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Ford farewells Falcon with Sprint sportsters

Final dash: The Sprint badge (below) was first applied to a Falcon in 1964, and will adorn a limited run of Falcons, including the flagship supercharged XR8 (regular XR8 pictured).

Tweaked engines and cabin spruce-up for limited Ford Falcon Sprint

Ford logo22 Dec 2015

By DANIEL GARDNER and TIM ROBSON

FORD Australia has finally confirmed it will farewell its locally built FG-X Falcon by resurrecting the Sprint badge for its sporty XR variants, as production of the big sedan moves into its final months.

As GoAuto reported earlier this month, the turbocharged six-cylinder and supercharged V8 variants will be available wearing the Sprint moniker, which first adorned the Falcon in the 1960s, before making a return on the ED in 1993 with a limited run of about 300 Tickford-enhanced examples.

While most of the modifications amount to little more than gilding the lily – embroidered seats, badging and engine plaque - the Sprints sport an extra surprise under their bonnets in the form of a tickled-up powerplant.

Ford is not revealing power, torque or performance figures at this stage but the car-maker says more information will follow nearer the final edition’s release in the new year.

Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman said the announcement of the Sprint will put an end to speculation as to how the Falcon will bow out, adding that the company was expecting a warm reception for the final version.

“There has been a lot of speculation around what our plans are for Falcon in 2016 and today we’re happy to confirm that Ford will build a special series to celebrate Australia’s large sedan,” he said.

“The Falcon XR Sprint is aligned to the understated look of our notable historic performance Falcons they will be styled with design and dynamic influences that are distinctly different in feel, presence and execution.

“The XR Sprint will be a limited-edition series and one we think will be highly regarded by our Falcon fans. Ultimately too, like many of our performance Fords, we expect it to be a highly collectible car.”

The suspension set up on both six- and eight-cylinder cars is expected to be updated to the same FPV RSPEC kit as seen on the XR8 with firmer springs and anti-roll bars and revised dampers.

Brembo brakes are likely to be the confirmed “upgraded brake package” and are complemented by a “unique” wheel set.

An automatic transmission will hang off the back of six-cylinder Sprint engines, while the eight-pot will be available as either automatic or more driver-focused manual.

Interiors get Sprint embroidery on the seats and each engine will be capped off with a numbered build plaque, although Ford has not revealed just how high that number will go.

The final special edition project was partly funded by Ford’s 2015 $300 million research and development investment, which has also resulted in a new facility at the company’s local proving ground.

Ford is yet to confirm when the Sprint specials will be available for sale, but it is expected to arrive in showrooms in the first quarter of 2016.

The Blue Oval has enjoyed some rays of light with the final Falcon, with production of the XR8 more than doubled due to strong demand.

Speculative reports have suggested that the XR production line may wind up earlier than the previously confirmed October 2016 curtain call, but Ford Australia brand communications manager Neil McDonald told GoAuto that the original schedule stands.

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