New models - FPV - F6 - Typhoon
First drive: FPV torques it up with Typhoon
Ford Performance Vehicles' F6 Typhoon storms in with super six power to burn
4 Nov 2004
By TIM BRITTEN
IT seems a long wait since the prototype’s first showing at the Melbourne motor show early this year, but Ford’s promise of a spectacular six-cylinder performance sedan finally bears fruit with the FPV F6 Typhoon’s arrival into showrooms this week.
The Typhoon – the highest-torque car ever produced by Ford in Australia – provides Ford Performance Vehicles with a double-edged appeal to Australian performance car buyers.
Selling alongside the GT and GT-P, it will, FPV executives say, attract a quite different type of buyer to traditional V8 customers, complimenting the range rather than stealing V8 sales.
Ford’s FPV offshoot has so far recorded a total of 2565 sales from March 2003, comprising an almost even split of GTs and GT-Ps (1154 and 1020 sales) and 391 Pursuit utes.
The Typhoon comes in slightly below the GT on price, but the word is that it virtually matches it in on-road, give-and-take conditions.
The centrepiece of the Typhoon is the engine, developed at FPV’s Campbellfield, Victoria, facilities and a long way forward from the already impressive turbo six seen in the Falcon XR6.
The power figures are astounding: 270kW and 550Nm of torque, both produced at very conservative engine rpm. By comparison, the XR6 turbo develops 240kW and 450Nm – while the GT offers 290kW and 520Nm.
For all the spectacular nature of the torque figure, FPV says it still wanted the turbo six to remain within sensible constraints. With the aim of containing thermal loads at essentially the same levels as the XR6 turbo, engineers have used an oil cooler as well as a larger air-to-air intercooler.
Toughening-up procedures include a twin-plate clutch (it’s the only Australian-built production vehicle so equipped), heavier valve springs and high-strength connecting rods, while power production and breathing are improved via the bigger intercooler and a dual-entry air intake.
With the Garrett GT35/40 turbocharger’s boost pressure lifted to 0.64 bar (around nine pounds, or up 50 per cent on the XR6), the Typhoon’s long-stroke turbo six is tuned to run on 95 RON fuel.
The Typhoon also picks up the new Tremec six-speed manual transmission developed locally by FPV – the only gearbox available.
The Typhoon’s suspension benefits from the general workover applied to all other FPV products except the Pursuit ute. This includes stiffer springs front and rear, and a lessening of diagonal pitch to improve mid-corner stability.
The Typhoon’s wheels are 18-inch double-spoke alloys wearing 235/40 ZR18 Dunlop SP9000 tyres.
Braking is via twin-grooved discs front and rear (ventilated at the front) with blue twin-piston front and single-piston rear callipers. Cross-drilled Brembo brakes are optional. Four-channel ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution is standard, and so is traction control.
Arriving at the same time as an upgraded Mark II FPV range, the Typhoon gets such niceties as twin-pod gauges above the centre air vents, dual zone climate control air-conditioning and a premium sound system.
Signature FPV gear already familiar in the GT includes a push-button starter and alloy inserts in the foot pedals.
There’s also a bodykit with a low-rise, three-pillar rear spoiler, as well as a mesh grille in the lower air intake.
Speaking of the GT, the Mark II is available with the new Tremec six-speed, while other improvements include the interior revisions seen in the Typhoon, including the dashboard instrument pods, premium sound system and dual zone climate control. The GT also picks up new bonnet adornments in the form of Boss 290 decals, as well as blue cylinder head and plenum chamber covers.
The top-shelf GT-P gets all this, plus new 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/35 ZR19 Dunlop SP9000 tyres.
An F6 Tornado will go into production early next year, priced from $51,950.
But the hero for today is the F6 Typhoon.
Justifying its role alongside the V8-engined GT, market research has shown that six-cylinder performance car interest comes from Euro-inclined buyers, or those who have traditionally leaned towards small but potent turbos like the Subaru Impreza WRX.
Where the GT is all about red-blooded, raw power, the Typhoon’s turbo six aims at a more refined feel, which is reflected in the whole character of the car.
FPV expects the Typhoon will increase volume without cannibalising V8 sales, enhancing the organisation’s position as a technology leader in the high-volume segment.
F6 TYPHOON ENGINE:Type: Turbocharged, 24-valve DOHC inline six-cylinder
Capacity in litres: 3.984
Kilowatts at rpm: 270 at 5000
Torque at rpm: 550 at 2000
Compression ratio: 8.8:1
Turbo boost: 0.64 bar
FPV PRICES:F6 Tornado: $51,950 (manual only, on sale early 2005)
Pursuit: $53,340 (manual only)
F6 Typhoon: $58,950 (manual only)
GT: $61,350 (manual or auto)
GT-P $70,200 (manual or auto)
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