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Underrated: Ford Mustang Bullitt

1 year ago

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Dan Prosser | Ti co-founder


17 April 2023

I mean, honestly. A cue ball gearknob? A crosshair graphic on the rear boot lid and another right in the middle of the steering wheel? Bullitt badges everywhere you look? The Dark Highland Green paintwork was at least quite tasteful (Shadow Black was the only other option) but the 2018 Ford Mustang Bullitt could only have been more kitsch if it came with the image of Steve McQueen’s face airbrushed onto the bonnet.

The third car to carry the Mustang Bullitt nameplate, it was built to mark 50 years of the McQueen film of the same name. The first arrived in 2001 and the next in 2008, meaning Ford has been wringing the McQueen connection for all its worth for years now. We can only be half a decade or so from the next one. If Ford continues to build these things long enough, we’ll all get to play out our Lieutenant Frank Bullitt fantasies eventually, pretending to chase baddies in a Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco while we drive along the A14 to work.

But to all of us who didn’t care about the movie and weren’t infatuated with Steve McQueen, the badges and the crosshair graphics and the gearknob were all profoundly off-putting. As was the cloying messaging from Detroit when the car was unveiled early in 2018. I offer you this from Mustang chief engineer Carl Widmann: ‘More than anything, it has to be bad ass.’ That’s lifted directly from a Ford press release.

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