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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - S sedan

The Car

21 Feb 2001

Forte, S and Futura Falcons now use the raised-profile bonnet previously restricted to Ghia modelsThe rear bumper has been reprofiled for a slightly squarer look and extends further to conceal more of the car's underpinnings The applique on the boot lid was redesigned to minimise the AU's "droopy" rear-end appearance A new rear spoiler is standard on Futura models Warmer, slightly darker interior tones promote a more inviting look The re-designed Forte instrument panel has a new centre section with revised controls and metallic paint highlights 100 Watt, single-disc CD player is standard in Forte, S, Futura XR6 HP and Falcon utes Pyrotechnic seatbelt pretensioners are standard across the Falcon range Falcon wagons now have a three-point lap-sash belt for centre rear seat passengers The child's seat anchor is now located on the seat back rather than the rear floor The braking system has been upgraded with bigger pads, thicker front rotors (from 24mm to 28mm), changes to the master cylinder and a new, high-capacity brake booster Ford says the upgrades to the braking lower the risk of overheating and improve high-speed effectiveness The new brake system uses twin-pot, aluminium-headed front callipers The optional anti-lock brake system has been recalibrated The independent multi-link rear suspension has been revised for a softer ride.

Changes were made to spring and shock absorber rates as well as the top suspension mount Ford changed the shook absorber settings in the live-axle Watts link rear suspension to give a smoother ride The Falcon's front suspension has new, reduced-friction ball joints Standard wheel size is now 16 inches Dual front airbags are standard on all Falcon sedans Single-disc CD player becomes standard in base Falcons Six-cylinder Forte, S and Futura automatic transmission models are available with single-fuel LPG option LPG-specific cars delete the entire standard fuel system including tank, lines, pump, injectors, fuel rail and charcoal canister LPG capacity is 92 litres in sedan and 115 litres in wagon models The LPG engine gets revised spark plugs, inductive high tension leads and a unique engine management processor The dedicated system solves the problem of LPG tanks encroaching on boot space Falcon's new laminated firewall, between engine bay and interior, reduces noise An overhead console featuring a sunglasses holder is provided on all models Air-conditioning and automatic transmission are standard on all Falcons Forte, S and Futura now get the "jewelled" tail-light lenses previously only seen on Fairmont A new remote central locking system incorporates control buttons for door lock/unlock, boot/tailgate and "panic" mode Falcon's drag coefficient is Cd 0.295 The boot lid extends down to bumper level, making it easier to load heavy suitcasesImproved packaging makes AU Falcon significantly larger inside AU Falcon is shorter, lower and weighs less than previous model Base Falcon engine develops 157kW and 357Nm of torque Fuel economy is claimed to be eight per cent better than the EL Falcon Ford says AU exhaust emissions are 54 per cent lower than a 1996 EL Falcon A fail-safe cooling system enables the car to be driven home even after a loss of coolant A 175kW, 5.0-litre V8 is available as an option in the Forte Falcon is claimed to have more space on the inside, despite being virtually the same size externally as its predecessor Boot capacity is 460 litres Steering-mounted controls for the stereo are standard across the Falcon range The Forte's instrument cluster has a trip meter that includes a distance-to-empty function The AU Falcon has larger ventilation outlets to create a cleaner and fresher interior environment Front seat travel has been increased to cater for a wider range of drivers Forte is available with a three-passenger front seat configuration in which the driver has a separate bucket seat Power front windows became standard on Forte in March, 1999 Ergonomic considerations placed the rear view mirror remote control close to actual mirror

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