New models - Ford - Falcon
Ford prices Falcon to please
New Falcon pricing increases $500 at base level, but still undercuts Commodore
27 Mar 2008
FORD Australia has put its penultimate FG Falcon card on the table, with the release of full range and options pricing for its vital new homegrown large sedan, ute and (BF MkIII) wagon line-up - a month ahead of its release in May.
Biggest news is that at $36,490, the cheapest FG Falcon sedan - the entry-level XT auto - is $500 more expensive than the ($35,990) BFII XT it replaces, but remains $300 less than its arch-rival, the Commodore Omega sedan.
GM Holden released the latter on March 15 in an apparent pre-emptive strike against the new FG, constituting the first upgrade for the billion-dollar VE Commodore since it was launched in August 2006.
Now fitted as standard with air-conditioning, front/rear side curtain airbags, alloy wheels, body-coloured mirrors and door-handles and a new grille, the 2008 Omega sedan is $300 pricier than it was at launch ($36,490 with air – the price at which the FG Falcon sedan range will open). Like the Omega, the 200kW Aurion AT-X auto also offers six airbags, and opens Toyota’s equivalent large-car range at $34,990.
For its part, the FG XT will come standard with twin front and front side/head airbags and, as with all FG sedans except the four-speed auto-only E-Gas LPG version ($1400 extra), stability control. But curtain airbags, extending side protection to the rear, costs $300 extra, while alloy wheels are a further $500 more.
A five-speed manual XT sedan will no longer be available, and the three-valve 5.4-litre V8 continues to be absent from the Falcon range, making the upgraded 290kW/520Nm quad-cam Boss V8 the sole domain of the FG XR8.
Ford says the base FG sets a new standard for overall vehicle package in the large car segment. The XT’s 195kW/391Nm 4.0-litre inline six offers more power and torque than the VE Omega’s 180kW/330Nm 3.6-litre V6, but is also officially more fuel efficient (10.5L/100km versus 10.9) and drives through an extra gear ratio in the Falcon’s new five-speed automatic transmission. Climate-control is also standard at base Falcon level.
Ford stresses that its significant realignment of specifications and variants makes a direct comparison between the BF and three-tiered FG ranges inaccurate. But in essence the Futura had been deleted (just as the Acclaim was with VE), the successful XR6, XR6 Turbo and XR8 sports variants continue and two new G Series luxury nameplates (G6 and G6E) replace the long-running Fairmont and Fairmont Ghia names respectively.
Following a 20 per cent downturn in Falcon sales last year, it’s no surprise that pricing is down across the rest of the FG sedan range compared with the BF Falcon line-up released in 2005 - with the exception of the (now six-speed manual or five-speed auto-equipped) XR6, both versions of which rise $280 to $39,990. The outgoing BFII XR6 was priced at $37,990. Holden’s opposite number, the 195kW/340Nm SV6, costs the same in manual guise, but $1000 more as an auto ($40,990).
Powered by a BF FPV F6-matching 270kW/533Nm turbocharged six, the XR6 Turbo is about $1000 cheaper than the BF in both upgraded six-speed manual ($45,490) and auto ($46,990) guises. The current BFII XR6 is $42,990.
With a BF FPV GT-matching 290kW and 520Nm on offer, the FG XR8 carries the same pricetags as the XR6T – making it at least $500 more than the 270kW/530Nm 6.0-litre V8-powered Commodore SS manual ($44,990) and auto ($46,990), but about $5500 cheaper than the BF XR8 at launch. The current BFII XR8 is $43,990, while Holden’s top-shelf SS-V costs $52,490 (manual) and $54,490 (auto).
Like the XR sports sedan line, luxury G Series pricing also starts at just under $40,000, with the five-speed auto G6 priced 7.4 per cent lower than the four-speed BF Fairmont ($43,195) and lining up against the VE Berlina with four-speed auto (also $39,990).
The six-speed auto G6E ($46,990) is priced a whole $5870 lower than the BF Fairmont Ghia six was at launch ($52,860), and $500 more than the BFII it replaces ($46,490). Holden’s Calais V6 auto is priced $1200 lower at $45,490, with the Calais V-Series costing $53,990.
Finally, the flagship G6E Turbo tops the FG Falcon sedan range at $54,990 - $2870 less than the BF Fairmont Ghia V8 in 2005, and $3500 more than the outgoing BFII iteration. Holden’s Calais V8 is priced either side of the FG G6E Turbo, at $50,490 and $58,990 for the V-Series short-wheelbase flagship.
A number of new equipment packages will be available for the four-door FG, led by the $450 Technology Pack (for XT,G6 and XR models), which adds Blueooth mobile phone and (unlike the VE) iPod integration.
The Safety Pack applies to the same vehicles and combines side curtain airbags, power adjustable pedals (auto cars only) and perimeter alarm for $600, while the XR-specific Luxury Pack comprises 19-inch alloys, leather trim, dual-zone climate-control, Premium audio, sports steering wheel and interior highlights for $5000 (XR6T and XR8) and $5400 (XR6).
Pricing for the FG Falcon Ute range, which will go on sale “shortly after the mainstream sedan range” and will be headlined by a new R6 sports variant, has also been announced. The entry-level BF XL ute name has been dropped simply for Falcon Ute, just as the XLS is in effect replaced by the R6.
Base pricing rises $345 for the Falcon Ute Cab Chassis ($27,795) and $320 for the Styleside Box ($28,195), both fitted with six-speed manual transmissions. The price of a Styleside tray now costs an even $400 on Falcon Ute, R6 and XR6 models, while an aluminium tray costs $1460.
An automatic transmission is a $1000 option across the range, as are 17-inch ($1000) and 19-inch ($2400) alloys and the same options packs as the FG sedan.
Pricing for Holden’s styleside-only VE Ute now starts at $30,990 for both manual and auto versions of the Omega with standard air-conditioning. Stability control comes standard in the VE Ute, but FG Falcon Ute owners will still pay extra for less sophisticated traction control.
XR6 manual Cab Chassis ($34,090) and Styleside ($34,490) prices rise and fall about $100 respectively (compared with $35,990/$36,990 for the manual/auto SV6 Ute), while the Styleside-only XR6 Turbo and XR8 performance utes drop more than $2000 and $3000 respectively, to $38,490 for the pair. The V8 SS Ute costs $39,990 ($41,990 auto), with the SS-V topping the Holden ute range at $44,990 ($46,990 auto).
Finally, pricing for the single XT-specification BF Falcon Wagon MkIII remains unchanged from the BFII price of $37,720, despite the standard fitment of DSC stability control. Also mated exclusively to the carryover four-speed auto, which makes its final swansong in the Falcon wagon, is a dedicated E-Gas LPG variant that carries the same $1400 premium as before.
Holden’s all-new Sportwagon range goes on sale next month, comprising an unprecedented eight model variants with six airbags and ESP stability as standard, priced from $37,790 for the Omega auto. There will be no LPG Sportwagon.
“The all-new FG Falcon range delivers sensational value to customers seeking a truly world-class large car to meet their needs and match their lifestyle,” said Ford Australia president Bill Osborne.
“With the entry-level XT increasing in price by just $500 compared to its predecessor and the exciting new G6E Turbo setting a new sports luxury benchmark for less than $55,000, customers are sure to appreciate the world-class quality and value offered by the latest Falcon range.
“Excitement levels surrounding the all-new model have exceeded all expectations, with thousands of visitors to the Ford stand at the recent Melbourne International Motor Show sparking queues just have a look inside and sit behind the wheel of the next generation Falcon.
“Today's pricing announcement is sure to add to the level of interest shown by customers and those people who are already part of the Ford family, especially once they see just how competitive the new model is and all that it has to offer large car buyers,” he said.
Of course, Ford puts its final FG Falcon card on the table in two weeks on April 9, when we get our hands on it at the national media launch drive in Melbourne.
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