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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XR6 Turbo sedan

Engine

Ford logo19 Dec 2002

By MARTON PETTENDY

WITH the entry level BA Falcon XT variant now producing more power than the old AU XR6 VCT (182kW versus 172kW), Ford clearly had to come up with something special to attract buyers to the new XR6 range and sustain the reputation of the hot six nameplate.

The base XR6 has effectively become an XT with a bodykit and alloy wheels - although it also picks up the Tickford-tuned IRS and certain up-spec interior appointments - as it shares the 182kW engine with the rest of the Falcon range (XT, Futura, Fairmont and Fairmont Ghia).

For the main act Ford has delivered a giant-killing turbocharged version of the Falcon's faithful 4.0-litre straight six.

Using the redesigned "Barra 182" powerplant as a starting point, the performance derivative (called Barra 240T) adds an intercooled Garrett GT40 ball-bearing turbocharger to boost power and torque by 32 per cent and 18 per cent respectively.

With a quoted 240kW of power (produced at 5250rpm), the turbo engine is now more powerful on paper than the Commodore's famed Gen III V8 - although in the right hands the 235kW SS has proven to be as quick courtesy of its significantly lower (140kg) kerb weight.

But a V8-rivalling peak torque output of 450Nm, which is on tap from just 2000rpm all the way through to 4500rpm, is a key component of the XR6-T's performance package. Turbo lag is essentially non-existent as a result of its effectiveness from low engine speeds.

Did you know?

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

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