There are often hugely coincidental events that happen to me when testing cars, and this week’s was the biggest: I picked up the Typhoon, New Plymouth conjured up a gaggle of twisters, Northland experienced severe flooding, and in Auckland the roof of an apartment building was blown off. It’s probably a good job that FPV don’t make a car called the Apocalypse (they do make one called the Tornado, though!)
The problem with really bad weather is getting out exploring the envelope of a car, particularly with the Typhoon’s prodigious amount of power and torque. In the wet the traction control light blinks H E L P in Morse code as it tries to reign in 270kW and a cyclonic 550Nm of torque. This level of torque is unusually high for a petrol inline-6, but it comes courtesy of a turbo (and probably the psychological need by FPV for some level of parity with the V8 options in the range.)
I love turbocharged cars, and the way they feel quicker than they are because of the slight lag before the storm of power is unleashed. That’s not to say the F6 isn’t quick — 100kph comes up in around 5.3 seconds — or laggy, because it’s not. It’s a punchy delivery accompanied by a whistling mayhem underneath the bonnet. In fact, bury the throttle then lift off and the wastegate sounds like a missile of compressed air has whooshed by your head. This is the fastest Ford you can buy, and it easily eclipses FPV’s GT, which is a thundering V8 with 20 more kilowatts!
Inside, the central console houses a screen that displays the aircon settings, trip computer and stereo settings. A couple of years ago when I first drove the FPV’s GT I commented on how the screen was a retro throwback to Windows 95. It hasn’t changed in the Typhoon but, while not being pretty, it is very functional.
There is dual climate control. You can have fun trying to create a mini hurricane by setting the driver’s to hot and the passenger’s to cold. The seating position is too high, even on the lowest setting, although it does mean you get good visibility and can see the nose of the car (something that’s handy for a car that is this long).
Finally the weather cleared and I got to give the FPV what it (and I) deserved: a good fanging through the Waitakeres. I can only say that the F6 is a fantastic drive. The 245-width tyres wrapped around 19-inch rims give such huge grip and a progressive and controllable breakaway that it inspires confidence.
You’re buying the performance and handling that FPV bestow upon a standard Falcon, not a car packed with fripperies. Everything is focused on the engine and handling. You get a stereo — a fairly good one with a 6-CD stacker — but it’s not an excellent stereo like the 350Z has, for example. You get some creature comforts (reversing sensors are a welcome inclusion), but the driver’s seat is only partially electric, there are no heated seats or photochromic mirrors, and you can’t even fold the wing mirrors in electronically.
We shouldn’t let those minor points cloud the experience. The Typhoon is about nature’s raw power. But unlike inclement weather you’ll want to be out in the Typhoon as much as possible. It’s a car that manages to be a competent cruiser as well as being an absolute laugh on the back roads.
Price: from $67,990
- Hedonistic prods of the throttle
- More hedonistic prods of the throttle
- Very comfortable drive
- Vixen red colour is fabulous
We don’t like:
- Lack of ‘bits and bobs’ like a rear window wiper
- Seating position
Words and photos Darren Cottingham.