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New models - Ford - Falcon Ute - XR6 utility

Eight decades on, Ford’s last Aussie ute rolls out

Peek-a-boo: Ford’s new FG X Falcon Ute XR6 Turbo gets caught up in heavy traffic as engineers hit the road in undisguised test vehicles.

Ford’s hottest new Falcon Ute shows its face on the road ahead of December 1 launch

Ford logo11 Nov 2014

By RON HAMMERTON

FORD Australia, the company credited with inventing the utility more than 80 years ago, has dispensed with the camouflage on its latest and last locally built workhorse ahead of its rollout in showrooms across Australia within three weeks.

As this photo shows, the flagship Falcon XR6 Turbo Ute is out and proud in FG X form – the final episode in a ute line that can be traced back to the locally developed “coupe utility” launched in 1934 after Ford Australia received a letter from a farmer’s wife famously asking for a vehicle to drive to church on Sunday and to market with a load of pigs on Monday.

Spotted in heavy traffic in Melbourne’s western suburbs, this sportiest Ford ute – minus pigs – gets the same new face as the XR6 Turbo Falcon sedan, complete with “hockey stick” LED daytime running lights and trapezoidal grille.

It will be powered by Ford’s homegrown 270kW/533Nm turbocharged 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, mated with a six-speed transmission in either manual or automatic form.

Priced from $39,810 with automatic transmission – and more than $5000 cheaper than the sedan version – the XR6 Turbo ute will be as fast as it gets in the ute range, according to Ford Australia.

It says it is not planning to transplant the 335kW supercharged 5.0-litre V8 from the new XR8 sedan into the ute before the Falcon range goes out of production with the demise of Ford’s local manufacturing in 2016.

The previous Falcon Ute XR8 was discontinued in 2010 because the 5.4-litre naturally aspirated engine could not meet Euro 4 emissions tests.

All facelifted Falcon FG X and SZ Territory MkII variants are set to go on sale on December 1.

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