From £48,1458

Ford celebrates the iconic movie’s 50th anniversary with a ‘remake’ edition

Find Ford Mustang Bullitt 2019-2020 deals
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
New car deals
From £48,145
Nearly-new car deals
From £42,374
Sell your car
In partnership with
Powered by

Three years after it began, Ford’s great European sales experiment with its sixth-generation Ford Mustang muscle car is still going strong.

Having introduced the car in the spring of 2015, Ford has now officially registered a little over 40,000 Mustangs on our side of the pond – in the same timeframe and territory in which about 75,000 Audi TTs were registered, along with about 50,000 Porsche 911s and 35,000 Mazda MX5s.

Historically, bootlid spoilers and Mustangs have mixed about as agreeably as engine oil and water. Not least out of deference to the 1960s film icon, the Bullitt doesn’t have one

That’s not a bad little gaggle of sporting icons for the Mustang to get in among, in volume terms. And this year’s sales figures will be boosted by the first Ford Mustang mid-cycle facelift that the car has had since its European introduction.

This has brought notably sharpened styling; an upgraded interior; a dab of extra performance; a new choice of gearboxes; revised and retuned suspension; and a list of added active safety and convenience features.

There’s also a new headline act for the Mustang line, at least as far as European sales are concerned: the subject of this week’s road test, the special-edition Ford Mustang Bullitt.

There have been Bullitt Mustang specials before, in 2001 and 2008 – and, like both of its forebears, the shtick of this new one is to play on the cult movie cachet generated for the Mustang by Peter Yates’ 1968 cinema classic of the same name. But this Bullitt ’Stang is special, Ford says, because it has been created to mark the 50th anniversary of that much-celebrated car-chase film – and it’s also the first that we Brits have easily been able to get our hands on. So read on to find out how special they mean.

Back to top



Ford Mustang Bullitt 2018 road test review - hero side

The raft of updates wrought upon the Mustang for the 2018 model year was chiefly intended to create a more rounded sports car than Ford offered us three years ago. One that might better appeal to customers who refused the car first time around because it didn’t have all the modern active safety and convenience features they wanted.

So if you’ve always liked the idea of Mustang ownership but aren’t prepared to compromise on mod cons such as adaptive cruise control, smartphone mirroring and a modern-feeling automatic gearbox (there are 10 speeds; count ’em), now you needn’t.

Exterior design is nowhere better distinguished than at the radiator grille, where there’s a dash more chrome but only an empty space where that equine emblem might otherwise be. Menacing

At the same time, Ford has added a new ‘dual-fuel’ direct and indirect injection system to the car’s Coyote V8 engine. Using that new V8 as a basis, the Bullitt adds the ‘open air’ induction system of the Mustang Shelby GT350 and gets as standard equipment the active exhaust that appears as an option on lesser Mustang GTs.

The need to comply with WLTP emissions regulations prevents the 2018 Bullitt from developing quite as much power and torque in European trim as it does in North America, though (475bhp, 420lb ft). On our side of the pond, Bullitt customers get 453bhp and 390lb ft – the former only a nine horsepower improvement on the output of a regular Mustang V8.

Retuned springs and anti-roll bars, a stiffened rear subframe, reworked power steering and retuned stability control feature on all 2018 Mustangs. Magnetorheological adaptive dampers are an option on the higher-end examples, the Bullitt included – and our test car had ’em.

In addition to those items, the Bullitt’s running gear has been augmented most by something US Mustang buyers have been able to access these past couple of years: Ford’s GT Performance Package. The car gets six-piston brake calipers from Brembo; suspension springs that have been lowered and stiffened by another few degrees; beefed-up anti-roll bars; recalibrated dampers; and a Torsen limited-slip differential.

The Mustang Bullitt is manual only and available in just coupé form. Its six-speed manual ’box benefits from the twin-disc clutch and dual-mass flywheel fitted to all 2018-model-year ‘stick-shift’ V8s, as well as an automatic mid-shift rev-matching function.


Ford Mustang Bullitt 2018 road test review - cabin

Despite Ford’s best efforts to instil the right kind of perceived quality and material richness into the latest Mustang, the Bullitt’s cabin still doesn’t compare, for perceived quality or material appeal, with sports cars such as the BMW M2 Competition or Porsche 718 Cayman S.

That may seem an unrealistic expectation of any Mustang but, since this one is priced very much like those cars, it’s a reasonable criticism. Hard moulded plastics are used fairly extensively throughout the interior and in particular around the Sync3 touchscreen infotainment system in the centre of the dashboard.

White cue ball shifter looks the part and feels good in the hand, despite being plastic. Rev-matching function makes the shifting process easier, but it’s never ‘easy’

Apparent build quality has also left something to be desired. Although our test car didn’t have any loose or rough trim, particularly vigorous or enthusiastic interactions with the gearlever caused the entire centre console to move about and creak. Anyone familiar with previous Ford Mustangs would find little to complain about here; but if Ford’s intent was to make this car more appealing to those who aren’t students of the car’s legend, you might question how successful it has been.

The chunky Recaro sports seats are generously bolstered and far from unsuitable for long-distance drives. The base of the seats can be adjusted electronically, which lets you sit reasonably low down in the Mustang’s cabin. The seat back can be moved only manually, which does rule out the possibility of making those more minute adjustments to seating position while on the move.

Ford’s now ubiquitous Sync3 infotainment system comes as standard on the Mustang Bullitt and includes features such as sat-nav, DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto right out of the box.

Ford’s software is simple enough to use but it’s graphically rather basic. The sat-nav system isn’t particularly outstanding for its usability or the detail of its mapping, and while it’s easy to switch between menus and functions, chances are you’ll default to using one of the two smartphone-driven operating systems instead.

Thankfully, Ford hasn’t followed in the footsteps of numerous other manufacturers and removed all physical buttons from the centre console. Large volume and tuning dials are within easy reach, as are the controls for ventilation and air-con.

A B&O Play 1000W premium audio system is included in the Mustang’s £48,145 asking price. The 12-speaker set-up offers reasonable enough audio quality, but you’ll need to turn it up good and loud to hear it over the V8 engine rumble. There are clearly worse problems to have.

A 12in digital instrument cluster is fitted as standard. The digital dials are easy to read and the display itself is easily customisable via the steering-wheel-mounted controls. The dials change depending on the drive mode selected, too, although there is the option to retain the default display, with as many analogue-style dials as you could want, if you choose.

With 570mm of leg room and 820mm of head room available in the back seats, there’s enough space for children. That’s no better or worse than is offered by most 2+2 coupés in this class, although it might be a touch disappointing based on the sheer size of the Mustang.


Ford Mustang Bullitt 2018 road test review - engine

When we tested the pre-facelifted Ford Mustang GT nearly three years ago, its atmospheric 5.0-litre V8 felt like it might generate at least 75% of your total affection for the car; and that was allowing for all of the dynamic improvements realised by that newly independent suspension and the car’s considerable visual allure.

In the new Mustang Bullitt, the truth of the car’s mystique isn’t too different. This is a sports car whose engine continues to exercise a superb dominion over everything else bound up in its driving experience. This car clearly isn’t the fastest option at a near-£50k price point and doesn’t have the accessible torque of modern turbocharged equivalents. But the joy you find in exploring the rich V8 bellow of its engine, in appreciating the crisp proportionality of that engine’s response to pedal inputs and in deploying gathering outright potency as the revs rise is both rare and worth savouring.

You don’t often find underbonnet modifications on a limited-edition sports car like the Bullitt’s GT350-derived induction system these days. When you’re asked what’s special about the car, it’s something physical that you can point at. Can’t help really liking that

Against our timing gear, the Bullitt showed as big an improvement over the Mustang GT of 2016 as you might expect of a car of about the same kerb weight, of the same amount of torque, and having gained less than 10% on peak power. Performance tested in similar conditions, the Mustang Bullitt needed 5.2sec to hit 60mph from rest – precisely what the Mustang GT needed – and it was well into three figures before starting, on paper at least, to take significant strides away from its pre-facelifted sibling. From 30mph to 70mph through the gears, the Bullitt was just 0.1sec quicker.

It’s also quickest away from rest without the aid of a launch control system that seemed oddly wary to protect the car’s driveline. The Bullitt proved quite hard on its clutch during standing-start testing, which seemed to have plenty to do with converting the energy of an apparently heavy crankshaft into urgent forward motion in a fairly hefty car. There’s a note of stubbornness, too, about the shift quality of the notchy, heavy manual gearbox, which is right on the borderline between a likeable sense of mechanical connectedness and something more objectionable when the transmission is operating at normal temperatures.

But what a lovely engine. Ford’s induction and software control modifications allows the Mustang’s crossplane crankshift to spin all the way to 7300rpm, whereas the last Mustang V8 we tested was all done by 6500rpm. It doesn’t raise hell with its soundtrack even in the noisiest setting of that active exhaust system and it doesn’t sound greatly different from a GT, either; a touch more vocal and burbling at low revs, perhaps.

But while that extra bit of willingness to rev at the top of the tacho’s travel encourages you to hold onto gears and to frequently use the last 1500rpm of the Bullitt’s operating rev range, the car’s audible character is lush and rousing, and so authentic and genuine with it; the perfect accompaniment to the occasional fit of indulgence.


Ford Mustang Bullitt 2018 road test review - cornering front

There is much about the way the Ford Mustang tackles a UK road that is beyond the scope of any mid-life modification or special-edition tuning job to change. This car is wider across the mirrors than a diesel-powered Vauxhall Insignia GSi and almost as heavy. In both respects, it is probably beyond the bounds of what many would be prepared to define as a sports car.

Even in Bullitt form, the Mustang feels big on many UK roads and quite ill-suited to some of them. The deftness and dexterity of handling that seems to come so easily for lighter, narrower, more natural automotive athletes are beyond it. Even so, the modifications affected on this car have had some very positive effects on the way it deals with what’s under its wheels. Moreover, there’s now even more to like about what the car does well than there was about the top-of-the-range ’Stang three years ago. And it’s not every mid-run, numbered special-edition sports car that you can say both about.

Mustang’s size and mass preclude it from feeling at home on all types of UK road but the Bullitt’s set-up enables a welcome combination of suppleness and control

Firstly, there remains an entirely appropriate sense of suppleness to the way the Bullitt rides. While large and heavy, the Bullitt feels like a realist out on the road; not at war with itself in some mistaken bid to convince you that it can grip and handle like purer and more hardcore machines, but instead ready to conduct itself with vigour and a likeable, well-judged sense of measure.

Our test car’s adaptive dampers delivered a comfy motorway ride in their normal setting and much better close body control and vertical composure on A- and B-roads than we found in the regular Mustang V8 in 2016. Ford’s uprated spring and anti-roll bar rates seem not only to keep the Bullitt’s body more level during quicker on-road cornering but also to produce stronger and more robust lateral grip levels.

You’ll want to switch between the firmer-sprung and more pragmatic drive modes pretty often to get the best out of it as the roads you’re covering change, because the Mustang certainly doesn’t have that any-road, any-setting sweetness and imperturbable nature of, say, a 718 Cayman S. But that may also be why getting the best out of it is as absorbing as it is.

Get to the nub of the car’s limit handling potential, meanwhile, and you’ll find it’s at once more grippy, more composed, more benign and more flattering to drive than a regular Mustang GT. It also works its contact patches more effectively but also feels more progressive and controllable as grip levels ebb away.

The extra tautness and control supplied by the Mustang Bullitt’s suspension is very welcome when you drive it hard. The car’s mass feels more evenly supported both laterally and between the axles, so it doesn’t progress from initial understeer to quite sudden oversteer, as the pre-facelift Mustang GT could, as you pour on power.

Ford’s automatic rev-matching gearbox feature can be left active without irritating you on track, even if you occasionally prefer to heel-and-toe between ratios. It doesn’t blip on a downshift until you’re well into the selection of your next gear.

The traction and stability control systems can be deactivated independently of each other, and with the TC off but the ESC left on, some rear-drive handling adjustability is possible with a safety net. Use Race driving mode, however, and all electronics aids are disabled.


Ford Mustang Bullitt 2018 road test review - hero front

Given that it doesn’t wear a premium badge in the traditional sense, the Bullitt is forecast to perform reasonably well against the more upmarket rivals that hover around the Ford’s £48,145 price point. Over the course of three years and 36,000 miles, our experts expect the ’Stang to hold on to 53% of its original value; a performance likely driven by limited supply. By comparison, an M2 Competition is tipped to retain 60% and an Alpine A110 54%.

The car won’t be cheap to fuel, owing to the rate at which it’s capable of getting through unleaded when driven hard. During our time with the car, we recorded an overall average of 21.0mpg. That’s worse than most of its rivals might have done although, as ever, our testing took in an intensive track session and plenty of on-road performance driving.

It performs well in the depreciation stakes, but is outdone by the premium badge-wearing BMW and Alpine

On a UK-typical 70mph touring test route, the car returned 32.5mpg, which many might consider a reason to cheer from a 5.0-litre V8 American muscle car and would allow you to exceed 400 miles between fills of the 61-litre fuel tank.



Ford Mustang Bullitt 2018 road test review - on the road hero

When Ford’s first right-hand-drive Ford Mustang hit the UK almost three years ago, we recommended it keenly as a fine alternative to the sports car mainstream, dripping with American cool and big on old-school bang for your buck. The Mustang Bullitt is a better driver’s car than that 2016 Mustang GT was in plenty of ways.

It’s also a more expensive car, though, and now finds itself in among a posse of seriously impressive £50,000 sports cars, which is why we can’t rate this car any more highly in terms of road test stars than we rated its predecessor.

Anniversary movie special edition has more than just cult appeal

In objective terms, you might look at this Mustang’s real-world performance level and wonder what all the fuss is about. An Audi TT RS is a much faster and more eye-widening hot rod driver’s car and a BMW M2 Competition is probably quicker and better-handling.

But look instead at the experience, the car’s vivacity and all of its intangible qualities, and there is very little chance that you’ll fail to ‘get’ it. The Bullitt has all the usual Mustang star quality and more.


Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.