New models - FPV - GT
First drive: FPV improves the GT breed
Ford adds bonnet stripes, a six-speed manual, extra kit and more to MkII GT range
8 Nov 2004
By TIM BRITTEN
A LITTLE more attitude, a new six-speed manual transmission, a touch of magic wand-waving over the suspension and a subtle equipment upgrade mark the latest version of the Ford Performance Vehicles sedan and ute range.
Launched alongside the turbocharged F6 Typhoon sedan, the latest version of the respected high-performance family sedan retains the same essential mechanical ingredients, but the MkII FPV GT is a more refined car with a touch of eye candy to appeal to traditionalists who remember the days of the Super Roo GTs.
Still a little more subtle than the pumped-up kangaroo worn on the front guards of 1970s GT Falcons, the new GTs nevertheless pick up some of their cockiness with prominent optional "Boss 290" decals available for each side of the V8 bonnet bulge. They cost $195.
There are new stripes too - which are standard on GT-P and cost $595 on GT and Pursuit - which can be had in silver, black, orange, blue or white, depending on the exterior colour.
Interior embellishments include a couple of instrument pods atop the dash panel, dubbed Sports Instrument Gauges and showing oil pressure and temperature and dual-zone air-conditioning controlled via a neat a colour screen.
There’s now also a six-speaker, 150-watt premium sound system with sub-woofer and an in-dash, six-disc CD player.
The MkII FPV changes also mirror those seen in the BA Falcon MkII update and include auto on/off headlights and illumination for the power window switches.
The MkII Pursuit ute now also comes with a standard soft tonneau cover, while GT-P sedan now offers unique 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/35 ZR19 Dunlop SP9000 tyres – the largest wheel and tyre package ever fitted by Ford in Australia.
But the best things concern on-road behavior.
The reworked suspension gets stiffer springs front and rear that are aimed at improving on-the-limit handling and reducing diagonal pitch without unduly affecting ride quality.
The new six-speed manual is a locally modified Tremec T56 gearbox with its ratios fiddled to suit the different power characteristics of the Boss V8 and the turbocharged six-cylinder engine used in the new Typhoon model.
The transmission uses components uniquely engineered for our local cars and aims at maximizing shift feel without placing undue loads at the shift lever.
Double synchromesh is used on all forward gears (reverse gets single synchro as well as an electronic lockout) and there’s an audible shift alert to warn of over-revving.
A GT40-based twin-plate racing clutch harnesses the torque of FPV’s grunty engines.
Ford’s four-speed auto with Sports Sequential Shift mode is now a no-cost option for GT MkII and Pursuit.
FPV MkII pricing:
GT sedan $61,350 (man/auto)
GT-P sedan $70,200 (man/auto)
Pursuit utility $53,340 (man/auto)
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