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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - Fairmont Ghia V8 sedan


22 Nov 2002

FAIRMONT Ghia comes standard with Ford Australia's new Barra 182 DOHC 24-valve straight six or, as tested here, with the new US-built Barra 220 V8 - which is optional across the Falcon range in which it makes its worldwide debut.

Comprising a cast-iron block and three-valve, single overhead camshaft alloy cylinder-head, the 5.4-litre engine also features a roller finger follower valvetrain, electronic throttle control, coil-on-plug ignition and Ford's Failsafe Cooling and Variable Camshaft Timing systems, the latter including continuously variable operation of up to 60 degrees.

Unlike Fairmont Ghia's opposite number at Holden, Calais (which is available in V6, supercharged V6 and 5.7-litre V8 guise), the 5.4-litre Ford V8 boasts long-stroke cylinder dimensions measuring 90.2mm x 105.8mm.

The result is more torque at lower revs, with a slightly better 470Nm peak torque figure available at a much lower 3250rpm, and maximum torque of 220kW (5kW less than Holden's base V8, but some 45kW more than Falcon's outgoing optional V8) on tap at a lower 4750rpm. The base V8 does not quite match Ford's new turbo six for peak power, but it betters it for torque.

BTR's excellent adaptive four-speed auto with manual shift function, plus the Ghia's lower 3.23 final drive gearing shared with the Falcon XR range, extracts every last gasp of the sophisticated new V8's significant performance.

Did you know?

Ford's engine lab completed 24,000 hours of endurance testing on the new engine range - the equivalent of five million kilometres at 200km/h or 125 times around the equator

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