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The Ford Mustang was the pony car that started it all. Also known as a muscle car, pony cars are known for their power as well as their style. When the Mustang originated, the pony car trend was all about creating affordable sporty coupes with long hoods and short rear decks. “Affordable” may not be the term we think of today when vehicles like the Dodge SRT Hellcat and Demon are rolling around, but back in 1965 when the first Mustang was produced, it gave rise to many competitors, such as the Chevrolet Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, AMC Javelin, Chrysler's revamped Plymouth Barracuda, and the second generation Dodge Challenger. In its sixth generation and going into the 2019 model year, Ford is releasing a new variation of their Mustang, the Mustang Bullit.
The new Mustang Bullit pays homage to the 1968 movie Bullitt that features a 10-minute long race scene of the classic Mustang (driven by actor Steve McQueen) in hot pursuit of a Dodge Charger through the hilly streets of San Francisco. “Bullit” is actually the last name of McQueen’s character, Frank Bullit, but it sure sounds like the object, a “bullet”. Now, we don’t expect any vehicle to travel 1,500 mph, about the speed of a bullet, but like a sniper, Ford shot the Bullit into North American auto shows without any warning, and the new Bullit is already said to go on sale this summer with limited units. Here’s what we know so far.
The Ford Bullit has also popped up in the automarket twice before this iteration with limited production. Now, set for 2019, is the newest Ford Mustang Bullit, said to come with an upgraded 5.0-liter V8 engine that can generate 475 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque. Estimated at a top speed of 163 mph, it sounds pretty nice. Designed with features to resemble the Mustang in Bullit, the Mustang Bullit comes with subtle chrome accents around the grille and front windows, classic torque thrust 19-inch aluminum wheels, red painted Brembo brakes, and a unique black front grille. The interior comes with leather upholstery with green accent stitching on the dashboard, door panels, center console and seats, and sports the cue ball gear shift.
“When making a Bullitt, there are certain things it absolutely must have … 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.” - Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann.
It seems like every year, Ford claims it will build a Mustang more powerful than the Dodge Challenger, and every year it falls short. Even if we were to ignore the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat, Hellcat Widebody, and SRT Demon, the Bullit still doesn’t touch the power of the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT 392. Powered by a 6.4-Liter V8 SRT® HEMI® engine, this muscle car can generate 485 horsepower, 474 lb-ft of torque, and is able to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds and cover a quarter mile in 12.5 seconds, with a top speed of 182 mph.
Hmm…we wouldn’t quite say the Mustang, even the Bullit, comes close to the kind of power the Dodge Challenger can put out. The Mustang may have been the first pony car, and the Bullit sure does look like one hot piece to debut, but Ford should really start putting its money where its mouth is, or stop talking cocky altogether. Otherwise, the automaker might want to build one-seater muscle cars like the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon. After all, is there really any space left with such a large ego?
Tell us what you think of the upcoming 2019 Ford Mustang Bullit on NowCar social media.