2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt First Drive Review

Few special edition cars have a backstory like the 2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt. And it all started with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson – not as a potential lead in a Bullitt reboot, but in a Ford commercial back in early 2017. In the background, a sketch – the future 2019 Bullitt. Fast forward to the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, where the 2019 Mustang Bullitt actually debuted

Ford brought the whole period drama to the show floor – it was a total surprise. The 2019 Bullitt might have leaked, but few outside of Ford knew what would happen in Detroit. Like the debut of the Ford GT a few years earlier, it was a coup. And enough patina wore off of the aged ’68 to polish the 2019’s credentials.

Unlike any other GT with the PP1, the Bullitt gets some unique goodies. Most prominent are the 19-inch wheels with a Torque-Thrust design and the metallic Highland Green paint. Shadow Black is also available as an exterior shade, but why would you get it when the green looks so superb? Things get more subtle (and tasteful) as you look closer. The Active Valve Performance Exhaust tips get a dark ceramic finish, and the upper grille is a menacing, badge-less expanse of hexagonal mesh. The lower grille has a wider mesh area than a standard GT.

There are few options. Most important is the MagneRide suspension, at $1,695. The Bullitt Electronics Package adds blind spot warning, a premium audio system, driver’s seat memory, and an upgraded Sync touchscreen with a pre-paid subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link. Recaro front seats are an option, with that tasteful green stitching, too. Fully loaded up, a Bullitt is $52,980. Our tester was $51,385 – with MagneRide but without Recaros.

The only drawback is that, as a limited edition vehicle of an undefined production run – we know it’ll exist for two model years, but Ford’s not talking about volumes – interested buyers will have to deal with markups and demand from collectors interested in investment opportunities rather than track day opportunities. Some of the Bullitt’s bits may show up in the Ford Performance catalog – one Ford exec hoped that after a supplier catches up, the extremely cool cue ball shifter will appear in it – but many won’t. And for those who find the new bodystyle polarizing, the exclusivity of its most flattering color will be frustrating.

The tangible bits unique to the Bullitt are, on their own, enough to justify the car’s premium. But outside of the spec sheet, outside of the Bullitt mythos, and banishing the dry prognostications about value and appreciation – this is a Mustang that nails the intangibles. It looks and sounds better than a GT with a Performance Pack. Frankly, it transcends its own pigeonhole as a movie-related special edition without snubbing its heritage. This is, quite simply, the best-looking, best-sounding Mustang around – and if the GT350’s flat-plane character leaves you flat, this is the best Mustang, period.