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Ford fires a new Bullitt

 

2008 Bullitt Mustang

Ford left no stone unturned when it developed the new Bullitt Mustang, inspired by the classic 1968 Steve McQueen movie which includes what is considered the greatest and most exciting car chase ever filmed.

Not only does the new special edition Mustang wear the same Highland Green paint scheme that graced McQueen’s Mustang, but engineers worked with a specially mastered DVD that helped them deliver an exhaust note that matches the film.

Ford will build 7700 Bullitt Mustangs to mark the 40th anniversary of the movie, and will sell them at a recommended price of $US31, 075.

The car uses the latest Ford Racing technology, and has special chassis and suspension tweaks and a 315-horsepower 4.6-litre V8.

The 2008 Bullitt Mustang’s live rear axle uses a unique 3.73:1 diff ratio.

Standard Mustang GT shocks and struts were replaced by units designed to dial in a more aggressive driving dynamic while maintaining the ride and balance of the base Mustang GT. A strut tower brace lends additional torsional and lateral stiffness to the chassis.

The brakes use more aggressive front pads developed specifically for the Bullitt to improve fade resistance and pedal feel. 

Its cast-aluminium Euroflange wheels offer a modern twist on the original movie car. The Dark Argent Gray spokes have a satin finish, and the wheels have a bright-machined lip.

The brake callipers are coloured to match the wheels. Tyres are the same P235/50ZR 18 BF Goodrich G-Force T/A KDWS radials used on Mustangs at the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah.

The V8’s calibration has been reconfigured to increase throttle response for a snappier acceleration feel. 

The redline has been boosted by 250rpm to 6500, with top speed bumped to 240kmh (151mph). 

The gearbox is a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, and the gear lever is topped with a polished aluminium shift ball designed specifically for the 2008 Bullitt.
The car features the first use of an open-element air filter in a factory-produced, fuel-injected Mustang. 

The Ford Racing-developed intake is tucked behind the driver’s side headlight, and is mounted in an airbox that was tooled up specifically. The bonnet liner was modified to provide a full seal to the airbox, ensuring that the engine is fed a steady diet of cooler air.
 
Engine performance is further enhanced through an adaptive spark ignition system, new for the 2008 Mustang. 
 
The system can sense, within a few seconds, what type of fuel is being injected into the motor and adjusts the spark to provide maximum torque at any given speed.

Ford says the Bullitt can run on either premium or regular fuel, but recommends premium fuel for optimum performance.  

“With all the improvements we’ve made to the engine and the taller 3.73-to-1 rear gear, the Bullitt will plant you firmly in the driver’s seat when you stand on the throttle,” says development engineer, Paul Randle. “We’ve seen zero to 60mph times drop by up to three tenths of a second. The car definitely feels lighter on its feet, and it is.”

The custom-designed exhaust system continues the Mustang’s traditional use of a true dual-exhaust system with a new H-pipe specifically developed for Bullitt. 

The all-new mufflers, featuring larger 3.5-inch chrome tips (they’re three-inch on the standard Mustang GT) are tuned to minimise back pressure, maximise horsepower and provide the Bullitt with its powerful exhaust note.

“We wanted to get the exhaust note as close to the original movie car as possible, so we based it on a digitally mastered DVD,” says Randle. “We wanted something that would rumble your heart, literally buzz you.”

The original 1968 Mustang’s stealth-like appearance wasn’t necessarily intentional. The movie crew removed all exterior badges and logos from the car – including the pony badge on the grille.

The 2008 Mustang Bullitt calls back the original movie car in painstaking detail – right down to the dark green paint and lack of exterior badges, scoops and spoilers.  

The only visible identification is the word “Bullitt” dropped into a gunsight graphic in the centre of the false fuel-filler cap on the bootlid.   

The new Bullitt wears a close match to the movie car’s 1968 Highland Green paint, officially called Dark Highland Green. This distinctive colour has only graced one other Mustang, the 2001 Mustang Bullitt, and will remain an exclusive Mustang Bullitt colour. Non-purists can opt for only one other colour – black.

The Mustang Bullitt uses the standard Mustang GT’s front fascia. A new black-mesh grille is devoid of the standard chrome pony and is accented by a satin aluminium strip that represents the chrome grille surround on the 1968 car. 

The rear fascia is also shared with the standard Mustang GT and houses the Bullitt’s unique dual exhaust tips.
The upholstery is Charcoal Black leather and the cabin has satin metallic trim. The centrepiece of the interior is the hand-machined, aluminium swirl dash panel appliqué.
 
Satin aluminium bezels circle the air vents and gauges, and the pedals have race car-inspired aluminium covers.

The interior is graphically clean. The only identifying marks visible inside the Bullitt are the logo and gunsight graphic mounted in the centre of the leather-wrapped steering wheel and the word “Bullitt” embossed into the metal sill plates.

The Dark Charcoal leather seats pick up the diamond perforation inserts from the base Mustang GT. The seats are patterned after those in the Shelby GT500, providing added lumbar and bolster support. 

The seats are constructed using the new soy-based foam developed by Ford and introduced on the 2008 Mustang. The soy foam, made up of 24 per cent renewable content, is produced through a process that requires less energy and emits less CO².


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