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Car reviews - Ford - Falcon - XT sedan

Transmission

Ford logo19 Dec 2002

By MARTON PETTENDY

WORKING in tandem with Falcon's new engine to extract more of its increased performance is an impressive new version of Falcon's effective four-speed adaptive automatic transmission.

Developed by BTR at its Albury (NSW) factory and now featuring a clever new manual shift function as seen on more expensive European vehicles, the new automatic transmission combines a highly adaptive automatic mode with full manual control - push forward to downchange, pull back to upchange.

Unlike many similar semi-manual systems, however, the new gearbox will neither upchange by itself when the rev-limiter is reached, nor downchange unless necessary.

Delivering the best of both worlds, it also offers a BMW-like Performance mode, similarly selected by pushing the gearlever across into the manual shift gate, which locks out fourth gear and provides greater round-town response and engine braking.

Shifting almost instantly with even a gentle nudge of the solid and tactile, joystick-style gearlever, the new transmission - which is optional in XT and XR, and standard in everything else - also offers quicker and smoother shifting.

Geared slightly taller than the standard five-speed BTR T5 manual, with the engine spinning at a relaxed 1750rpm at 100km/h in top, while the auto's 1:1 third gear also has the same ratio as fourth in the manual.

Working brilliantly in combination with the crisp new engine, sophisticated new traction control and IRS systems, the new Sequential Sports Shift transmission provides access to a whole new realm of Falcon performance.

Did you know?

There is 1.033km of electrical wire in a BA Fairmont Ghia

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