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Ford's born-again Falcon XR8 to get 335kW

GT grunt: FPV's supercharged V8 will end its days under the bonnet of the born-again XR8 in the facelift Falcon range.

FPV GT supercharged engine to slot into new Falcon XR8 as Ford amps facelift

Ford logo10 Jun 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

FORD'S born-again XR8 Falcon will get GT power when it is revived in the facelifted Falcon range in the fourth quarter of this year, Ford sources have told GoAuto.

While Ford Australia will not produce any more local Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) GT Falcons after the current run of 550 GT F sedans and 120 GT F Pursuit utes is completed in about September, the 335kW version of the locally developed supercharged GT engine will live on in the new Ford-badged Falcon XR8, at least until the Aussie large car goes out of production in October 2016.

The new XR8 will be the most powerful under that nameplate in history, packing 45kW more power than the previous XR8 that was killed off in 2010 when its 5.4-litre naturally aspirated V8 could not meet Australia's Euro 4 emissions standards.

It will also be the first XR8 with forced induction, and will gain a number of other undisclosed go-fast features to be poached from the FPV range that dies with current FG Falcon in about September this year.

The XR8 is being brought back by popular demand, with a long list of Falcon buyers requesting one last fling. It will go on sale along with the standard six-cylinder Falcon range.

Ford Australia says it will not be tempted to transplant the most potent 351kW version of the engine from the GT F into the XR8, leaving the last-hurrah GT F to go down in history as the most powerful local Ford and thus a prized collector's item.

The GT F already is close to being a sell-out success, so Ford is confident the XR8 will find plenty of buyers.

The good news for Ford fans is that the XR8 will be more affordable than the $77,990 (plus on-road costs) GT F, at least in the lower of two XR8 specifications planned for the facelifted range.

As well, it will be available through all Ford dealers in Australia and New Zealand, instead of just FPV dealers, opening up sales opportunities previously closed for many dealers.

The engineering development work on the XR8 is basically wrapped up, along with the rest of the facelifted Falcon range and the related Territory SUV.

Ford engineers are now doing last-minute checks and durability testing on the new range that can be expected in showrooms about October or November.

The supercharged 'Miami' V8 engine that was developed for the FPV GT by Melbourne-based Prodrive in league with Ford Australia is based on Ford's American 5.0-litre all-aluminium quad-cam V8, codenamed Coyote.

Featuring a locally developed Harrop supercharger, the engine has been tweaked to produce a range of power outputs – from 315kW to 351kW – but can, in the latest GT F iteration, peak at more than 410kW for a limited burst in the right conditions.

Although engineers say the engine can be upgraded to Euro 5 emissions standards, Ford has no plans to bolt it into any of its cars beyond the demise of the local Falcon in 2016.

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