1 Mar 2003
FTE became FPV. The hallowed GT name returned some months after the BA Falcon range was released in September 2002.
The BA was the most changed model in the Falcon’s 42-year local history, only the Falcon’s doors and some under-body bits were carried over from the unfortunate AU.
From the flattened roof, squared-off nose and German Audi-style tail, to the all-new soft-feel interior that even featured altered seating and steering wheel position mounts, everything one could see and touch in the BA was modern yet conservative.
But underneath a revolution took place.
“Control Blade” multi-link independent rear suspension (sedan only), an 80-per cent increase in torsional rigidity, completely new rack and pinion steering, improved safety and refinement properties, and far-more computer power elevated the Falcon to a world-class standard in driving, comfort and ride terms.
Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) built on these strengths by making major modifications to the suspension and steering aspects, while it heavily re-engineered the US-sourced 5.4-litre V8 by implementing DOHC 32-valve componentry and other efficiency enhancements.
The result was the GT’s 290kW/520Nm heart.
Only the portly weight and high fuel consumption remain problem areas.
After 36 years, the Falcon won its third Wheels Car of the Year award.
All FPV GTs included four airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, keyless entry, alloy wheels, power windows, power steering, electric mirrors, a CD player, sports seats and climate control air-conditioning.