It was supposed to be a surprise: a dollop of sports car news at an auto show dominated by pickup trucks.
But the cat is out of the bag with numerous confirmations that Ford will reveal the 2018 Bullitt Mustang GT later today at the North American International Auto Show. The famed Mustang will be part of a press event to show the 2019 Ford Ranger midsize pickup and the Ford Edge crossover that has added a performance ST variant.
The timing of the Bullitt kind of gave it away. The return of a special-edition, high-performance Mustang Bullitt comes on the 50th anniversary of the Steve McQueen movie that made the green machine so famous. The 1968 movie Bullitt features one of cinema’s best car chases starring McQueen’s Highland Green Mustang GT 390 fastback.
The reincarnation is expected to get similar dark green paint and five-spoke black wheels. We will bring you further details from the event later today. Mustang Bullitt spy shots courtesy Tony Zaleski Jr. via Facebook.
Ford updated the Mustang lineup for the 2018 model year and notched 81.866 sales last year. While that was down 22.7 percent from the prior year, it still topped Camaro sales of 67,940 which were down 6.6 percent
The first Bullitt off the line is expected to be auctioned off Jan. 19 with proceeds going to the Boy’s Republic boys school in California that Steve McQueen attended and continues to support.
The first Mustang Bullitt was in 2001 with better power and handing than the GT of the day. It returned in 2008 and again in 2009. The last batch was a limited run of 3,000 units powered by a 4.6-liter three-valve V-8.
The 2018 Mustang lineup has a 2.3-liter direct-injection turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost engine that generates 310 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque on 93-octane fuel. The Mustang will be built at Ford’s Flat Rock, Michigan, plant — the 2018 Mustang is pictured below.