FPV reveals menacing GT Concept at Melbourne show

July 4th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

FPV has just revealed its first-ever ‘concept car’ at the Australian International Motor Show in Melbourne. Named the GT concept this Falcon-based, darkened machine features a number of unique features and design treatments not used by the performance brand previously. The one-off vehicle debuts just in time to combat HSV that used the show to unveil its new SV Black Edition models (read news).

FPV’s GT Concept is given a tough, Mad Max look by a Silhouette Black paint job with a unique matt finish stripe package on the bonnet, rear wing and bodysides. The same paint treatment is also repeated on the rear diffuser.

At the front large brake inlets are cut into a modified front fascia, black framing has been used to enhance the rear light graphics treatment, and the vehicle carries unique GT badging. Packing out the guards are 19-inch lightweight one-piece forged alloy rims, finished in black, and measure 8.0 inches wide at the front and 9.5 inches wide at the rear, and are wrapped in special Dunlop SP Sportmaxx GT tyres. Under the fancy bodywork there’s a track-tuned suspension specification and a full stainless steel high-flow twin exhaust system exhaust finished with quad black exhaust tips. Putting on the skids is a performance braking package consisting of larger six-piston brake calipers up front and four-piston brake calipers at the rear. Continue reading “FPV reveals menacing GT Concept at Melbourne show” »

Ford Performance Vehicles pulls covers off new 335kW ‘Miami’ V8

September 3rd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Ford Performance Vehicles has just announced details on its all-new V8 engine, named the “Miami” V8.

Set to replace the old faithful Boss V8, the new Miami is a supercharged 5.0-litre unit based on the Coyote V8 currently serving in the Ford Mustang. The Miami will be available in two power outputs within FPV’s model range.

The GS sedan and ute will receive the lower-output Miami V8 (coded V2X) producing 315kW and 545Nm. The full-strength high-spec engine (coded V2G) pumps out 335kW and 570Nm and will be fitted to GT- badged vehicles. Both engines are almost identical mechanically, with only ECU tuning accounting for the difference in output.

These numbers represent a significant jump over the current GS and GT engines, which put out 302kW and 315kW respectively. Further to that, the GT’s 335kW beats out the 325kW output of HSV’s flagship GTS by a full 10kW margin. This should guarantee FPV owners bragging rights for some time.

The shift to a supercharged mill has also allowed FPV to increase torque, even though engine displacement has dropped by 400cc. The full compliment of torque also comes on much lower in the rev range at just 2000rpm for the GS and 2200rpm for the GT.

There is no word yet on exact performance figures from FPV, but there are already suggestions that the new FPV GT could go 0-100km/h in under 5 seconds.

It’s good news in terms of economy as well, with a slight improvement in consumption seeing the GS and GT manual sedans drinking 13.6 l/100km. Automatic sedans use 0.1 l/100km more.

Continue reading “Ford Performance Vehicles pulls covers off new 335kW ‘Miami’ V8” »

FPV Super Pursuit FG 2008 Review

September 15th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

fpv-fg-super-pursuit-ute-fq

I feel for the FPV Super Pursuit, I really do. It’s tough being an Australian living in New Zealand, especially as I’m now ‘the one with the strange eccent’. Also being the only Aussie ever to leave the sunny climes of Queensland for the wet and windy wilds of Auckland I share a deep sense of confusion with FPV’s newest ute as to its, and my purpose here.

With the Super Pursuit it’s not so much a sense of purpose that is lacking – with 315kW on tap from the 5.4 litre quad-cam V8 it has plenty of sporting pretension – more a sense of identity. The FPV features a leaf spring rear end which is great for carrying loads, but not conducive to sporty handling. This manifests itself in corners with the light rear end not inspiring confidence in the driver to push harder in what FPV refers to as a ‘sports coupe’. There is also axle tramp under hard acceleration which makes a smooth driving style the best option when starting away from traffic lights.

The scale of the FPV is the first thing that surprises – it is a big car. Out on the road you forget about the size of the Super Pursuit as it seems to shrink around you in the usual Ford way, making you feel like you’re part of the machinery as opposed to just a passenger. The only time you really notice its width is when you look behind you at the long tray with its bulging tonneau cover.

The ‘power bulge’ on the bonnet is amusing in both name and form. It does bring a smile to your face and gives you a strange feeling of enhanced masculinity when driving. It is very easy to be mesmerized by the bonnet bulge and the V8 noise emanating from beneath it which is not as loud and captivating as HSV offerings but still sounds like it means business.

The Super Pursuit is also not as loud as the HSV Maloo R8 in terms of exterior styling. The rear end look of the FPV lacks serious balls compared to the Maloo as the back of the FPV is so wide that the standard 245/35ZR19 rear wheels look puny and are inset into the wheel arches rather than sitting flush. A much wider tyre would give the Super Pursuit the cojones that the HSV carries.

The interior is functional and feels higher quality than in an HSV. The sport seats look inviting and do provide very good support, but weren’t that comfortable on a long drive – maybe I’m getting old. The ride is firm and feedback through the thick steering wheel is solid.

So with the Super Pursuit, FPV has tried to imbue it with the capability to be a town and country ute, just as capable of carting a dozen sheep as it is cruising for sheilas on a Friday night.

This combination caters to nouveau-riche builders and electricians who now regularly earn six-figure salaries in Australia. For those needing to cart a tool kit and light loads (it’ll carry just over half a tonne) and still look stylish, the Super Pursuit could be the ticket as it is just a bit cheaper than the Maloo and can carry heavier loads.

Price: from $72,990

What we like

  • ‘Power bulge’ bonnet
  • Revable V8
  • Interior quality

What we don’t like

  • Wimpy rear end styling
  • V8 not loud enough; road noise too loud
  • Seats not especially comfortable

ENGINE

Boss 315 – high performance
5.4 litre quad-cam 32 valve V8
Maximum power (DIN) – 315kW @ 6500rpm
Maximum torque (DIN) – 551Nm @ 4750rpm
Fuel management system – sequential multipoint electronic fuel injection
FPV high-flow dual exhaust system
FPV blue rocker cover
FPV stainless steel fabricated exhaust manifolds

FUEL CONSUMPTION

ADR81-01 (L/100km) – manual/automatic 14.7/14.4
Comparative CO2 emissions (grams/km)- manual/automatic 352/344

TRANSMISION & DRIVELINE

ZF 6-speed high-torque automatic transmission with Sequential Sports Shift NCO
TR6060 6-speed Manual with leather and satin chrome gear knob

RIDE & HANDLING

FPV Performance independent double wishbone front suspension
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

PREMIUM BRAKES

355 x 32mm cross drilled ventilated front rotors with Brembo 6 piston calipers & 328 x 26mm cross drilled ventilated rear rotors with single red piston caliper

INTERIOR

FPV build number badge with 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
Speedometer (260kph)
Tachometer (8000rpm)
Audible shift alert indicator – man only
CFC-free Air conditioning – dual zone
FPV floor mats
FPV scuff plates (front only)
Sports leather steering wheel
with cruise control and audio switches
Alloy pedal covers

SEATING

FPV performance sports seats Silverstone cloth with Ebony Lux suede bolsters with Super Pursuit logo embroidery
Nudo Leather with Miller suede bolsters with GT-P/Super Pursuit logo embroidery NCO
4 way power driver’s seat
Adjustable driver’s and passenger’s seat lumbar support

AUDIO

Premium audio system with 7″ colour display and 6-disc in-dash CD with iPod® integration
Bluetooth® mobile phone integration
Auxilliary Audio plug-in (MP3 capability)
Satellite Navigation system (optional)

EXTERIOR STYLING

FPV oval badge on front grille & rear
FPV fender feature badge

FPV model badging on tailgate
Boss power bulge on hood
FPV stripe package (incl hood decal) NCO
Boss hood decal (stand alone) NCO
Side fender turn indicators
FPV exhaust – twin chrome tail pipes
FPV “power bulge” hard tonneau with spoiler
Machine-faced alloy wheels with Dark Argent accents
Bumper accent detail – Dark or Mid Argent

SAFETY & SECURITY

Driver and front passenger airbags
Front seat side head/thorax airbags
Beltminderâ„¢ (front driver’s side only)
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
Traction Control System (TCS)
PV ID Datadot identification
Alarm

Words Ben Dillon, photos Adam Croy

FPV F6 2008 Review

June 16th, 2008 by Darren Cottingham

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


FPV GT 2007 Review

August 21st, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

FPV GT 2007 fq

I used to be very shy. I could barely squeak in acknowledgement as our form teacher called out the names in class. Then I got a job at a garage/video store/petrol station a couple of nights a week and on Saturdays. That soon got rid of the shyness. After that I used my new found customer confidence and took a step up the career ladder to McDonalds where I contributed to the obesity of the locals (interestingly, the town I grew up in — Boston, Lincolnshire — is now the fattest town in the UK¦and it could have been because of me!)

What does this have to do with FPV’s GT? Well, it’s orange and sufficiently rare to attract attention. Park it in a crowded car park and people look. People ask questions. Kids point. It’s not for shrinking violets and people with inferiority complexes. But, if you did want to shun human contact it’s got enough grunt — 290kW and 520Nm of torque — to leave the seething masses behind.

The styling is bold, but not over-the-top. From the front, there’s a deep front tri-slot splitter with FPV mesh, spotlights, and optional black Boss 290 stickers on the bonnet bulge. At the back there’s an angular spoiler, rear skirt and twin exhausts (the view most people will see of you). On the side the optional black stripes are punctuated by the enormous 19-inch five-spoke mags wrapped in 245/35ZR19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres that keep the GT glued to the road. FPV’s suspension settings and choice of tyres means it’s quite tame in the dry, even with traction control turned off.

Turn the key, push the button to start and the 5.4-litre Boss 290 V8 Quadcam engine settles into a low hum. Blip the throttle and it never develops into a harsh roar; it’s a smooth and muted note. This translates well into driving comfort. Over long distances, it’s not intrusive, only reminding you when you have to get by something slow. For those occasions, you can either leave the automatic box to figure out what to do, put it in performance auto which kicks down earlier and changes up later, or go with the sequential shift — forwards for down and backwards for up (the proper way, like a racing car).

Having driven the Typhoon a few weeks earlier it was interesting to compare the handling dynamics of the GT. The Typhoon is obviously quicker, but it also seemed to push less on the front end when going hard into a corner. Perhaps the extra mass of the V8 over the straight-six is what caused this. The GT has less willing to pop its tail out of slow corners, and this also is reinforced by its 0-100kph times, which are a good 0.7 seconds slower than the Typhoon.

Braking, though, is like opening a parachute. Its stopping ability, for its weight, is incredible with the optional six-pot Brembos up front and four-pot at the rear. That’s a total of 20 pots — enough to start a catering firm. Even the standard car gets the same 355mm (front) and 328mm (rear) cross-drilled and slotted rotors, though it has four pots at the front and a single one at the rear.

Even without the discontinued Shockwave colour, FPV’s GT brochure shows 46 combinations of colours and stripes with names like Vixen, Silhouette, Ego, Breeze and Toxic. Yes, none of those names really tell you what the colours are, but they sound better than red, dark blue, black, turquoise and lime green.

If you can justify another $7,300 you could look at the GT-P — it has different mags, reversing sensors, upgraded seats (with more power adjustment) the aforementioned premium brake upgrade and some cosmetic detail changes.

I quite like the GT, though I like the straight-six turbo Typhoon better. But if you must have a V8 for the noise and/or the image, the GT’s price point is attractive against Holden’s offerings.

Price: from $71,990

If you’re looking to purchase a FPV GT, click here (opens in a new window)

What we like

  • Easy to drive
  • Looks great
  • Any colour you like (even black)

What we don’t like

  • Needs more power to justify the V8 over the Typhoon or Force 6 Turbo straight-six

Words and photos Darren Cottingham

Ford FPV F6 Typhoon 2007 Review

August 1st, 2007 by Darren Cottingham

FPV Typhoon 2007 fq

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

We like:

  • Hedonistic prods of the throttle
  • Wheels
  • 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
  • Ummmm

Words and photos Darren Cottingham.