It was probably one of the worst-kept secrets of the 2018 Detroit Auto Show, but Ford has now made its 2018 Mustang Bullitt official, revealing the tribute car 50 years after the iconic Steve McQueen film from which its name is derived.

Based on the 2018 Mustang GT, the new Bullitt wears a familiar shade of green, as well as a lack of badges and exterior detail that were the hallmarks of the original car back in 1968.

The new car was unveiled in Detroit by none other than Steve McQueen’s granddaughter Molly, who also appeared with the original 1968 car that was driven by McQueen himself. The new car retains the 5-litre V8 from the Mustang GT, tuned here to at least 475bhp. Upgrades include a new open-air induction system and 87mm throttle bodies, all working with the intake manifold from the Shelby GT350. There’s also a performance calibration to the PCM.

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2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt

The new tribute model also gets a standard-issue active exhaust upgrade with black exhaust tips to let the surrounding neighbourhood – and especially bad guys driving black Dodge Chargers – know when you’re in town. Subtle chrome accents around the grille and windows pay homage to the original 1968 GT 390 movie car, along with the 19-inch torque thrust aluminium wheels. Inside, the Bullitt gets a manual transmission with the classic cueball knob sitting on top of the gearstick.

Three factory-installed interior options are available, including a Bullitt Electronics Package which adds navigation, memory seats, an upgraded sound system and assorted driver assists. MagneRide semi-active suspension is offered, as well as Recaro black leather-trimmed seats with green stitching. A special steering wheel with the Bullitt logo also reminds you that you're not driving a normal Mustang.

As for exterior colours, aside from the classic Dark Highland Green the new Bullitt will also be offered in Shadow Black.

The rumours of a new Bullitt started flying some time ago, but kicked into top gear when a green Mustang with a crosshair emblem at the rear was spotted driving around in Chicago. The piece of the puzzle was fitted into place when US auction house Barrett-Jackson announced a 'special' Mustang auction with the proceeds going to the Boys Republic, a school that McQueen attended. 

Ford says the 2018 Mustang Bullitt will be available on sale this summer – no word yet on whether the car will make its way Europe-wards.

Gallery: 2018 Ford Mustang Bullitt