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Ford's final GT gets 351 badge

Final countdown: The GT F will be powered by a 351kW/570Nm 5.0-litre V8, with the 351 referencing the iconic Ford Falcon GTs from the 1970s.

Falcon GT F uprated to 351kW for FPV's high-performance swansong

FPV logo8 May 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

FORD will resurrect the iconic 351 badge for its forthcoming FPV GT F swansong that arrives in June this year ahead of the retirement of the Ford Performance Vehicles brand at year's end.

The badge harks back to the 351 cubic-inch 5.8-litre V8 Falcon GTs of the 1970s that became a staple in Australian driveways and on racetracks, including the Bathurst 1000 endurance race.

The GT F 351 retains the current 4951cc 5.0-litre supercharged V8 (translating to 302 cubic-inches). Thanks to some clever tweaking by Ford's local engineers, the 351 instead refers to the car's upgraded kilowatt output.

FPV's modification of the V8 engine will ensure the GT F eclipses the limited edition 335kW/570Nm GT RSPEC from 2012 as the most powerful Falcon GT the Blue Oval has built.

The GT F will be limited to 550 units when it arrives in showrooms (500 for Australia and 50 for New Zealand) and the company confirmed earlier this week that demand for FPV's farewell model is strong, with a number of dealers already selling out of their allocated 12 vehicles.

To boost the power from 335kW to 351kW, Ford's engineers developed a modified version of its Powertrain Control Module software which combines a unique calibration strategy and torque management for improved performance.

Ford says the updated software provides better functionality of the boost control system for finer tuning of the supercharger that ensures power improvements. While power is up to 351kW, torque remains at 570Nm from 2500 to 5500rpm, but Ford says peak torque is produced for as long as possible throughout the rev range, making for a more responsive GT.

It will feature the same suspension as the RSPEC and it will ride on 19-inch wheels and nine-inch rear Dunlop tyres as well as Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear rear brakes as standard.

Ford is yet to release images of the GT F but it has confirmed it will offer it with a choice of five colours, including blue, black, orange, dark grey and white and will feature matte black stripes. A silver stripe is optional on black and dark grey models while a performance white option can be had with the blue and metallic gold is available when matched with the black.

FPV will also launch a limited edition version of the Pursuit Ute, priced from $52,990 plus on-road costs which will be powered by a 315kW/545Nm 5.0-litre V8 and is limited to just 120 units.

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano said he was delighted to confirm a vehicle that Ford fans have been asking for, particularly one that references the company's performance car heritage.

"Ford's 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is an absolute state-of-the-art V8 performance engine, and in the up-coming GT F sedan will deliver more power and torque than even its larger capacity forebear,” he said. “And we've been able to do all of this by simply unlocking the latent performance that's already there."The GT F – “F” stands for “final” – is priced from $77,990 and is set to become a collector's item when it debuts in June as the final FPV to roll off the production line at Ford's Broadmeadows factory.

Ford confirmed late last year that it would retire its FPV brand at the end of 2014 in the lead-up to the eventual closure of the company's local manufacturing operations in 2016.

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