One of Ford’s most iconic special edition Mustangs is back!

The 2018 Detroit Auto Show just opened, and a bombshell has already been dropped. The source of the bombshell? Ford and the new Mustang Bullitt, a special edition version of the iconic muscle car that’s named after the 1968 Steve McQueen movie, Bullitt. The history behind Ford’s use of the Bullitt name only dates back to 2001 when Ford partnered with Warner Bro. to offer a special version of its GT Mustang as a tribute to the 1968 390 fastback model driven by McQueen. Including the version that we’re currently drooling over, Ford has only used the Bullitt name on a special edition Mustang three times. It’s one of the rarest Mustang SEs you’ll see, and it’s association with the King of Cool himself elevates it as one of the most desirable ‘Stangs to hit the market in recent years.

What's in a Name? The History Behind The "Bullitt" Name Exterior
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The Ford Mustang Bullitt is a lot of things. It’s beautiful, powerful, and exclusive. Most of all, it’s cool.

The Ford Mustang Bullitt. What else can we say about it to properly expound the popular belief that it’s the coolest special edition Mustang in history? Perhaps we can turn the stage over to Darrell Behmer, Mustang chief designer, to describe how special the new Ford Mustang Bullitt is. "This new Bullitt is, as Steve McQueen was, effortlessly cool," he said. "As a designer, it’s my favorite Mustang — devoid of stripes, spoilers and badges. It doesn’t need to scream about anything — it’s just cool."

That’s the word. Cool. The Ford Mustang Bullitt is a lot of things. It’s beautiful, powerful, and exclusive. Most of all, it’s cool.

2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt

What's in a Name? The History Behind The "Bullitt" Name
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The 2001 Bullitt featured a number of exclusive features that separated it from standard Mustangs at the time.

That was the case back in 2001 when Ford and Warner Bros. teamed up to create the first version of the Mustang Bullitt. The rationale behind its creation was simple. Ford and WB wanted to honor the movie that featured one of the most iconic high-speed car chases in Hollywood history.

Befitting its no-frills approach, the 2001 Bullitt was offered in just three colors: Black, True Blue, and Dark Highland Green, the same shade of green that was used on the 1968 Mustang 390 fastback that starred opposite McQueen in the movie.

The 2001 Bullitt featured a number of exclusive features that separated it from standard Mustangs at the time. It had a new intake design, high-flow mufflers, and special underdrive pulleys that helped it generate an output in excess of 265 horsepower and 305 pound-feet of torque. The special edition Mustang proved adept at different racing scenarios, more so than at the drag strip where it was capable of covering the quarter-mile in about 14.4 seconds at close to 100 mph, 0.3 seconds quicker and two mph faster than the standard Mustang GT.

Beyond its incredible capabilities, the 2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt also came with a large hood scoop, new side scoops, and a unique rear side window that was inspired by the 1968 Mustang 390. Speaking of which, the OG Mustang Bullitt also had its seat upholstery patterned after the 1968 model.

2008-2009 Ford Mustang Bullitt

2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt
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Seven years after the first Mustang Bullitt came into our lives, Ford brought the special edition nameplate back a second time with the arrival of the 2008 Mustang Bullitt. The second version of the Mustang Bullitt followed the no-fuss approach of its predecessor. In fact, all badges except for the fake gas cap were replaced with Bullitt-specific badges. Ford also removed the decklid spoiler, a standard item on the standard Mustang at the time.

References to the movie also showed up in the interior of the 2008 Bullitt. Included in the list of equipment were the Bullitt door sills, gauges, steering wheel cap, aluminum shift knob and pedals, an engine-turned aluminum dash panel, and GT500-inspired front seats and GT500-inspired steering wheel with black stitching.

In terms of power, the second Mustang Bullitt had 315 horsepower on tap. The output was mated to a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, allowing it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds, before hitting a quarter-mile time of 13.8 seconds at 102 mph.

2018 Ford Mustang Bullitt

What's in a Name? The History Behind The "Bullitt" Name
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For the third time, Ford decided to adopt a no-frills approach in developing the new Bullitt

The all-new Ford Mustang Bullitt is going to have people talking for a long time. For the third time, Ford decided to adopt a no-frills approach in developing the new Bullitt. There are racing stripes, spoilers, or badges on the car. In fact, all it has is a choice of two paint colors — Black and Dark Highland Green - to go along with a few chrome accents around the grille and front windows.

Power comes from a 5.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 475 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. No mention was made on how fast it can accelerate to 60 mph, but Ford did say that the Mustang Bullitt is capable of hitting 163 mph without breaking a sweat.

Regardless of what you may think, the new Ford Mustang Bullitt is a treat for the senses. I looks awesome, as enough power to impress, and carries the same name as the movie that propelled Queen to Hollywood fame and glory.Ford hasn’t announced pricing details, but expect more info on that end to arrive sooner than later.

References

Ford Mustang

2018 Ford Mustang High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 Ford Mustang.

2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt
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Read our full review on the 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt.

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