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First look: FPV goes turbo!

Turbocharged: the F6 Typhoon concept is FPV’s first non-V8 model.

Ford has revealed first details of Melbourne's motor show star, the F6 Typhoon

11 Feb 2004

STOP surfing those chat rooms, Blue Oval performance enthusiasts: Ford Performance Vehicles’ Melbourne motor show cat is out of the bag.

That’s right, FPV has unveiled first (sketchy) details of its first turbocharged model, the F6 Typhoon, more than two weeks before it is due to wow crowds at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on February 27 – as predicted by GoAuto three weeks ago.

Although officially still a concept, a production version is expected to go on sale in BA Series II guise around Sydney show time in October, when the F6 Typhoon name (which designates its employment of a “forced” straight six) will continue into showrooms if reaction is positive.

Typhoon’s technical details will not be forthcoming until show time, but the F6 is clearly based on the popular XR6 Turbo sedan and features internal modifications similar to that seen on the XR6T mule piloted successfully by Steve Hoinville in the 2003 Targa Tasmania.

That means a mild increase in peak turbo boost, a free-flowing exhaust system and a far more prominent and efficient intercooler.

GoAuto understands Ford’s effective 4.0-litre DOHC turbo six is good for up to 350kW without major modifications and some aftermarket tuners already offer bolt-on XR6T kits that produce around 330kW of peak power.

But refinement and reliability will be among FPV’s key objectives in upping the standard turbo engine’s output.

Marketing demands will see Typhoon positioned – in terms of both performance and pricing – below the 290kW, $59,850 GT in FPV’s three-sedan range, but above both Ford’s XR6T (240kW, $45,085) and XR8 (260kW, $50,130) sedans.

So expect a pricetag of around $55,000 and power output in the vicinity of 280kW, plus enough torque to challenge the 5.4-litre DOHC XR8’s maximum of 500Nm.

GoAuto, however, believes media reports that suggest Typhoon will be the first FPV to be offered with both a six-speed Tremec manual and six-speed semi-auto from German manufacturer ZF are wide of the mark.

Ford is still at least two years away from offering premium Falcons with a six-speed automatic transmission, and when it does it will be Ford’s newly developed six-cog slusher rather than the expensive German unit found in everything from Jaguar S-Type and XJ, Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Lexus LS430.

Of course, Typhoon will also be graced with a new and exclusive front, rear and side bodywork, a rear wing and racy new 18-inch alloys – and it will need all the attention grabbing power it can muster as Holden plans on dominating the show with a new HSV GTS, the SST One Tonner and at least one more concept.

“This is the beginning of a new era for Ford Performance Vehicles,” said FPV managing director David Flint.

“We raised the bar in the V8 segment with the GT and we believe the F6 Typhoon will further strengthen our position as the technical leaders in the tribal high-performance vehicle market. It will demonstrate our commitment to providing a family of cars that offer a total performance package.

“When we announced the formation of Ford Performance Vehicles we promised to create the broadest range of locally-developed high-performance vehicles in Australia. We believe the exciting F6 Typhoon is the next step in delivering that promise – but certainly not the last.” Mr Flint’s promise of more FPV models to come no doubt refers to a turbocharged version of Ford’s forthcoming Territory SUV, expected to be dubbed Hurricane 4x4, plus – further afield - the range-topping supercharged V8 GTHO.

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