the Bullitt Mustang was featured as a concept car at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show, I have had a deep interest in the car. As soon as the car appeared on the show floor, I started receiving phone calls from enthusiasts telling me just how much they liked the Bullitt and wanted to know if Ford would ever produce the car or if the company was just teasing them with another show Mustang. I was amazed at the number of people I talked with who had never seen the 1968 movie Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen and the Highland Green Mustang fastback. Even so, they liked the Bullitt concept car and wanted to buy it.
I have driven the Bullitt Mustang and liked it so much, my wife and I ordered one in Highland Green, just like the original. In my opinion, Ford has created a well-balanced Mustang that captures the very essence of Steve McQueen and his '68 Mustang--but with all the current technology and hardware. The adage that a performance car must go fast, handle well, and look good to be considered a true performance offering is fulfilled big time by the '01 Bullitt Mustang!
The car is fast with 275 hp. Revised suspension that's been lowered 3/4 inch with framerail connectors, special stabilizer bars, and revised shocks make a big difference over the standard GT and really make the Bullitt handle well; the car is extremely well-balanced. I really like the revised and improved pedals that allow for heal-and-toe driving--this feature adds to the appeal of the car for me. The big brakes--13-inch Brembos--provide excellent stopping capability. When I hit the hooks for the first time, my glasses just about became implanted into the windshield! The interior and exterior styling cues set the Bullitt apart from the Mustang GT. The exterior has a sophisticated, mean, performance look that is paid off by the car's performance.
The fact that Team Mustang and the Mustang Brand Team could in one year go from a concept car to production is an amazing feat most automobile companies cannot or will not do. This is not a tape-and-stripe queen. The Bullitt Mustang is a true performance offering that's loaded with content to make the added price a true value. I think Steve McQueen would love to drive the '01 Bullitt. We can't wait to take delivery of ours.
J. Walter Thompson
Mean Go Green
The Bullitt car. Had I been a betting man six months ago, I would have told you that there was no way Ford would produce the Highland Green coupe named for one of the best chase scenes in movie-making history. OK, it is really named after the character portrayed by Steve McQueen in the detective thriller released in 1968 but we all know it for the chase.
As for the '01 Mustang concept car turned reality check, corporations don't move like that. But then, Team Mustang seems to have that devil-may-care attitude that flies in the face of what the starched shirts in the glass tower like. My opinion? Keep it up. At Ford, Team Mustang seems to be the only one that has the "Jump and Shout" to bring something as quirky and cool as the Bullitt Mustang out in front of the masses.
Not having driven the dark green wonder from Detroit, I am still frothing for one. It conjures up images of days gone by as well as the chance to be Frank in today's world. Yep, gimme my Glock 9, a Bianchi X16 agent holster, the license to use it, and I'm there. Say, is that black Intrepid following me? Nooo problem.
Ford's Press Release on the New Bullitt
LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4, 2001 - Ford announced it will introduce the 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT, a performance derivative inspired by the legendary 1968 Mustang Fastback that co-starred with Steve McQueen in the classic Warner Bros. Pictures film, Bullitt.
The decision to put the Bullitt into production came after Ford received overwhelming positive response from consumers who first saw a concept version of the car at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show.
"The movie has some of the greatest car-chase scenes ever filmed," says Ford Division President, Jim O'Connor. "The 1968 Fastback Mustang GT 390, driven by Steve McQueen, created an indelible image in the minds of millions of people. We have taken some of the passion from the Hollywood film and put it into an exciting new car."
The 2001 Bullitt features exterior enhancements that visually and emotionally connect it to the 1968 Fastback from the film. These modifications include unique side scoops, 17-inch Bullitt-style aluminum wheels and a lowered suspension.
The C-pillars and quarter panel molding have been modified to create a unique look. Rocker-panel moldings enhance the low-to-the-ground appearance. A bold, brushed aluminum fuel filler door is prominently placed on the quarter panel. Bullitt badging and polished-rolled tailpipe tips further distinguish the car. Bullitt is available in Dark Highland Green, True Blue and Black. The heart of Bullitt GT is a 4.6L SOHC V-8 modified to improve airflow and reduce parasitic loses. It produces at least 270 horsepower and significantly more torque than the Mustang GT engine.
- Twin 57mm bore throttle body
- Cast aluminum intake manifold
- High flow mufflers for increased power and aggressive performance sound
- Optimized alternator and pump pulley ratios
- Bullitt's suspension translates this power into crisp road manners. The vehicle is lowered three-fourths of an inch to generate a firmer, better-balanced ride and improved handling characteristics. The performance-handling package includes:
- Re-valved Tokico struts and shocks
- Unique stabilizer bars (front and rear)
- Frame rail connectors>li>Thirteen-inch Brembo front rotors and performance calipers provide excellent stopping capability. The calipers are painted red and are visible through the 17-inch wheels spokes when the car is parked or when it is cruising the streets of San Francisco.
"Bullitt is quick off the line, handles great, stops fast and shifts easily with improved pedal relationship," says Art Hyde, Mustang chief program engineer. "This is the best performing GT we have ever produced." Inside, Bullitt features performance bucket seats with Dark Charcoal leather trim. A brushed aluminum shifter ball, shifter bezel, door sill plates with Bullitt nomenclature and aluminum pedal covers accent the interior's performance appearance. The instrument cluster is a modern interpretation of 1960s design and offers unique curved numeric speedometer graphics and a white-lit background.
"With the Mustang Bullitt, we have a lot of functional features that would make Steve McQueen and Lt. Frank Bullitt proud today," says O'Connor. "Bullitt has elevated the GT into an unforgettable car that enhances Ford's performance reputation and builds on Mustang's performance tradition that began with vehicles like the Mach 1, Boss 302 and the 428 Cobra Jet."
All these features are included for a package price of $3,695 MSRP. There will be a limited production of about 5,000 Mustang Bullitt GTs built on the same line of the Dearborn Assembly Plant that produces the V6, GT and Cobra Mustangs. Each Bullitt will come with a unique serialized identification label from the factory to ensure exclusivity and collectability.
Ford marked Mustang's 35th anniversary in 1999 with across-the-board improvements, including major styling, powertrain and handling upgrades. Increases in horsepower and torque gave more muscle to both the V-6 and V-8 engines and reduced 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration times.
The exterior design harkens back to the concept of the original pony car, with styling cues like the classic long hood and short deck; a prominent hood scoop; enlarged, sculptured side scoops with a bold triangular shape; and the vehicle's signature tri-bar taillamps. Mustang enthusiasts recognize familiar details like the rear spoiler, honeycomb grille textures, and side character lines.
Mustang boasted sales of 418,812 its first year on the market after making its debut at the New York World's Fair in 1964. The millionth Mustang was produced in Dearborn, Michigan in 1966. Since then, the all-American sports car has become one of the legendary automotive brands and more than seven million Mustangs have been sold.
Ford Motor Co. is the world's largest producer of trucks and the second-largest producer of cars and trucks combined, marketing and selling approximately 7 million vehicles globally through its seven brands last year. Ford Motor Co. employs approximately 345,000 people in plants, offices and laboratories to serve consumers in more than 200 countries and territories. Ford Motor Co. is also one of the largest providers of financial services worldwide through Ford Credit and related businesses. Ford Motor Co. provides consumers and commercial financial services through 2,400 branches in 33 countries.
Steve McQueen's heirs have been working closely with Ford on this project and look forward to honoring the memory of Mr. McQueen.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a division of Time Warner Entertainment Company, L.P., is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations, which includes a vast library of intellectual properties and the Warner Bros. Studio Stores.