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FG Falcon: No FG wagon - yet

BFIII: Revised wagon misses out on new sedan's upgraded powertrain.

Ford’s AU-derived BFIII Falcon wagon will soldier on alongside FG, but RTV ute dies

17 Feb 2008

FORD will not release a wagon version of the FG Falcon for the time being.

Instead, a slightly modified version of the existing BFII – to be dubbed BF Falcon Wagon MkIII – will accompany the FG sedan when it goes on sale in May.

Like GM Holden with the VE Commodore, Ford has prioritised getting the four-door sedan and two-door coupe utility to market.

Among the minor changes to the BF III will be the standard inclusion of stability control on all models.

New trim, a redesigned key fob, and the fitment of the Goodyear Eagle Excellence tyres that were designed especially for the new Falcon XT are other modifications.

However, the FG sedan and ute’s upgraded 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, which now delivers 195kW of power at 6000rpm and 391Nm of torque at 3250rpm, will not be fitted to the BF MkIII wagon.

Nor will the new 5R55S five-speed automatic gearbox make it on board the BF III.

Instead, it will continue with the current I6 powerplant, which develops 190kW and 383Nm, tied to the Australian-made four-speed automatic gearbox.

This means that the FG Falcon sedan’s 1.9 per cent drop in fuel consumption will not be passed on to BFIII wagon buyers.

The E-Gas model will join the petrol-powered model in June. It is expected to continue with the 156kW/372Nm outputs of its predecessor.

According to the outgoing Ford Australia president Tom Gorman, the decision to continue with the BF-derived Falcon wagon reflects the “important niche” that this vehicle fills.

“It is different to (Holden’s VE) Sportwagon,” he said.

Mr Gorman said it was not an easy decision to launch an all-new Falcon sedan without a wagon model in tow. It is the first time this has occurred since the original (XK) range debuted the long-running series in September 1960.

“We spent a lot of time wrestling with this decision on the future of the Falcon wagon. And we listened closely to our customers. And they told us quite strongly that the current Falcon wagon remains the ideal tool-of-trade vehicle for a broad spectrum of fleet and some private buyers.

“They appreciate its large load area, its payload capacity and obviously its cost of ownership.

“You are all aware that we thought that demand for the Falcon wagon really was going to decline when we launched Territory back in mid to late 2004.

“And this hasn’t occurred. Customers tell us... that it truly does deliver what they are looking for in this segment.”

Mr Gorman took a pot-shot at Holden’s decision to sacrifice load area and payload capacity at the alter of style for its upcoming Holden Sportwagon.

“This genuine tool-of-trade wagon... will offer us a competitive advantage in this segment, and actually a different approach to the segment, as some of our competitors have moved much more in the direction of coming to market with a sport wagon.” Meanwhile, Ford will not introduce an RTV version of the FG Falcon ute, electing to rely on the Mazda-engineered, Thai-built Ranger one-tonne truck.

“The... success of the Ranger has provided the (existing) RTV with its greatest competition,” Mr Gorman said.

“So we are letting Ranger meet the needs of this segment for the foreseeable future.

“Now there may be a time in the future when we see the need to bring that product back to satisfy some of our customers.”

Read more:

FG Falcon: Inline Aussie six's final swansong

FG Falcon: A better packaged interior

FG Falcon: Ford goes to finishing school

FG Falcon: Engineered to lead

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