Ownership Review: 2008 Bullitt Mustang
I grew up in an American car family. I remember growing up with nothing but Corvettes, Cadillacs, Camaros, Mustangs, and the likes. Two 1967 Corvettes, one a 427/400 coupe, the other a 327/300 convertible, both identical in options, colors and features, graced our garage for many years. I grew up learning about the classic days of real, big-engined, muscle cars of all sorts. I loved them. Then we started buying BMW’s and Mercedes-Benz’s. I have since become a BMW guy through and through…
Still, my wild American side comes crawling back every once in a while. And now it has once again.
I took delivery, on August 22nd, of the exact same 2008 Ford Bullitt Mustang that I test drove for you guys here on RawAutos. Number 5434 of 5500 for 2008. 7700 will be made in total. I have a real gem. I have no GPS, no Ambient Lighting Package, no toys like that. All I have is Sirius satellite, HID’s, the Shaker 500 sound system, and the greatest exhaust sound this side of reality. Jacqi is her name, and driving is her game. Jacqueline Bisset was Steve McQueen’s girlfriend in the 1968 movie, Bullitt.
I love this car. It drives well, handles great, and just makes you feel like Lt. Frank Bullitt. I think I’m going to start wearing more turtle necks and sport coats once the fall and winter come creeping up.
With 315hp and 325lb-ft of torque, the Bullitt is a screamer. Those are Ford’s nice estimates to not hurt the feelings of the Shelby GT owners with only 319hp. The Bullitt actually has about 330hp, and possibly more torque. I’m not too sure on the torque bit, though.
The stealthy look will have people turning for a second look with the HID’s on and the sound of that 4.6L V8 throat. It sings with passion, as if it were Muddy Waters doing his classic Mannish Boy. Mustang GT owners don’t seem to like me too much… Oh well.
Mustangs have always been great cars to me. The interior and handling abilities, not always so much… But this has changed. With the standard GT version you can now get a 3.55:1 Limited Slip Differential rear-end, or LSD for short. If you go up to the GT500KR, you’re getting a 3.73:1 LSD rear-end. More about this stuff later. You get a front strut brace under the hood that also displays your VIN and the number of your particular Bullitt.
The Bullitt is one hell of a car. It’s special in the nature that it’s the best Mustang on sale today. You can’t get a better Mustang, with all of the fittings and special attitude, for this kind of price. The Bullitt sits on a chassis and suspension setup that has been track tuned. But track tuning that you wouldn’t expect. The 2008/2009 Bullitt is the rolling testing bed for the chassis of the 2010 Mustang GT. I found that out, too, while I was up at Ford.
As soon as you open the door and flop into the mighty buckets, you already know this is not some special edition of a Mustang GT. You are sitting GT500 seats, with GT500 leather. The GT500 bases out at around 42-grand. But good luck finding one under 55,000 dollars or more. The steering wheel that you grab onto, that is about half the size of the massive, Mack-truck steering wheel of the regular GT, is donated from the GT500KR, an $80,000 Mustang. You get front brakes that were made special to the Bullitt. They are made of Performance Friction Carbon Metallic. And rear brakes that come from the GT500. What does this mean? Simple. The Bullitt will shave off speed better than any Muscle car before it. The exhaust, well, that itself is more of a marvel than anything else in the damn car! The exhaust… If you know the movie, you know that the sound coming from that ’68 GT390 Fastback was that of a GT40 racecar being driven around a track. The exhaust of the new Bullitt has been made to sound as identical to it as possible. Does it do it? Oh my God, YES!!! The exhaust is made of the sweet sound of sex. Pure sex. That’s the only way I can describe it. I’ve had 4 girls tell me that my car made them happy, in certain ways that I don’t need to go into on here. I know of 1, a very good friend of mine, who will soon become the 5th victim of the purely sexy, and all-out, amazing sound of the exhaust note. The exhaust is similar to that of the GT500KR in that its 3.5 inch packed tips, instead of the normal 3in tips of the regular GT, set it apart in look and sound. And last but not least, you get a Ford Racing cold air intake to add to the mix of power and breathing ability.
A Mustang will give you that slight understeer on turn-in and then the kick of oversteer. This will get you a little nervous at times if you are on a stretch of road that you’re unfamiliar with. You can find yourself in a tight spot if you hit a pot hole while doing a minor slide. Hitting that pot hole will turn you into one of two things, either a quick learner on how to control your car, or a quick realization that you need to learn more before you do that again. The Bullitt doesn’t really do this. You feel the rear-end play a little bit, but it’s easy to keep in line. In fact, you can actually modulate the throttle well in turns without making the back end step out on you. You can actually predict when the rear will kick out, because you’re making it do it, knowingly. How do I know this? I drove the Bullitt around a slalom course and part of Ford’s test track in Dearborn, MI back in July. The Bullitt inspires more confidence than any other American car I’ve ever driven. This includes Corvettes.
The interior will leave you with something to miss. That’s one thing I’m getting used to. I’m used to having a lot of cargo space. Places where I can put all of the random stuff that I keep on me and in my car. The machine-swirled aluminum center dashboard is nice, but interesting to say the least. I kind of wished they would have done something smooth and in piano black. Something that would keep the stealthy look. But, oh well. Can you really complain when you’re flying around? I can’t. The aluminum shifter is something to be marveled at as well. Grab it and you’ll realize it’s better than the others. It’s a pretty big ball, but with just enough weight to help you throw it properly into gears without real miss. The Tremec-5spd will leave you wanting for gas mileage, as will the overall car, but will never let you down as far as feel, ability and comfort are concerned. There are only 2 cup holders. That’s a sad state of affairs for me. I like to have a lot of room to put things. 2 big cup holders work well, but I enjoy having extra, just in case.
The audio jack for my iPod is nice, and I like that there are two 12-volt chargers. One in the center stack, and another in the center console. You will, however, also have to get used to the rather large, yet oddly small gauages. If you drive the car, or just sit in it, you’ll know exactly what I’m speaking of. The gauges are big and very 60’sish. But when you’re cruising along, you sometimes will have a little trouble trying to quickly decipher where you are in terms of speed. The numbers are big, but the hash marks aren’t.
All-in-all, you will want to leave the car in 1st and 2nd gears as much as possible. That exhaust note is just so hard to get over. It burbles when you let off the gas, just like a race car. You will feel like Lt. Bullitt at any time you slam the gas. There is an abundance of power through all of the gears, but 2nd and 3rd feel the most strong, I think. With the rear axle, the shifter and the power, you’ll be handling 4.8s 0-60 times after the car breaks in. No doubt about it.
Of all of these things, you want to know what my favorite part about my car is? The spare tire. Right now you’re like, what? The spare tire? Yes. It’s my favorite. There isn’t one… Just like BMW ///M, AMG, Corvette, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Viper, and so many other great performance cars out there, you don’t get one. With a lot of those cars you get 1 of 2 things. You either get run-flats, or, what I have, a temporary tire seal. That’s my favorite. For a little over $30,000, you get a car that understands that it’s something better and different. It’s not trying to be like the others, it just is in smaller ways. That’s why it’s the best Mustang you can buy brand new.
That’s all for now about Jacqi. I will have some ownership videos being posted up within the coming weeks. But for now you can look back to my old test drive of the Bullitt.
Below are a few pictures of my car with 35%, legal, tint and a 8in shorty antenna. There will be more to come, trust me.