Archive for December 12th, 2011

Test Drive: 2008 Ford Mustang GT Bullitt Edition

On December 12, 2011, I test drove a 2008 Ford Mustang GT Bullitt Edition at Carmax in Riverside, California. Out of the 7,700 Bullitt Edition Mustangs built for the 2008 and 2009 model year, this was Bullitt #3645. This Mustang Bullitt is in Highland Green, with a black leather interior. The mileage was just under 8,200, and the asking price is $23,998. The Mustang Bullitt has a 4.6 liter, 24 valve V8 engine that produces 315 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, and 325 lb-ft of torque @ 4,250 rpm. The transmission is Ford’s Tremec TR-3650 five speed manual, with some modifications to the gear ratios for the Bullitt Mustang. Although its V8 is the same as the one in the Base Mustang GT, it has been modified to produce more horsepower and torque. With a Ford Racing cold air intake, and a modified dual exhaust system, the Bullitt Mustang produces an extra 15 horsepower and an extra 5 lb-ft of torque over the Base Mustang GT’s V8 engine. There were modifications done to the suspension system as well, with stiffer springs and struts. There are many changes in appearances between the Base Mustang GT and the Bullitt Mustang. The Bullitt does not have a rear spoiler, GT badges on the side, fog lights and the horse in the grille, and a GT emblem in the rear faux gas cap. The GT faux gas cap was replaced with one that says “Bullitt”. The Bullitt Edition Mustang is inspired by the Mustang in Steve Mcqueen’s 1968 film “Bullitt.” Personally, I have not seen the whole movie, but I have seen the Bullitt chase scene on Youtube. In the movie, the 1968 Ford Mustang was chasing a 1968 Dodge Charger through the streets of San Francisco. It is known to be one of the most legendary car chases in movie history. Before the 2008 Mustang Bullitt, there was also a 2001 Mustang Bullitt. There were under 5,600 units sold. The 2008 Bullitt Mustang was not just in Highland Green. You could also get a Mustang Bullitt in Black. Still, I would prefer the Highland Green. I have noticed that some Mustang Bullitts for sale were used as daily drivers and others were not, based on their mileage. The one that I looked at was likely not used as an everyday vehicle. Before I went to the Carmax to check it out, I called to make an appointment to test drive it. I thought if I just walked that I would not be taken seriously. It was also a good day to drive it to see how it would drive in the rain. The Mustang is in mint condition. When I started it up, it had a loud and aggressive start up sound. The car was louder that I thought it would be, but that’s a good thing. When driving out of the dealer’s driveway, I thought the visibility looking to the right was good, but looking over my shoulder to the left, it wasn’t too good. The windows are not tall, and the rear windows are pretty small. When I first took off, the Mustang Bullitt felt as fast as a rocket! It can do 0-60 in five seconds, and I’m not at all used to driving a car that fast. The engine sounded like a beast chasing after its prey when accelerating. At first it felt somewhat like a big car. The handling didn’t make it feel so big after driving at higher speeds. Even though the roads were wet, it would not have driven any differently if the roads were dry. The manual transmission didn’t always have the smoothest shifting. I thought that the car sometimes kicks when shifting up, but I think that was my fault because I wasn’t used to driving a car like that. Every time I shifted the car, I would somehow twist the shifter knob in a different direction. Before driving a Mustang GT, I questioned why Ford hasn’t made a 6 speed manual for this generation (S197) Mustang. Now I don’t think it really matters because this car is fast. To tell you the truth, this car is not for beginner or teen drivers. I’m only 20 years old, and I know I’m not ready to own a car with power like this. Overall, the 2008 Ford Mustang GT Bullitt Edition is a fast and powerful muscle car. Since there were just 7,700 units produced, they could be considered collectors’ items. This car would look even better if side scoops and side louvers were added. A set of sequential taillights would give the back of the car a cool appearance when coming to stops. This Mustang Bullitt is one of the best cars I have ever driven. I was actually quite lucky to drive this car because if I went to another dealership or a private party sale to drive an identical car, they would not take me seriously and they wouldn’t let me drive the car; even if they went on a test drive with me. The price is another issue. Most 20 year olds like me can’t just go out and by a $24,000 car, which I think is the right price for this car. I never had the intention of buying this Mustang. I found a hard to find Mustang that I’ve always had interest in driving. This is a cool car. Before you buy a Mustang Bullitt or any Mustang GT in general, make sure you can handle that pony before you buy it.

Photos taken by Carmax.