Ford Mustang Bullitt GT

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(from Ford Press Release)  Ford announced it will introduce the 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT, a performance derivative inspired by the legendary 1968 Mustang Fastback that co-starred with Steve McQueen in the classic Warner Bros. Pictures film, "Bullitt." The decision to put the Bullitt into production came after Ford received overwhelming positive response from consumers who first saw a concept version of the car at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show.

"The movie has some of the greatest car-chase scenes ever filmed," says Ford Division President, Jim O'Connor. "The 1968 fastback Mustang GT 390, driven by Steve McQueen, created an indelible image in the minds of millions of people. We have taken some of the passion from the Hollywood film and put it in an exciting new car."

The 2001 Bullitt features exterior enhancements that visually and emotionally connect it to the 1968 fastback from the film. These modifications include unique side scoops, 17-inch Bullitt-style aluminum wheels and a lowered suspension.

The C-pillars and quarter panel molding have been modified to create a unique look. Rocker-panel moldings enhance the low-to-the-ground appearance. A bold, brushed aluminum fuel filler door is prominently placed on the quarter panel. Bullitt badging and polished-rolled tailpipe tips further distinguish the car. Bullitt is available in Dark Highland Green, True Blue and Black.

The heart of Bullitt GT is a 4.6L SOHC V-8 modified to improve airflow. It produces 265 horsepower and significantly more torque than the Mustang GT engine. Modifications include:

--Twin 57mm bore throttle body
--Cast aluminum intake manifold
--High flow mufflers for increased power and aggressive performance sound
--Optimized alternator and pump pulley ratios

Bullitt's suspension translates this power into crisp road manners. The vehicle is lowered three-fourths of an inch to generate a firmer, better-balanced ride and improved handling characteristics. The performance-handling package includes:

--Re-valved Tokico struts and shocks
--Unique stabilizer bars (front and rear)
--Frame rail connectors
--Thirteen-inch Brembo front rotors and performance calipers provide excellent stopping capability. The calipers are painted red and are visible through the 17-inch wheel spokes when the car is parked, or when it is cruising the streets of San Francisco.

"Bullitt is quick off the line, handles great, stops fast and shifts easily with improved pedal relationship," says Art Hyde, Mustang chief program engineer. "This is the best performing GT we have ever produced."

Inside, Bullitt features performance bucket seats with Dark Charcoal leather trim. A brushed aluminum shifter ball, shifter bezel, door sill plates with Bullitt nomenclature and aluminum pedal covers accent the interior's performance appearance. The instrument cluster gives a modern look to 1960's interiors with unique curved numeric speedometer graphics and a white-lit background.

"With the Mustang Bullitt, we have a lot of functional features that would make Steve McQueen and Detective Frank Bullitt proud today," says O'Connor. "Bullitt has elevated the GT into an unforgettable car that enhances Ford's performance reputation and builds on Mustang's performance tradition that began with vehicles like the Mach 1, Boss 302 and the 428 Cobra Jet."

All these features are included for a package price of $3,695 MSRP. There will be a limited production of about 6,500 Mustang Bullitt GTs built on the same line of the Dearborn Assembly Plant that produces the V6, GT and Cobra Mustangs. Each Bullitt will come with a unique serialized identification label from the factory to ensure exclusivity and collectability.

Ford marked Mustang's 35th anniversary in 1999 with across-the-board improvements, including major styling, powertrain and handling upgrades. Increases in horsepower and torque gave more muscle to both the V-6 and V-8 engines and reduced 0-60 mph and quarter-mile acceleration times.

The exterior design harkens back to the concept of the original pony car, with styling cues like the classic long hood and short deck; a prominent hood scoop; enlarged, sculptured side scoops with a bold triangular shape; and the vehicle's signature tri-bar taillamps. Mustang enthusiasts recognize familiar details like the rear spoiler, honeycomb grille textures, and side character lines.

Mustang boasted sales of 418,812 its first year on the market after making its debut at the New York World's Fair in 1964. The millionth Mustang was produced in Dearborn, Michigan in 1966. Since then, the all-American sports car has become one of the legendary automotive brands and more than seven million Mustangs have been sold.