The Bullitt and The Boss: Two more new Ford Mustangs for 2007
Photography by Evan Klein
The Mustang continues to be one of the few bright spots in Ford's product range, and Dearborn intends to make the most of the reborn ponycar's popularity. The recently announced 325-horsepower Shelby GT will be joined by two more Mustang variants in 2007-an all-new Bullitt and the long-rumored Boss.
The new Bullitt will be the best interpretation up to this time of the iconic 1968 390 GT driven by Steve McQueen in the movie that still sets enthusiasts' pulses racing for its real-world chase sequence through the streets of San Francisco.
Bullit Mustang Profile
Insiders who've seen styling mockups report the 2007 Bullitt features a plain grille without galloping pony badge or spotlights and a black-painted panel between the taillights, just like McQueen's '68. Naturally, the car will be available in Highland Green.
More significant, though, will be the new Boss, which will introduce Ford's all-new 5.0-liter Hurricane V-8.
Due late in the year, the limited-edition Boss will get a tuned 425- to 435-horsepower version of the Hurricane, a stripped-down interior (though air-conditioning will be available), and less sound deadening.
The idea is to replicate the original Boss Mustang's race-special feel. Only 1000 cars will be built.
Slightly detuned from Boss spec, the Hurricane will become the regular GT's engine in 2008, when the Mustang will get a major face-lift. Insiders report every exterior panel is to be changed and updated, with the base cars getting a more aggressive look similar to that of the current Shelby GT500. The GT500, meantime, will become even more extreme looking.
An all-new Mustang is due 2010, a year after the new Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger launch.
Why Mustang is making life tough for Chevy and Dodge
The Mustang is cheap to build. And that's causing major headaches for planners at Chevrolet and Dodge as they work on their own, more sophisticated, musclecars.
Whispers out of Auburn Hills hint DaimlerChrysler couldn't figure out how to price a V-6 Challenger within $5000 of a base Mustang and now won't even bother offering an entry-level model. The problem is the Challenger's platform, which will underpin the next-gen Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger, features a more expensive independent rear-suspension setup.
Dodge marketers figure the Challenger will appeal most to baby boomers who have the money to splash on a well-specified V-8, anyway. But this also limits the car's potential sale and makes the already wafer-thin profit margins even thinner.
Chevy faces a similar cost problem with the independent rearend Zeta platform of the new Camaro. The Zeta architecture will be more widely used, helping costs, but insiders admit GM will struggle to get a base V-6 Camaro near $20,000, mainly because the logical engine for the car-the DOHC, 3.6-liter high-feature V-6-ain't cheap, nor is the new six-speed automatic it needs.