Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore: it’s the end of the road

January 29th, 2013 by darren

Even legends have to go. Such is the lessons we have learned this January from the rapidly changing Australian market. Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, two of the country’s favourite cars, are both preparing to go out of production before the end of 2016.

Commodore’s 2016 final stop was announced at the Detroit Motor Show by Holden’s Chairman, Mike Devereux, while Ford’s plans to cut down the Falcon’s production on the same year, as well as the possibility to Continue reading “Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore: it’s the end of the road” »

Ford Falcon XT EcoBoost 2012 Review

November 1st, 2012 by Darren Cottingham

To some people, saying Falcon and four-cylinder turbo in the same sentence would make their lip curl. Until now you could only have your Ford with six or eight cylinders (well, only eight in an FPV), not four plus a hair dryer.

After all, the Falcon is a big car; it’s a car that’s had a six or eight for a reason. To top it off, they’ve given it a green-sounding name – EcoBoost – that, for sure, means it’s going to accelerate like a kitten pulling a Continue reading “Ford Falcon XT EcoBoost 2012 Review” »

Ford drops details and photos of Falcon FG MkII

September 16th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Ford has revealed the first photos and details of its upcoming FG Falcon MkII range this week ahead of it reaching NZ showrooms late this year.

The updated Falcon brings new technologies, an enhanced safety package, new exterior design appointments  and the first global application of EcoBoost engine technology in a rear-wheel drive vehicle. It also heralds in the debut of Ford’s global 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine which will be offered in the FG Falcon from next year.

The MkII Falcon will showcase some of Ford’s latest tech like a new 8.0-inch colour touch screen and integrated audio, phone and navigation functions and a more comprehensive occupant protection package.

“The improvements made to the award-winning Falcon range with the introduction of FG Falcon MkII have made a great car even better,” Ford New Zealand Marketing Manager, Chris Masterson said. “FG Falcon MkII builds on the success of the FG Falcon program, as well as the recently released new Territory range, by offering New Zealanders more equipment and the latest technology innovations, while continuing to deliver outstanding performance, fuel efficiency, refinement and safety.” Continue reading “Ford drops details and photos of Falcon FG MkII” »

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

October 14th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

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.

Continue reading “The Falcon XR8 will survive Ford’s new ‘One Ford’ policy” »

Next-gen Ford Falcon may use Mustang platform

October 6th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Ford has managed to stay strong through the tough economic times with a large part of its success attributed to the “One Ford” policy installed by boss Allan Mulally. But not all Ford enthusiasts are fans of this policy particularly with recent speculation, after Mulally’s comments at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show, that next Ford Falcon would be transferred to a front-wheel drive platform, shared with the American Taurus.

We love our RWD machines and most Falcon fans turn red at the thought of it going front drive, but new reports that comments by Mulally at the Paris Motor Show may calm those fears. The Ford CEO has now acknowledged that rear drive vehicles are still commercially viable, and continued that the automaker would continue to make vehicles that customers want.

While Mulally didn’t exactly announce that the Mustang and Falcon would one day share a platform, he hinted that it’s a possibility. Mulally said that rear-wheel drive platforms will be global in the future, adding “we love our rear-wheel drive platforms and we love Mustang, and they’re global platforms.”

This isn’t the first time rumours about the Falcon and Mustang sharing a rear drive platform have surfaced. In January of this year it was revealed that the next Mustang would house an independent rear suspension set up. Making it even more likely that the Falcon and Mustang would share that platform.

2011 Ford Falcon to receive supercharged 5.0-litre Coyote engine

August 20th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

When American Ford announced it was developing a Mustang GT500, there was plenty of rumours about exactly what engine would power it. Many thought the new 5.0-litre Coyote engine would be used with a supercharger strapped on and horsepower suitably increased. Those rumours were squashed when Ford stated that a new aluminum block version of its supercharged 5.4-liter V8 would be used on the 2011 GT500. But speculation that Ford would still find an application for a forced induction Coyote engine remained.

It now seems that a supercharged 5.0-litre Ford engine will first appear in Aussie next year when it powers the new Falcon XR8 and some FPV vehicles.

The only reason given by American Ford for not fitting the recently revealed Mustang Boss 302 (read news) with a supercharger, which it says would have been the easiest way to obtain greater power from the standard 307kW Coyote V8, was because the original 1969 Mustang Boss 302 engine was not force-fed.

For now the American’s have missed out and the first all-supercharged V8 Ford line-up, could be unveiled at the Bathurst 1000 in October. The range is expected to include a 315kW/550Nm XR8 sedan and ute, FPV GT models powered by a 335kW/600Nm V8 and possibly a special edition model to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Allan Moffat winning Bathurst in a Falcon GTHO.

Following the Bathurst reveal, the Aussie-made force-fed 5.0-litre V8 will replace the current 5.4-litre V8 that powers the outgoing XR8 and FPV’s V8 models.

To read a Car and SUV review of the FPV GT-P (pictured) click here.

FPV F6 E 2010 Review

May 21st, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Did Dirty Harry ever wear a police uniform when following leads and cracking heads? No, he wore brown sports jackets. And did James Bond ever wear a fully camouflaged jump suit when attending a cocktail party? No he didn’t. We all knew Bond had the firepower to shoot up the place, and he often did, but why signal leery intent too early. Ford Performance Vehicles isn’t usually known for styling restraint, but has followed this low-key image concept with its new F6 E model. FPV’s regular F6 turbocharged six-cylinder machine has become a success and accounts for more than 40% of all FPV sales, but the conspicuous styling hasn’t been sweet to all tastes. Enter the F6 E that offers the same thundering performance albeit wrapped up in a bespoke suit rather than a wife-beater singlet and black jeans. Car and SUV went undercover with the F6 E to investigate further.

From the outside less is more for this sleeper-styled sedan but there are still styling clues that distance it from lesser Falcon-based models. It has the same burly front and rear bumpers as its flashy F6 brother but the ‘racoon eye’ light surrounds and black rear diffuser are now colour coded.  The rear wing from the F6 has been dropped in favour of a boot lip spoiler and the 5-spoke 19-inch alloys are finished in shadow chrome. The front grille is blacked out and there are classy chrome touches on the bonnet’s front edge, boot grab bar and framing the windows. At a glance it’s a smooth looking sedan but a closer look reveals a massive intercooler hiding behind the front air dam and huge brake rotors with bright red Brembo callipers. Like a heavyweight boxer in a tuxedo, it’s impossible to completely hide the power within.

Continue reading “FPV F6 E 2010 Review” »

Falcon XR8 may be dropped for FPV replacement

January 27th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

It’s no secret that Ford Australia is all set to introduce the all new US-sourced 5.0 litre V8 ‘Coyote’ engine (read news). But now there are reports that the company is considering retiring the XR8 badge in favour of an FPV-only V8 line-up.

Speaking at a recent news conference, Ford Australia boss Martin Burela said that a number of options are being considered, including a scheme where the XR8 is retained and the FPV V8 range treated to a higher tune or forced induction.

Mr Burela said that while it is being considered, to completely drop the XR8 would require a very compelling reason, with the nearly 20 year old model being a very popular choice among V8 fans.

If the XR8 does keep its place in the Ford line-up, it will likely receive a de-tuned version of the upcoming ‘Coyote’ V8 engine. The next generation FPV GS could then get the standard tune, while the GT models would benefit from forced induction most likely from a supercharger.

In its naturally-aspirated standard form the ‘Coyote’ 5.0 litre engine produces 307kW and 529Nm of torque, a solid increase over the 290kW/520Nm of the current XR8.

Currently, Ford Australia is believed to be developing a supercharged version of the new V8 engine. This is an ambitious project considering that US engineers are still struggling to create a reliable supercharger of their own.

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