Pretoria - The Ford Mustang Bullitt pays tribute to one of Hollywood’s most legendary car chases, and soon you’ll be able to get in on the nostalgia too.

Ford South Africa has confirmed that the 2019 Mustang Bullitt edition, featuring a more powerful V8, will become available locally in 2019, in limited numbers.

The car celebrates, and capitalises on, the 50th anniversary of the movie Bullitt, which saw Steve McQueen engage in a hair-raising, tyre smoking duel with a Dodge Charger through the hilly streets of San Francisco. C'mon, watch it again:

In keeping with the theme, only two exterior paint colours will be available: Shadow Black or Dark Highland Green, but you should really go for the latter, which is a recreation of the movie car’s hue.

Also setting it apart is a bespoke and badgeless honeycomb grille, heritage-style 19-inch alloys, chrome window surrounds, red brake calipers and the obligatory Bullitt badging, while the cabin gets Ebony Black leather upholstered Recaro front seats, a white cue ball gear knob and green accent stitching throughout.

It’s all about being subtle, as chief designer Darrell Behmer puts it: "With zero stripes, spoilers or badges, it doesn't need to shout. It's just cool, like Steve McQueen."

Beefed-up V8

Power comes from an upgraded version of Ford’s 5-litre normally aspirated V8, producing 358kW and 570Nm in this guise, and mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.

Engine mods include a new open-air induction system and Shelby GT350 intake manifold, while an active valve performance exhaust system delivers a soundtrack of the kind that should be compulsory in all Mustangs.

The South African spec mix and pricing will be announced closer to launch, says Ford SA.

IOL Motoring