First Impressions: 2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Expert Reviews Ford

Ford Mustang Bullitt - burn-out
By Twain Mein

What Happens in a Mustang…stays in a Mustang

This is Ford’s 40th anniversary edition of the ’68 Mustang made famous in the Steve McQueen movie “Bullit”. I’ve been a Mustang fan since 1982 when Ford brought back horsepower and burnouts (at “just” 157 hp) and have loved the styling of the 64-70 models ever since I can remember. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of driving the ’03 Cobra and ’06 Shelby GT-H. Needless to say, I was looking forward to the Bullitt!

2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt strut brace Ford Mustang Bullitt - 315 hp 4.6L V8

And, wow, this did not disappoint. The Shelby has 325 hp while the Bullitt has “only” 315 (the ’03 Cobra has 390). But, unlike the Shelby, which has an automatic tranny, this features a sweet shifting and well-placed 5-speed versus the automatic. Translation: violent tire-smoking burnouts, at will, even with the traction control “on”. It truly feels like you are breaking the law just getting into this beast. Yet the styling and even exhaust note is civilized-until you put the hammer down. Additionally, Ford seems to have worked on the handling of the Bullitt; it “hunts” and bobs less on the freeway and provides more feedback in turns than the Shelby GT-H. And it cruises effortlessly at 90mph.


Fellow-tester Gary Chan and I hearkened back to our high school days with burnouts and plenty of torque-ridden bursts of acceleration. Though while testing 0-60 times, I couldn’t find the balance of wheel-spin and traction; our best time was 5.7 seconds; other publications have it at 5.1. This is slightly slower than the almighty Cobra (4.8 seconds), but still ridiculously quick. This much fun shouldn’t be legal!

2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt

Best of all, the styling is simply awesome. The shape is devoid of scoops and doo-dads and is subdued. The green paint is unique and stunning and the torque-thrust wheels look fantastic (though I wish they had more “lip” in the rear). The exhaust note is similarly subdued—until you put the loud pedal down. The sound system, if/when you get tired of the exhaust note, is the loudest and cleanest I’ve tested this year. And, miraculously, mileage hovered around 16 mpg despite total lead-footedness.

Nits? The solid rear axle, surprising body roll, and numb steering still leave exploring handling limits to the brave, but overall, this is an improvement over the ’06 Shelby GT-H.

2008 Ford Mustang Bullitt

In sum, of the 12 cars I’ve tested for, this was the first that I REALLY didn’t want to give back. Reluctantly I turned the keys back in, fearing I might have some kind of run-in with the Po-Po.

FordMustang Bullitt Video

Ford Mustang Bullitt Photo Gallery

Ford Motor Co.Official website for Ford cars, hybrids, trucks, and SUVs –

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