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Future models - Ford - Falcon - BAII

First look: Ford’s BA MkII Falcon

Subtle: Ford's BAII update brings significant standard equipment upgrades across the range, but no cosmetic changes.

Ford reveals BAII Falcon details on the eve of Holden’s VZ Commodore launch

Ford logo3 Aug 2004

FORD has done its bit to spoil Holden’s VZ Commodore party by revealing details and pictures of its updated BA Falcon on the eve of the facelifted Commodore’s launch.

Not due on sale until October, the so-called BA MkII will be headlined by a new six-speed manual transmission to compliment a significant standard equipment upgrade across the sedan, wagon and utility range.

In particular, cruise control and automatic headlights will become standard across the entire Falcon range, while Futura buyers will benefit from the addition of standard power-adjustable pedals and front side airbags.

There will be no official word on pricing until the upgraded model goes on sale, by which time Holden will have revealed pricing for its VZ Commodore range, which will feature a new 3.6-litre DOHC alloy V6 as the final change for Commodore until the redesigned VE series appears in 2006.

Meantime, Falcon will not be renewed until at least 2007, having become virtually an all-new model earlier than scheduled in 2001 with the BA series, following the sales disaster of the 1998 AU Falcon.

It is believed BA MkII pricing will be dictated by that of VZ Commodore, in which the new V6 is more costly to manufacture.

But while base VZ Commodore fuel consumption figures are expected to be at least as high as that of the current 3.8-litre model (11.3 litres per 100km in Executive guise, as per the ADR81/01 combined-cycle average), BAII Falcon is not expected to alter its kerb weight figures nor its 11.5L/100km fuel consumption in base Falcon XT form.

But a new six-speed close-ratio manual transmission – plus new final drive ratios - for XR6 Turbo and XR8 variants is expected to further increase the performance of XR Falcon models, sales of which have surged from just 6.8 per cent in 2002 to more than 27 per cent so far in 2004.

Supplied by Tremec, the close-ratio manual is the same as that found in HSV and V8 Commodore models – as well as the supercharged Mustang Cobra R and Aston Martin Vanquish - and replaces the notchy five-speed T5 Borg Warner manual currently found in XR6-T and XR8.

Claimed to offer improved shift feel, the new transmission will also be employed by Ford Performance Vehicles’ BAII models due on sale in October - including the upcoming turbocharged F6 Typhoon, which is largely the reason for the tougher new manual’s existence.


All BA MkII sedan, wagon and ute variants receive new "MkII" badging

While regular Falcon variants will continue to employ the current five-speed manual, XR6-T and XR8 will also benefit from revised, shorter final drive gearing, which goes from 3.23 to 3.46 in XR8 and from 3.46 to 3.73 in XR6-T.

Unique gearsets for both models are said to make fifth gear well suited to the 60km/h speed limit and provide strong acceleration from below 100km/h in sixth gear.

Firmer spring rates for XR8 sedan are aimed at delivering sharper handling, as is the addition of 18-inch alloy wheels, while Ford’s V8 flagship also gains alloy pedal covers, a second row centre armrest, power window controls illumination, Prestige sound system, auto headlights on/off and a new gearshift knob.

All BA MkII sedan, wagon and ute variants receive new "MkII" badging and the availability of a new Shockwave paint colour.

Heading down the Falcon family tree, the BA MkII XR6 Turbo sedan adds new 17-inch alloy wheels, alloy pedal covers, a second row centre armrest, power window controls illumination, auto headlights on/off and a new gearshift knob – plus new paint colours Blaze red, Rapid yellow, Velocity blue and Shockwave.

XR6 sedan gains all of its turbo sibling’s upgrades, plus rear power windows and traction control for both manual and auto versions, while the luxury flagship Fairmont Ghia gets new 17-inch alloy wheels, a leather and woodgrain sports steering wheel, leather and woodgrain gearknob and new Shockwave, Velocity and Blaze paint colours.

BAII Fairmont buyers will benefit from the addition of power-adjustable pedals and a reverse sensing system as standard, plus the option of Shockwave paint.

Futura sedan and wagon will come with standard side airbags, power adjustable pedals and auto headlights on/off, while Shockwave will also be added to its colour palette, along with that of the entry level XT.

Come October, the base Falcon sedan and wagon will also get standard cruise control, auto headlights on/off and new wheel covers, while six and eight-cylinder manual sedans will also add the availability of traction control as an optional extra.

On the BA MkII ute front, the entry level XL and tall-riding RTV variants add auto headlights on/off, a second remote key, variable and speed-sensitive wipers and the Shockwave paint colour, while the XLS gets all that plus new side skirts, new body coloured side protection mouldings and one-tonne suspension on chassis cab versions.

27 center image XR6 Ute will receive new 17-inch alloys, alloy pedal covers and auto headlights on/off, plus extra paint colours in Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave.

BAII XR6 Turbo and XR8 ute variants will include the above plus of course the new six-speed manual transmission and gearknob.

"The award-winning BA Falcon not only gained critical acclaim but won a host of important motoring, engineering and safety awards as well," said Ford Australia president Tom Gorman.

"More importantly, it spearheaded a revival in the sales fortunes of Ford Australia built on providing product that inspires passion and confidence in the market.

"It also heralded a new era in motorsport with Marcos Ambrose reclaiming the V8 Supercar championship for the Blue Oval.

"MkII represents a further development of the BA Falcon with the changes driven by customer demand for extra features.

"This update signals Ford Australia's intention to continue providing locally designed and engineered product that motivates people into Ford showrooms." BA MkII models will also come with an expanded accessory range, including roof storage options originally designed for Territory including a bike carrier, canoe/kayak holder, 375-litre or 405-litre roof luggage box or ski/snowboard carrier.

Finally, a new 15-litre Day Tripper car fridge will also be available, along with a games adaptor to make the optional REX3 DVD system compatible with the latest Xbox, Playstation2 or Game Cube video games.

Endsendsends

F6 Typhoon: six cylinders, six speeds

THANK FPV’s upcoming F6 Typhoon for the existence of a new six-speed transmission option for XR6 Turbo and XR8 sedan and ute variants.

Yes, with 270kW and 550Nm - the highest torque output of any Australian production engine - available from its turbocharged 4.0-litre DOHC inline six, the current XR6-T’s five-speed Borg Warner manual’s days were always numbered.

And good riddance, because in concert with shorter final drive ratios, the close-ratio, short-throw six-speed should not only spell improved performance and fuel economy for XR6-T, XR8 and F6, but for FPV’s GT, GT-P and Pursuit ute models too.

Initially, F6 Typhoon will launch exclusively with the new manual tranny at the Sydney motor show on October 7 - where it makes its full production version debut alongside the V8-powered BA MkII FPVs, which will also get the T56 as standard.

"The introduction of a six-speed manual gearbox to the FPV line-up is the next phase in the evolution of our high-performance range," said FPV managing director David Flint.

"It will enhance the driving enjoyment of our vehicles and provide improvements in a number of areas, including acceleration."

Model by model specifications

BA MkII XT Sedan and Wagon
 Cruise control
 New wheel covers
 Auto headlamps on/off
 Traction Control available as an option on I6 manual sedan and V8 manual sedans
 New paint colour: Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII Futura sedan and wagon
 Side airbags
 Power Adjustable Pedals
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New paint colour: Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII Fairmont
 Power Adjustable Pedals
 Reverse Sensing System
 New paint colour: Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII Fairmont Ghia
 New 17-inch alloy wheels
 Leather and Woodgrain Sports Steering Wheel
 Leather and Woodgrain Sequential Sports Shifter
 New paint colour: Shockwave, Velocity and Blaze
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XR6
 New 17-inch alloy wheels
 Alloy pedal covers
 Second row centre armrest
 Illuminated power window controls
 Rear power windows
 Traction Control on both manual and automatic transmission
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New paint colours: Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XR6 Turbo
 New 17-inch alloy wheels
 Alloy pedal covers
 Second row centre armrest
 Illuminated power window controls
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New six-speed manual transmission with short throw direct acting shift mechanism
 Syncromesh on reverse gear
 New gear shift knob with revised technical graphics
 New paint colours: Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XR8
 18-inch alloy wheels
 Suspension upgrade
 Alloy pedal covers
 Second row centre armrest
 Power window controls illumination
 Prestige audio system
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New six-speed manual transmission with short throw direct acting shift mechanism
 Syncromesh on reverse gear
 New gear shift knob with revised technical graphics
 New paint colours: Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XL Ute
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New paint colour: Shockwave
 Second remote key fob
 Variable dwell and speed sensitive windscreen wipers
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII RTV Ute
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New paint colour: Shockwave
 Second remote key fob
 Variable dwell and speed sensitive windscreen wipers
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XLS Ute
 Auto headlamps on/off
 Second remote key fob
 New side skirts
 New body coloured side protection moulding
 One tonne suspension on chassis cab
 New paint colour: Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XR6 Ute
 New 17-inch alloy wheels
 Alloy pedal covers
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New paint colours: Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XR6 Turbo Ute
 New 17-inch alloy wheels
 Alloy pedal covers
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New six-speed manual transmission with short throw direct acting shift mechanism
 Syncromesh on reverse gear
 New gear shift knob with revised technical graphics
 New paint colours: Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging BA MkII XR8 Ute
 New 17-inch alloy wheels
 Alloy pedal covers
 Auto headlamps on/off
 New six-speed manual transmission with short throw direct acting shift mechanism
 Syncromesh on reverse gear
 New gear shift knob with revised technical graphics
 New paint colours: Blaze, Rapid, Velocity and Shockwave
 Unique MkII badging

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