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New Falcon: Pricing revealed

Ghia geared up: The Fairmont Ghia V8 is the most expensive model in the BA Falcon launch range, at $54,980.

Ford tempers its BA Falcon price rises, but it still leapfrogs VY Commodore

18 Sep 2002

FORD has revealed pricing for the BA Falcon, which as predicted has gone up across the range.

In virtually all cases BA pricing is now more expensive than the equivalent VY Commodore, launched to the media last week without a price rise for any sedan model apart from the SS V8.

The VY goes on sale at the end of September, while the BA is launched to the media this week and goes on sale September 30, rather than the October date previously stated by Ford.

While Holden's price shock tempered Ford's plan to push pricing up three per cent or more across the board, most cars still rose between two and three per cent.

The exceptions were the newly renamed base model XT and Futura wagons which rose around 1.5 per cent, while at the other end of the scale the XR6 Turbo rose 7.8 per cent when compared to the old normally aspirated XR6 VCT model.

The wagon range was also pared back for BA with the Fairmont load-hauler dropped.

Ford has invested a mammoth $500 million in its BA Falcon update and it could not hold pricing the way Holden - riding on the back of large car market domination and resultant profits - could afford to do.

But Ford Australia president Geoff Polites told GoAuto this week that Holden had surprised Ford with its price freeze and that as a result BA dollar rises were reduced.

"It is a competitive market and you have to stay relevant," he said.

The XT sedan fitted with the 4.0-litre Barra 182 I6 engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission now kicks the range off at $33,640, compared to the AUIII Forte manual which cost $32,980.

The sophisticated new sequential sports shift four-speed automatic is only $920 extra for XT and the other models in the range where auto is optional - XR6 sedan and XR6 Turbo. The AUIII T-bar or column shift four-speed auto is a $770 option.

The base model VY Commodore is priced at $33,130 (manual) and $33,900 (auto), in both cases adding $2250 for optional air-conditioning, which is standard on BA Falcon across the range.

The range topper listed by Ford in standard trim is the new Fairmont Ghia I6 priced at $49,980. However, with the optional 220kW V8 added, it ups in price a further $5000. The Barra 220 V8 is an option on the XT and Fairmont for the same price.

No pricing was released for the new Boss 260-powered XR8 sports sedan, which does not go on sale until early 2003. But it will certainly push well beyond the $50,000 mark.

The only BA Falcon which is cheaper than its Holden equivalent is the Futura wagon, which at $39,180 is $550 under the equivalent Commodore, the Acclaim.

Ford will certainly argue that the price hikes are tempered by significantly added value in BA compared to its predecessor.

The BA has been virtually restyled inside and out, has five new or significantly updated engines, an all-new rear suspension and a host of other changes.

Below we compare AUIII, BA and VY pricing, then read on as we detail the specification changes from AUIII to BA.

PRICING COMPARISON

AUIII FalconBA FalconVY Commodore
Forte (m) $32,980XT (m) $33,640Executive (m) $33,130*
Forte (a) $33,750XT (a) $34,560Executive (a) $33,900*
Forte V8 (m) $36,660XT V8 (m) $38,640 -
Forte V8 (a) $37,090XT V8 (a) $39,560 -
Forte wagon (a) $35,800XT wagon (a) $36,335Executive wagon (a)$35,820*
Futura (a) $36,830 Futura (a) $37,750Acclaim (a) $37,510
Futura wagon (a) $38,600Futura wagon (a) $39,180Acclaim wagon (a) $39,730
Fairmont (a) $40,480Fairmont (a) $41,615 Berlina (a) $40,850
Fairmont V8 (a) $43,470Fairmont V8 (a) $46,615Berlina V8 (a) $45,440
Fairmont Ghia (a) $49,000Fairmont Ghia (a) $49,980Calais (a) $48,250
Fairmont Ghia V8 (a) $51,410Fairmont Ghia V8 (a) $54,980Calais V8 (a) $52,840
XR6 (m) $36,855XR6 (m) $37,775S (m) $37,050
XR6 (a) $37,625XR6 (a) $38,695S (a) $37,820
XR6 VCT (m) $40,815XR6 Turbo (m) $43,965SV8 (m) $40,490
XR6 VCT (a) $41,585XR6 Turbo (a) $44,885SV8 (a) $40,490
S Supercharged (a) $39,410
XR8 (m) $49,880 - SS (m) $49,490
XR8 (a) $50,650 - SS (a) $49,490
*(including optional air-conditioning)

MODEL BY MODEL: BA versus AUIII

XT

FORD has certainly looked after the sedan fleet buyer with its redesign of the AU Falcon. In the upgrade from AU III Forte to BA XT, plenty of equipment has been added or, at the very least, improved upon.

Along with more powerful engines, there's the Cross Blade independent rear suspension (IRS) - which is introduced across the range - and a sequential automatic transmission as standard in place of the previous live rear axle and T-bar auto set-up. (The wagon sticks with its leaf spring rear end, but picks up the new I6 engine and auto transmission).

New additions include an "Interior Command Centre" dash console system with its LCD screen for audio and HVAC readouts, dual stage inflators for the front airbags, a beltminder system, crash severity sensor and new driver's seat sensor.

The XT also has a five-function trip computer, knitted velour trim, four-way electric adjustment of the driver's seat base (as per VY Commodore) and on-glass aerial. On the Forte that list reads: distance to empty readout, cloth trim, four-way manual adjustment of the driver's seat base and external aerial with manual height adjustment.

New options for the XT sedan include side airbags, reverse parking sensors, DVD satellite navigation (available on all sedans but standard on none), a pollen filter for the HVAC system and power ad-justable pedals. For the XT wagon, only the airbags and pedals are offered.

The optional 17x8-inch alloy wheels now wear 225/50 ZR17 tyres instead of the 235/45 ZR17 size used on AU III.

FUTURA

THE family (and fleet) buyers pick up all the XT improvements, as well as some specific changes from AU III Futura to BA Futura.

A centre rear seat armrest with built-in cupholders is now standard, while traction control is available as an option. The on-glass aerial is introduced across the BA range, superseding the previous Futura's electric aerial.

XR6/XR6 T/XR8

ON top of the new engines, including the 240kW turbo 6 and 260kW V8, and all-new rear suspension, sports sedan buyers have been given all the go-fast gear that V8 Supercar fans lust after with the BA's XR range.

That means full bodykits, IRS and 17-inch alloy wheels on all models, not just the top XR6 and XR8 variants.

The base AU XR6 had to make do with 16-inch wheels, live rear axle and rear spoiler only, although the sports gear was available as an option.

Driving lights are also standard across all XR models, while electric rear windows are now an option on XR6, whereas previously they were not available.

XR6 T and XR8 buyers also have the option of 18x8-inch alloy wheels fitted with 245/40 ZR18 tyres.

FAIRMONT

FOR the prestige set, the gains outweigh the losses by a considerable margin.

Into the Fairmont model comes half-inch wider alloy wheels (now 16x7 instead of 16x6.5), dual zone climate control (instead of straight climate control) and side airbags, with reverse parking sensors on the options list.

There's also the higher-spec Prestige Command Centre with its larger monochrome LCD screen. But the XT-based four-way electric driver's seat stays, while the AU III Fairmont was equipped with six-way electrically adjustable driver and front passenger seats.

FAIRMONT GHIA

IT is a similar story with the range-topping short wheelbase Fairmont Ghia model. Sports tuned IRS is standard (optional on AU), while 16-inch alloys have been replaced by 17x7.5 items wearing 225/50 ZR17 rubber.

Reverse parking sensors become standard with the Ghia, as do bumper-mounted parking lights - available as an accessory on XT, Futura and Fairmont.

The Premium Command Centre for the luxury model moves up to a colour TFT screen and premium audio system with the extra "Pep-pack", which comprises a 150-watt amplifier and subwoofer and takes total system output to 250 watts.

The AU III Ghia was also fitted with a 250-watt sound system, but its driver's seat was 10-way electrically adjustable.

BA Ghia sticks with the Fairmont's six-way seat, although it adds a memory function that also controls the adjustable pedals (standard only on Ghia) and mirrors.

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