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Falcon turns 50

Golden anniversary: Ford is celebrating Falcon's 50th anniversary with special models, including this XR6 Turbo in 'Sunburst' hero colour.

Ford reveals limited-edition 50th anniversary Falcon range ahead of June milestone

Ford logo29 Apr 2010

By MARTON PETTENDY

FORD Australia has revealed its limited-edition 50th anniversary Falcon range 50 years to the day since the first inline six-cylinder engine was produced at Ford's Geelong engine plant.

The longest running vehicle nameplate in Australian motoring history will mark its 50-year milestone on June 28, when the first (XK) Falcon rolled off its Broadmeadows assembly line exactly 50 years ago.

To celebrate, it will produce a series of six 50th anniversary Falcon sedan and ute models from the same month, featuring unique exterior and interior design cues and extra standard equipment, with pricing to be revealed closer to their launch dates.

XR 50th anniversary models will be the first to appear in showrooms from June, led by a new ‘XR50’ sedan model featuring unique ‘Dark Stealth’ colour accents on the upper and lower grilles, foglight bezels and rear bumper insert, and ‘Medium Stealth’ accents on the alloy wheels, plus high-series side mirrors with integrated indicators and G6-spec tail-lights.

Apart from XR50 badging, bespoke exterior additions for the 50th anniversary Falcon sedan will include XR50 body stripes and a ‘50th Anniversary’ fender feature, while inside there will be embroidered XR50 logos on the seats, XR50 carpet mats and door scuff plates, and 50th Anniversary instrument cluster graphics.

27 center image From Top: Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo sedan, Ford G6E Turbo sedan, and Ford Falcon XR6 utility.

Other highlights include special interior trim for the centre console, instrument panel and front door spears, plus standard dual-zone climate-control, a premium audio system and high-series sports leather steering wheel.

Specific equipment for the Falcon XR6 50th Anniversary will include new partial leather seat trim and 18-inch XR alloy wheels with the detail accent treatment, while the Falcon XR6 Turbo 50th Anniversary receives new leather-detailed seat trim, rear parking sensors and 19-inch XR alloy wheels with full colour accent treatment.

The Falcon XR 50th Anniversary Ute will come with the same specifications as the sedan, minus sedan-specific additions.

Ford’s G Series 50th Anniversary models will also feature unique accent colour treatments with ‘Medium Stealth’ touches on the upper and lower grilles and rear bumper insert, plus ‘Light Stealth’ accents on the foglight bezels and alloy wheels.

Anniversary features unique to G Series models, which will follow from July, include new leather detailed seat trim with embroidered ‘50th Anniversary’ logos, a 50th Anniversary badge, the fender feature, carpet floor mats and special interior trim on the centre console, instrument panel and front door spears.

Extra 50-year G Series standard features will include a satellite-navigation system with Suna Traffic Channel and G Series 19-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels with detailed accent treatment.

Finally, a new ‘Sunburst’ metallic orange hero paint colour for XR models will be introduced in conjunction with the release of the Falcon 50th Anniversary range, while two new prestige paint colours will become available on 50th anniversary G Series models.

They include ‘Havana’, which arrives in May and is described as “a soft neutral mocha metallic with smoky brown graduated hues and a dark, deeper bronze highlight” and ‘Edge’, which will be available from August and is said to be a “dark charcoal with a hint of blue that features a dark, sparkling luxury metallic highlight”.

“The Falcon's long and distinguished heritage is unmatched by any other car in the history of Australian motoring,” said Ford Australia marketing, sales and service vice-president Beth Donovan.

“Fifty years of continuity in any industry is a remarkable achievement, but it's especially rare in a dynamic field like the car industry.

“Recommended pricing for the Falcon 50th anniversary range will be announced closer to the on sale date, but as with previous limited-edition models, customers can expect these special vehicles to come with some equally special pricing that will deliver exceptional value for money,” said Ms Donovan.

Earlier this month Ford revealed a raft of changes for its more fuel-efficient Euro 4 emissions-compliant 2010 Falcon range, which enters production in May.

As we reported exclusively a day earlier, two locally developed supercharged versions of the Ford Motor Company’s new 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ V8 will appear under the bonnets of Ford’s upgraded XR8 and FPV models later this year.

Ford Australia’s April 29 reveal of the 50th anniversary Falcons comes exactly 50 years since the company’s first inline six was produced. The 1960 XK Falcon’s 144 cubic-inch (2.4-litre) two-valve pushrod engine developed a 67kW and 187Nm of torque – around the same as a modern 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine.

It is a far cry from the Falcon’s current 4.0-litre inline six, which retains a cast-iron cylinder block but produces 195kW/391Nm and features double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, dual independent variable camshaft timing (DI-VCT) and a dual-mode split plenum composite intake manifold.

Ford points out that while the XK’s 2.4-litre straight six was start-of-the-art in its day, the current Falcon engine develops almost three times the power and more than twice the peak torque, while being significantly more fuel efficient despite a 50 per cent increase in total vehicle mass.

Of course, the latest Falcon comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, while the original was available with either a three-speed manual or two-speed auto.

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