The Bullitt Mustang is perhaps one of the most anticipated Mustangs this side of the GT500. Everyone was waiting for Ford to reveal the Mustang for the S550 platform. Obviously, we didn't get it the first time around. So we waited for the refresh, got it, waited some more, and were rewarded with what I feel to be the slickest Mustang of the modern era. Due to this, when I saw that RMAP's annual RMDE event had one during the two-day event, I knew I had to get at least one ride in this fabulous steed.
I rode in it twice. Here's what I thought after two days of Mustang Mania.
Photo Credit: Ford
Long before the Mustang Bullitt was even a thing, I rode in a Challenger 392 Scat Pack. Long story short, the Mustang has very nearly the same horsepower as the Challenger, less torque, but also less weight. The result? The Mustang felt just as fast as the Challenger. Not necessarily faster on the straights, but definitely more of a sports car in the turns. Whereas the Challenger is more of a boulevard cruiser.
Back to the engines, the exhaust note of the Mustang was (like the Challenger) soul food for the ears. I won't say it was an audio representation of America (as that is horribly cliché), but it has a nice, burly sound with a bark between shifts, and some crackling when you lift off the throttle. Brilliant stuff.
Not Much Disappointment With the Interior.
Let me address the obvious first: getting in the Mustang wasn't exceptionally hard. Getting out required a bit of pulling from me but not that bad overall. Okay, let's move on to the rest of the interior.
Despite what people are saying about the S550 Mustang being more of a “sports car” due to interior space, I felt the Mustang wasn't squeezing me that badly. Sure, it's smaller inside than a Challenger. Especially since I can actually sit in the back of a Challenger (I'm not that tall, but even a 5' 5” person wouldn't fit in the back of a Mustang). In the front though, the Mustang didn't make me feel claustrophobic at all.
In all honesty, the worst part of the interior for me is how Ford designed the center stack.
Most of the dash looks like a piece of lean, meaty, and delicious. With the all the fat of the interior residing in the center stack area. Like the beer belly of an otherwise skinny looking person (cough Clarkson cough). I doubt this will annoy some of you as it does me, but in my eyes, it's a chunk of excess fat that's hard not to glance at.
Despite this, I do like the interior. I think the gauges are cool, the seats were comfortable, the right amount of noise is let in to hear that glorious V8 even with the windows up, and it's pretty well sorted. For as much as I don't like the look of the center stack, the buttons aren't laid out in a confusing and hard to read manner.
It Rode Splendidly.
Despite being a performance vehicle, the Mustang Bullitt rode almost like a GT car. I suspect the Challenger would be the more comfortable of the two due to bigger interior size and less of an emphasis on cornering, the Mustang didn't send any tear-inducing jolts to my spine though. Frankly, the Bullitt rode like a normal car with sporty suspension. Not uncomfortable, just sporty.
The Verdict: If I was Kawalski in the movie “Vanishing Point”, my first choice would absolutely be the Challenger. Specifically, a Scat Pack Widebody. Without a second thought. However, if the Challenger (or Viper to be honest) wasn't an option... I'd take the Bullitt Mustang without hesitation.
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