The star’s choice of a battered, Highland Green Mustang GT390 for his titular detective was carefully considered and perfectly suited the film’s vibe. And the image of McQueen convincingly throwing the car around San Francisco streets in clouds of tyre smoke is rightly iconic for its raw speed and authenticity. This latest Bullitt Mustang is the third Ford has built over the years but the first we’ve been able to buy here in right-hand-drive. Although it’s on the regular pricelist expect supply to be carefully managed, talk of the allocation selling out likely to fuel excitement.
The formula remains true to those previous, US-only editions too – Highland Green paint, a few trim pieces and some minor engine tweaks to put the driver in McQueen’s loafers, even if they’re just popping down the shops. On paper there’s not a huge amount to justify the £5,400 premium over the regular (and already very good) 5.0 GT. But the experience at the wheel goes to show what a difference a few subtle modifications can make, especially for a born entertainer like the Mustang.
The engine gets an Open Air Induction system adapted from the America-only Shelby GT350, a supersized cone filter the obvious clue to the improved breathing. Power is up slightly from 450PS (444bhp) to 459PS (453bhp) but with the promise of a lot more noise and improved response, especially at the McQueen end of the rev range. You also get the signature cue-ball shifter (the Bullitt is only available as a Fastback manual), standard Recaro seats, green stitching and standard B&O Premium Audio and SYNC3 navigation. A 12-speaker stereo delivers 1000W of booming bass and a subwoofer in the boot. But the only sound system you really need concern yourself about is the one under the bonnet.