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Future models - FPV - GT - F

Ford heralds ‘final’ Falcon GT

Future history: Ford says its FPV GT F will dip into the history of the Falcon brand, including the “351” engine capacity and using paint schemes that featured on Falcon-badged performance models.

Ford digs into the history books to shape final Falcon-based FPV GT

FPV logo8 Apr 2014

By BARRY PARK

FORD Australia has announced a limited-run model that will mark the end of its Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) brand and the final iconic Falcon GT.

Designated the FPV GT F – the lone “F” at the end of the name stands for “final” – Ford says it will build only 500 of the $77,990 supercharged V8 sedans for the Australian market, with another 50 earmarked for sale in New Zealand.

As well, Ford said it would build 120 upgraded FPV-badged Pursuit utes.

This will be the final production run for the FPV brand, which is “retiring” later this year.

As announced last November, Ford will instead transplant the blown 5.0-litre V8 engine from the FPV stable into the final-fling ‘FH’ Falcon, bringing back an XR8 model to the regular range for Blue Oval muscle-car fans to collect before the company closes down its entire Australian manufacturing operations in 2016.

Due for release later this year, just ahead of the facelifted final Falcon, the GT F is expected to feature a higher-output version of the 335kW/550Nm supercharged Boss 5.0-litre V8, with pundits predicting a power upgrade to 351kW in celebration of the famous 351 cubic-inch capacity of Bathurst-winning Falcons dating back to the 1970s.

The GT F will also feature the handling package from the 2012 GT R-Spec limited edition, including a launch control system, a host of front and rear suspension modifications, and wide nine-inch rear wheels with 275/35 R19 Dunlop Sports Maxx tyres.

The car-maker says GT-sourced six-piston Brembo callipers will be fitted to the front brakes, with four-piston callipers at the rear.

“Visually the Ford design team, led by Nick Eterovic, Ford Australia design manager, has delivered a bold and expressive GT F that can trace some of its visual cues to past Australian Ford GTs,” the car-maker said in a statement announcing the F-badged model.

“The GT F is a bold design that is technical, capable and muscular, which plays on the iconic elements that characterise FPV.”

Mr Eterovic said Ford knew it had to celebrate an icon, with some of the visual design cues tracing their heritage back to the Ford GTs of the 1970s.

“There is a true sense of history and celebration with this car but we wanted to make sure that we retained the most exciting elements of the current FPV range, while modernising the design and adding fresh elements to the GT F,” he said.

Ford said the team had developed a “stealth” stripe design package evocative of the blacked-out highlights from Ford muscle cars of the 1970s, complemented with distinctive GT F badging.

The GT F, available in a range of colours, will feature either standard matte black, white, metallic gold or silver stripes.

Ford said the GT F’s interior ambience was updated to emphasise richer, darker tones and more lustrous finishes appropriate for the GT F.

“Specifically, Ford designers have crafted an appropriate level of exclusivity within the cabin with premium stitching and embroidery on the partial leather sports seats and highlights on the interior trim,” it said.

“A high-series audio and centre console, usually a premium offering of the GT E, has been included as has a new gearknob cover and dash spear while a GT F-branded build number complete the interior changes.

The $52,990 Pursuit utes will mirror the styling of the GT F sedans, but include a mash-up of a GT front bar, F6 sideskirts and five-spoke nine-inch GT alloy wheels.

Other features include leather-trimmed seats, climate-control air-conditioning, and a premium sound system with satellite navigation.

Ford has confirmed the ute versions of the GT F will use the current 335kW/550Nm supercharged 5.0-litre engine.

Ford has not revealed separate sales numbers for FPV since it absorbed the brand back under its stewardship in February last year.

However, Falcon sales overall dipped to just 641 units last month, with the car-maker shedding about 300 more jobs in July as it continues to struggle with flagging sales of its large family car and ute range.

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