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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XR6 Turbo sedan

The Car

19 Dec 2002

FORD'S designers tried something different when they penned the AU Falcon, predicting the car's next-generation "new edge" styling would find favour with buyers in the new millennium, but it didn't.

So Ford had an enormous job on its hands to turn the AU from a laughing stock into a looker, given it could not afford to change the car's doors, roofline and glasshouse area.

The result is the current BA range, which marries clean lines and relatively conservative styling to produce a well proportioned vehicle, despite the carryover components mentioned.

On the sports XR models the signature quad-lamp headlight treatment has been retained, albeit in a different form to that seen previously. The plastic headlight cones have been ditched in favour of a much more subtle and conservative design that utilises sculpted cutouts in the bumper to highlight the new twin projector beam headlights.

It naturally offers a more aggressive look than the base level variants, in conjunction with the deeper front bumper and large, Impreza WRX-style foglights.

Ford claims the new design is a more sophisticated iteration of the long-running quad lamp-style, but Blue Oval purists are reportedly less than impressed by the company's decision to ditch the full force of the car's trademark look, which has been a distinguishing feature since the ED model of 1993.

The XR models also come with the usual array of go-fast bits designed to give the cars an overtly sports flavour.

A full bodykit is now standard on all XR variants - XR6, the new XR6-T and forthcoming XR8 comprising new-design front and rear bumpers, both with lower lip spoilers, as well as side skirts and a bootlid-mounted wrap-around wing spoiler.

Other detail changes include body coloured exterior mirrors and side protection strips, as well as (larger diameter) alloy wheels.

Did you know?

Fifty-four focus groups were conducted for BA Falcon, attended by more than 500 people. In addition, more than 700 people were interviewed in other BA Falcon research studies

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