FPV F6 2008 Review

FPV F6 f

Ford sent us down to Clearwater Resort just out of Christchurch for the FPV launch where we got to drive the GT, GT-P, GT-E, Super Pursuit, F6 ute, and of course the shiny new F6 you see here.

Clearwater is so quiet that the night before we were due to drive the beasts my tinnitus kept me awake¦or was it the anticipation of the F6. Already one of my all time favourite cars in its previous Typhoon incarnation, this new F6 is a full three seconds quicker around Winton.

Clearwater is a golf resort, and I would have loved to have used the greens for a big grasskhana, but unfortunately we were confined to the roads around Christchurch and Hanmer Springs. Powering out of a corner onto a long arrow-straight stretch of Canterbury blacktop the F6’s turbo inhales a whirlwind of air generating 310kW, and a lofty plateau of 565Nm of torque — from 1950rpm — 5200rpm the torque curve is more of a horizontal line. Full acceleration in the F6 is like being strapped in an escape pod jettisoned from a crippled spaceship. Except in this space, you can hear your passengers scream. And that’s all part of the fun. If I took a devout Catholic for a ride the first utterance under a heavy right foot would be “Sweet Mary mother of Jesus,” or something similar. I’ll leave what the Satanists would say to your imagination.

Sub-five seconds to 100kph. That’s a good benchmark for a two-wheel drive car that’s as heavy as this. It means that the performance company it keeps contains the Audi RS6 quattro ($251,000), mid-range Porsches ($200,000+), the Subaru WRX STI and Mitsubishi Evo X four-wheel drive rally stars (around $70,000), and the BMW M3 ($170,000+). All this grunt for a paltry $69,990! In my mind, unless you specifically want to pretend you’re a V8 Supercar driver, there is absolutely no point to the V8 version of this car.

As well as an extra 40kW under the bonnet, inside there’s a redesign of the entire dashboard with a spiffy screen to show you audio and air conditioning functions, and the only Ford badge in the whole car: on the steering wheel. The powered seats get an F6 badge, and have sufficient lateral support without being too constraining. There’s a good sized glovebox, though you can’t reach inside it while driving.

But it’s the engineering in the drivetrain that’s the most impressive.

The goal that FPV set itself was to produce a car which maintains its power and performance regardless of the road and atmospheric conditions, and not to lose that power through an inefficient drivetrain. Consequently (according to FPV), the 310kW F6 puts more than 10 extra kilowatts onto the tarmac compared to the HSV V8 equivalents, such as the Clubsport R8.

It’s plain to see the 29,000 hours of effort that has gone into the creating this new F6. Despite having all that extra power and torque it’s 1l/100km more efficient (a 7% saving). A larger intercooler — frontal area is increased by 49% and it has 45% more heat rejection — sits gleaming just above the front splitter, in danger of receiving stone damage. The F6 has a low-loss short-path air intake, revised cam timing, and the compression ratio in the four-litre inline-6 has been reduced from 8.7:1 to 8.47:1. The turbo boosts to 0.91bar (13.3psi)

Ford’s use of the ZF six-speed auto with sequential sports shift as a no-cost option will be welcomed by the majority of buyers (most plump for the easy gearshift option). However, if I bought one, I’d have the Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual — my dislike of high-powered rear-wheel drive automatics has been expressed before with other cars because you just don’t have the control you need in the wet.

245/35R19 tyres try their best to get the power to the road. They are stretched thinly around a beautiful set of 19-inch mags that conceal the red callipers of the Brembo brakes.

And that’s not the only ‘badge snobbery’ you can have with the F6. Ford Performance Vehicles has taken its brand seriously this time and stamped its logo all over the Falcon, rather than having the car badged as a Ford.

Last year I made it no secret with the Typhoon that it was one of my favourite cars. So with a whirlwind of hype to live up to, does the more concisely named F6 blow me away or send a chilly wind up my trouser leg? Well, I love it. I love the wastegate as you lift off the throttle, reminiscent of Anakin Skywalker’s pod racer. I love the fact that the traction control lets you have a little bit of fun. I like the way the turn-in is sharp — much more so than the V8-driven FPV GT. I’m a big fan of the daring styling at the front, and the garish colours available to accent this. I really like the way the cross-drilled and slotted four-pot Brembo brakes can haul the F6 to a stop like it’s deployed the Space Shuttle’s parachutes. And the interior is tasteful and comfortable. FPV has set up its own little six-cylinder performance niche in which not a single manufacturer can offer anything with the practicality and performance for the price.

To read the full specification of the FPV F6, click through to the next page.

Price from: $69,990

What we like

  • The list is long and packed with substantial analogies to all things great and good.

What we don’t like

  • Needs convex mirrors to eliminate blind spots
  • It may have the starter button from an Aston Martin, but it’s still annoying
  • No grille to protect the intercooler from stones

ENGINE

High performance 4.0 litre turbo charged DOHC 24 valve in-line 6

Max power (DIN) – 310kW @ 5500rpm

Max torque (DIN) – 565Nm @ 1950-5200rpm

Fuel management system – sequential multipoint electronic fuel injection

FPV high-flow exhaust system

Garrett GT3540 turbo

Aluminium air-to-air intercooler

FUEL CONSUMPTION

ADR81-01 (L/100km) – manual/automatic 12.3/12.1

Comparative CO2 emissions (grams/km) – manual/automatic 294/289

TRANSMISSION & DRIVELINE

ZF 6-speed high-torque automatic transmission with Sequential Sports Shift (no cost option)

TR6060 6-speed manual with leather and satin chrome gear knob

RIDE & HANDLING

FPV Performance independent double wishbone front suspension

Performance Control Blade Independent Rear Suspension (IRS)

FPV 19″ x 8.0 Alloy wheel fitted with 245/35ZR19

Dunlop Sport Maxx tyre

Matching alloy spare wheel

Locking wheel nut

Limited Slip Differential

PERFORMANCE BRAKES

355 x 32mm cross drilled ventilated front rotors with Brembo 4-piston calipers & 328 x 26mm cross-drilled ventilated rear rotors with single red piston caliper

PREMIUM BRAKES

355 x 32mm cross drilled ventilated front rotors with Brembo 6-piston calipers & 330 x 28mm cross-drilled ventilated rear rotors with Brembo 4 piston calipers (optional)

INTERIOR

FPV build number badge unique model identifier

Unique FPV Starter Button

Human Machine Interface (HMI) with Internal Command Centre (IC)

High series mixed mode colour screen

Blue dial illumination with white LCD and FPV welcome message on start up

Turbo boost pressure gauge

LCD information in cluster

Audible shift alert indicator – manual trans only

CFC-free Air conditioning – dual zone temp control

FPV floor mats (optional)

FPV scuff plates (front only)

FPV leather console lid with dark silver stitch

Sports leather steering wheel with cruise control and audio switches

Adjustable pedals (automatic only)

Alloy pedal covers

SEATING

FPV sports seats

New Technique embossed cloth with Ebony Lux suede bolsters with F6 logo embroidery

New Technique embossed leather with Miller suede bolsters with F6 logo embroidery (optional)

4-way power driver seat

Driver and front passenger lumbar support

60/40 split fold down 2nd row seat back

AUDIO F 6

Premium audio system with 7″ colour display

6-disc in-dash CD with iPod® integration

Bluetooth® mobile phone integration

Auxilliary Audio plug-in (MP3 capability)

Satellite Navigation system

EXTERIOR STYLING

FPV oval badge on front grille & rear

FPV fender feature badge

Unique F6 310 badging on side doors and rear

Side mirror turn indicators

F6 rear spoiler with centre strut and LED stop light

Bumper accent detail – Graphite

Fog light insert – bright chrome

Front foglamps – satin chrome bezel

FPV machine faced alloy wheel with Graphic accents

Optional F6 Graphite wheel

SAFETY & SECURITY

Driver and front passenger airbags

Curtain airbags plus front seat side thorax airbags

Beltminderâ„¢ system

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

Traction Control System (TCS)

4-channel Anti lock Braking System (ABS)

Reverse sensing system

FPV ID Datadot identification

Alarm

Words and photos Darren Cottingham


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