My favourite part of flying is the takeoff — the endless acceleration and the roar of the engine as the end of the runway nears. That’s what it’s like stepping on the loud pedal in the F6X. Short of a small passenger jet, I can’t think of a quicker way to transport seven people across a long distance.
The F6X was FPV’s last vehicle before the new FG range of Falcons with full FPV branding was revealed. Consequently it is still wears a Ford badge, and it sports the four-litre 270kW turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine from BFII F6 Typhoon, as opposed to the 310kW version from the FG F6. Moving the enormous bulk of this modified Territory along requires a significant dollop of torque, which the engine delivers in abundance. 550Nm means this is one SUV where traction control is welcome in the wet.
Acceleration is accompanied by a six-cylinder roar, the jet-like overtones of the Garrett GT3450 turbo, and your passengers trying to hold on to the seat by clenching their buttocks.
The ZF six-speed automatic gearbox with the sequential sports shift option is the best option for the F6X because when muscling this gravitationally challenged leviathan around the back roads it’s best to have both hands on the job. I haven’t driven an SUV that handles as well as this with such ferocity of acceleration (the Porsche Cayenne S and Turbo may be better, but I haven’t had a play in one of those, and the start price is well over twice the F6X).
But ultimately you can’t argue with the laws of physics. It may be dressed with 18-inch alloys wearing 235/55R18 Goodyear Fortera tyres, but there’s no getting away from the fact that this is a large machine when trying to change directions. Maybe wider wheels and tyres would help here; or better quality tyres. 355mm ventilated discs clamped by powerful six-pot Brembo brakes at the front skilfully shed the speed like it’s a medium-sized car, though.
A significant list of acronyms gives the F6X its dynamic prowess, from the four-channel ABS, through to the TCS (traction control system), DSC (dynamic stability control) and EBD (electronic brake force distribution).
Step on the running board and across the FPV scuff plate as you climb aboard and you’ll notice the two-tone ‘shadow and pumice’ leather seats with F6X embroidery, and the pumice leather inserts on the doors. As usual with FPV there’s a build plate in the central console, and FPV floor mats. The rest of the interior is mostly standard Ford. The F6X retains the archaic-looking audio/trip computer display that I criticised about 4 years ago for looking like Windows 95. Other than that, the steering wheel is beautiful to hold, the instruments are easy to read and the driving position is excellent.
Premium audio arrives in the F6X ready to rise above the angry engine, but an auxiliary input is an option — make sure you specify it if you’re an MP3 player junkie. Other interior features include dual climate control air conditioning, adjustable pedals, plenty of cup and bottle holders, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, and a large central storage area (tall enough to fit a 1.5-litre bottle).
I couldn’t help but think that, compared to the new F6 with its Alice Cooper eyes, the F6X is a little undercooked on the looks department. So I looked at the colour options. Ford NZ supplied a test car in a colour that can only be described as ‘safe and boring’, unlike FPV’s ‘Seduce’ colour package — crimson with silver and pewter metallic accents. But that’s about it. Where’s the Vixen, Breeze, Dash and Octane options that the F6 comes in? Perhaps there isn’t a demand for this — maybe people want a wolf in sheep’s clothing; or maybe FPV tried these colours and they looked truly hideous.
In the Silhouette colour supplied, only Ford nerds would know that you’re driving something with a lot more beans than a Territory. You may flash a ‘270’ badge on your rump and flanks, but this isn’t like you’re a Mandrill with a red and blue bottom trying to attract a female. Most females I know wouldn’t have a clue/give a toss what 270 means.
We’ve established that the F6X is the alpha male, capable of carrying six females for a dirty weekend in the jungle, but ultimately would I take the F6X or a private jet? Despite my loathing of waiting in aircraft lounges (and paying the exorbitant parking fees they charge), there’s one thing the aeroplane offers that the F6X doesn’t: air hostesses.
Price: from $79,990
What we like
- The quickest way to enthrall six passengers and yourself (with the optional third row of seats)
- Good handling for an SUV
- Comfortable interior and good driving position
What we don’t like
- You can’t ignore the laws of physics — it’s still tall, heavy and riding on four small patches of rubber.
- Trip computer/audio display is dated
High performance 4.0 litre turbocharged DOHC 24 valve in-line 6 cylinder
Max power (DIN) – 270kW @ 5000rpm
Max torque (DIN) – 550Nm @ 2000 – 4,250rpm
Fuel management system – sequential multipoint electronic fuel injection
FPV high-flow exhaust system
Garrett GT3540 turbo
Aluminium air-to-air intercooler
ADR81-01 (L/100km) – 14.9
Comparative CO2 emissions (grams/km) 357
TRANSMISION & DRIVELINE
ZF 6-speed high-torque automatic transmission with Sequential Sports Shift
Full time AWD system
RIDE & HANDLING
FPV Performance independent double wishbone front suspension
Performance Control Blade Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) l
18″x 7.5 Alloy wheel fitted with 235/55R18 Goodyear Fortera tyre
Matching alloy spare wheel
Locking wheel nut
Limited Slip Differential
355 x 32mm cross drilled ventilated front rotor with Brembo 6 piston calipers & 328 x 26mm cross-drilled ventilated rear rotors with single red piston caliper
FPV build number badge unique model identifier
Human Machine Interface (HMI) with Internal Command Centre (IC)
Premium interior command centre with large colour screen, finished in unique Molten Metal surround accent colour
CFC-free Air conditioning – dual zone temp control
FPV floor mats
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
FPV sports seats
Two-toned coloured seats combining Shadow & Pumice leather with adjustable F6X embroidered head rests
6-way power driver seat with 3 position memory
Driver and front passenger lumbar support
60/40 split fold down 2nd row seat back
Third row seat (optional)
6-disc in-dash CD with iPod® integration
Premium audio system with colour screen and 6-disc in-dash CD player
Auxiliary Audio plug-in (MP3 capability) (option)
Satellite Navigation system (option)
Unique F6X 270 badging on front, side doors and rear
Side fender turn indicators
Molten Metal accent colour finishing on front & rear skid plate, hood scoop inlet, front mesh grille & mirror scalps and vehicle body coloured rear lip spoiler
Alloy running boards & vehicle body coloured side panels
SAFETY & SECURITY
Driver & passenger airbags with dual stage inflator (ARS)
Side curtain airbags first and second rows only
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Traction Control System (TCS)
4-channel Anti lock Braking System (ABS)
Reverse sensing system
Reverse parking camera
FPV ID Datadot identification
Words and photos Darren Cottingham