By driving a Mini Countryman on public roads, I am deeply outraged by all the tasteful and intelligent people who live on the interweb in the comments section of every motorsport website and I am very sorry for that. My own personal taste is so bad that I actually think that the big Mini looks cute and that I even considered it very beautiful if you look through a windshield on a wet and winding mountain road with its 170 kilowatts and with all the wheel drive look like this approximately perfectly formed.
You can imagine that my sense of clothing is also terrible and that I cannot trust to choose my own clothing, otherwise I would embarrass myself with a terrible fashionfaux pass. Luckily I have a wife and a daughter who acted as my style police and they are there to save me from myself when I try to leave the house with sandals on. They train my granddaughter to help me in the future, but the youngest member of my style board is not quite there yet, because she is still completely on board when I combine Okanuis with Mickey Mouse t-shirts, which is clearly an image that’s just wrong for the majority of people. Unless of course you like Mini Countrymans.
My granddaughter may be learning the rules of excellent taste and I know I am a lost cause in this department, but despite that, none of us think that wearing ski skins is a good look. Except of course a Wiggles concert. And yet it wasn’t that long ago that a skivvy made you look cool. In fact, fifty years ago, a skivvy was not only considered a point in fashion bet, but it could help you make the King Of Cool.
To be honest, Steve McQueen could make something good and he didn’t need style because he was all alone. And he was known for wearing a skivvy while driving a Mustang. For those of you who are less chronologically advanced than me, I recommend that you click on Google now to get a better understanding of this cinematic icon to get more context about the impact of Bullitt Mustang and McQueen on the original car.
McQueen may have been an incredibly successful movie star, but it’s not hard to believe that his first love was anything with wheels or wings as long as he had an engine, which probably means he would be a CarAdvice reader now if he hadn’t. followed the path of many legends who were dying fashionably young. The list of cars and bikes McQueen drove is long and legendary and includes Ferraris, Porches, a very rare Jaguar XK-SS and a number of interesting motorcycles from iconic makers such as Triumph and Indian.
He was also a very successful motorcycle and car racer during his lifetime and in fact financed his early quests for acting by winning motorcycle races at the weekend and using the prize money to survive before becoming the best paid actor in the world at that time. A few mini cars in Mr McQueens’ vehicular CV, believe it or not, including a 1967 Cooper that he owned and painted a metallic brown, a color that would make it as cool as a skivvy today, and another Mini racing car that he drove to third place during a race in a one-off outing in a British touring car race at Brands Hatch.
There is no doubt that the man was a real fuel and that this reality alone contributes to his cool factor.
There was one car he could not buy or own despite his fame and income, and that was one of the original Fastback Mustangs from 1968 that was used in the movie that gives its name to the current Bullitt Mustang. Warner Brothers used two identical Highland Green Fastbacks to film Bullitt in the streets of San Francisco, but only one survived the hardships of the famous chase with its completely non-computer-generated jumps and power slides. The car that was too damaged to sell was scrapped and spent the last half century in a bone bomb but was recently found and is currently being repaired.
The other “Bullitt” Mustang was repaired after the filming was packed and sold to a Warner Brothers board member before being transferred to a detective (ironically because Steve McQueen played a detective named Frank Bullitt in the film hence the name of the film and Mustang) and then to a family who used it as a daily driver for years before it was saved so far.
McQueen tried to buy the Bullitt from the family who had had it several times before his death, but was politely rejected because it was their family car. Youtube has some excellent videos about this original car that has helped to enhance the Bullitt’s story over the decades since its debut in the film all those years ago.
Bullitt’s film is not so famous for the quality of the game or for a fascinating storyline, but mainly because of the excellent chase that lasts only about ten minutes of the entire film. According to those who know much more than I do about these things, this chase set the standard for chases and scenes in action chicks in films in the coming years.
Given the lack of technologically added improvements in 1968, it is certainly an entertaining ten minute cinema. Importantly, McQueen himself was responsible for much of the chase planning, the emphasis on realism with cinematography and the choice of a Mustang in the first place, as well as setting the cars prior to filming, including the choice of wheels , remove insignia and other accents, making the car look cool.
The 2018 Bullitt is a surprisingly good car, regardless of whether or not you participate in the hype surrounding the story because of the story and the fact that it is available in relatively limited numbers. Yes, it is very closely related to a standard GT Mustang, but just enough has been done to improve the base car to make Bullitt special. Included in the price are a number of options available on the GT including magneride suspension, as well as unique paint, wheels and badges that contribute to the already impressive standard inclusions.
The mechanical improvements are also subtle but effective with an open air box, GT350 inlet and larger throttle housings, all of which contribute to a small boost in power and a little more theater on the soundtrack. You can have any color as long as you use Dark Highland Green, except in other markets where black is also offered. Given that the origin of the history of this car is so deeply linked to the original GT 390 in Highland Green, every other color has no sense whatsoever, even if this is not your first color tone.
You can also have any desired broadcast, as long as it is manual. There is a cue ball shifter on the gear lever and the overall effect of changing gears together with the symphony of an excellent active valve outlet complete with an automatic bleed when shifting down is very satisfying even if it is very analogous in these days of self-driving cars and almost mandatory automatic gearboxes.
Driving the car can be surprisingly gentle if you wish. There is no doubt that you are driving a muscle car, but the engine response is actually quite soft low in the speed range that sounds like a negative. In fact, this makes the car very passable in the city in the real world. My wife jumped in the car after many decades of not driving a manual or something that came close to 345kW under the hood and the easy coupling, direct gear change and moderate stationary response all made the experience just fun , not hectic.
Redline is 7400rpm, so you can unleash more performance simply by using more of the tacho. The operation is also good if you want it to be with the excellent Magneride suspension, which makes daily driving comfortable and compliant in normal mode and a smoother driving is possible with the push of a button that allows you to go directly to sport or follow mode can go. In fact, the biggest surprise about the car is how comfortable it is and the fact that the quality far exceeds what we expected.
My wife used the words Lexus and BMW in the context of how the car felt because they owned both brands, and although it may not be quite on those levels, it is much better than you would imagine. We tested the previous model and didn’t like it at all, so the 2018 Mustang and the Bullitt is a good thing that we think was done well. The limited edition license plate on the dashboard also contributes to the positive experience of owning the car.
Cons? The back seat is really a bit crazy. More space for luggage would be a much better idea. I don’t think even small children would fit. There is a lot of rumor about the safety of the Mustang, but especially for us, the car is replacing a Harley Davidson in the garage, so that three stars look really great after decades of playing roulette with b-doubles and untrained inexperienced drivers on our roads without real protection.
Fuel consumption is also very likely primitive. I have not checked the real economy, mainly because I really do not want to know. Suffice it to say that the fuel meter moves faster than most modern cars, but not many cars turn petrol into a beautiful noise and naturally aspirated V8.
CarAdvice and others will undoubtedly give you a lot more of the nuts and bolts on the Bullitt and its performance and operation, but I can say that the first impression is that the car is much better than I expected and it is definitely a fun car to own and drive – partly because it is a good car and also because of the story behind it.
If I can only find a ski jacket in my size to wear while driving.