The Falcon XR8 will survive Ford’s new ‘One Ford’ policy

The Falcon XR8 will survive Ford’s new ‘One Ford’ policy

If you’ve read recent reports online you’d be forgiven for thinking the Ford Falcon XR8 is dying a slow death. But in a recent interview Ford Australia’s big boss Marin Burela has confirmed that the XR8 will return to the company’s Falcon line-up in Australia, despite being absent since the introduction of tougher emissions legislation in June this year. The current model XR8 remains available here in NZ.

Across the ditch the adoption of Euro IV emissions laws forced the retirement of the XR8’s 5.4 litre Boss V8, and also FPV’s naturally-aspirated 5.4 V8. Last week FPV revealed its all-new Euro IV compliant 5.0 litre supercharged V8 (read news), but a replacement for the XR8’s hasn’t been sorted yet.

But, Mr Burela has put the fears of Falcon fans at ease.

“Performance cars are part of our heritage,” Mr Burela said. The [XR8] is very much part of our lineup, and it will be for many many years to come. We have an incredible desire to make sure that we don’t let go of things that actually work for us. We thought that it was the right thing to do to make sure that we bring out the FPV range first and get that established and moving first.”

Mr. Burela hasn’t confirmed if the 2011 XR8 would make use of FPV’s locally-developed supercharged “Miami” V8, or if the Mustang’s naturally-aspirated 5.0 litre “Coyote” V8 would be picked.

The Mustang’s engine produces 307kW and 529Nm in its strongest form and would provide an exciting replacement for the current 290kW/520Nm Boss V8.

An arrival date for the new XR8 has not been announced but its future is looking much more positive.

Ford President Alan Mullaly recently hinted that the next-generation Falcon may remain rear wheel drive, but there has been conflicting reports that the new One Ford policy would mean the Aussie-localised Falcon would be replaced by a Taurus-based front wheel drive.

Mr Burela put those suspicions to rest by saying “One Ford has actually opened up the door for Ford of Australia, we’re currently in the process of evaluating what the next Falcon will be. We need to make the decision by late-2011, early-2012 of what a new Falcon will be, the size of the engine, the packaging, et cetera.”

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