Ford let out the world’s worst-kept secret Sunday night, revealing the 2019 Mustang Bullitt before its debut at the Detroit auto show. It appeared on stage with a surviving dark Highland green 1968 Mustang GT fastback from the classic film starring Steve McQueen.
The new Mustang keeps the current 5.0-liter V8, but output is bumped to “at least 475 hp,” according to Ford, and 420 lb-ft. Top speed is raised to 163 mph, an 8-mph increase over the GT. As McQueen would have spec’d it, it’s only offered with a cue-ball shifter manual transmission.
The Bullitt packages all Mustang GT Premium and Performance Package options and comes standard with an active exhaust system and black exhaust tips. Additionally, the Bullitt steals the GT350’s intake manifold with bigger throttle bodies and the powertrain control module.
Other nods to McQueen’s movie ride include the chrome accents, torque thrust wheel and faux circular gas cap. The only other paint choice is shadow black.
Sean Kiernan, owner of the hero vehicle, inherited the car in 2014 from his late father, Robert, who had purchased the vehicle in 1974.
Inside, it gets leather seats and green accent stitching on the dash, door panels and center console. Only three factory-installed options are available: an electronics package with navigation, memory seats, upgraded sound, blind spot info and cross-traffic alert; the MagneRide adaptive dampers; Recaro leather seats.
Ford showed a couple of short films at the Cobo Center event. One featured a third-generation member of the McQueen family Molly jockeying for a parking spot against a Dodge Challenger; the other is about the original movie car, which went into a private collection after the movie came out but will be on display at the show.
The Mustang Bullitt goes on sale this summer.
Check out the videos below.