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Performax picks up Ford’s F-Series
Australian right-hand-drive converter Performax gets ADR approval for Ford F-Series
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7 Jul 2014
QUEENSLAND-BASED vehicle conversion specialist Performax International has added the current-generation Ford F-Series truck to its stable of American pick-ups, with prices starting at about $100,000 plus on-roads.
Performax was given Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval to re-engineer the 2014 Super Duty F-250 pick-up for the local market, with the first examples of these to be delivered to customers in August.
The approval comes after a six-month development program that was led by former Holden and Ford engineers and ensures the pick-ups can be sold in all states and territories of Australia.
The company said in a statement that it is the first manufacturer in Australia to be awarded “full volume compliance for the F-series under a much more rigorous set of standards than previously required”.
The hulking F-250 will be available in four different specifications, including base XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum, with the top-spec variant priced in the vicinity of $125,000.
Each variant will be powered by the same 6.7-litre common-rail turbo-diesel V8, producing 294kW of power and a whopping 1084Nm of torque, with on-the-fly four-wheel drive.
This powerplant is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission and the F-250 has a massive five-tonne towing capacity, which is 1500kg more than the hauling power of the Ford Ranger 3.2-litre 4x4’s 3500kg capacity.
Performax underwrites its own four-year/100,000km warranty for the converted F-Series range, which remains off the agenda at Ford Australia for an official factory program.
Between 2001 and 2007, Ford’s local arm imported ex-factory F-Series pick-ups that had been converted in Brazil, but the Blue Oval has since ruled out reintroducing the big haulers here and will instead focus its efforts on the strong selling Thai-built Ranger ute.
Performax general manager Glenn Soper said the circa-$100,000 starting price for the F-Series represents great value when compared with other premium 4x4 pick-ups.
“Buyers of a Performax-built F-Series will have the assurance their vehicle is not just a one-off conversion job, but fully warranted with production-line quality, consistency and parts availability,” he said.
“Previously, providers required individual engineering reports for each individual F-truck manufactured. By qualifying for true full-volume compliance under the new regime, we have proven we are ‘conformity of production’ ready.
“This means that the department has such confidence in the sophistication and rigour of our controls and processes that they have deemed we no longer need to seek engineers’ approval on every vehicle we produce.”
Standard safety features across the F-250 range include hill-start assist, trailer sway control, hill descent control, trailer brake control, front, side and curtain airbags, ESC and ABS brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
On the comfort front, the full-size pick-up gains power windows, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, remote locking, cloth trim and 17-inch wheels as standard on the base XLT.
Stepping up into the Lariat adds a premium Sony sound system, Ford’s Sync connectivity system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen, leather trim, reversing camera, auto headlights, steering wheel controls, reversing sensors, 10-way power adjustable seats, a keypad security entry and rear diff lock.
The more premium King Ranch offers heated and cooled front seats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, woodgrain trim, an LCD information centre, remote start, Chaparral leather seats with an embossed King Ranch logo, leather-clad steering wheel, two-tone exterior colour and 20-inch wheels.
Range-topping Platinum variants gain leather seating with the Platinum logo, unique 20-inch wheels, a unique woodgrain treatment, power-extendible heated tow mirrors, heated leather and walnut steering wheel, and exterior flourishes such as a unique grille and chrome on the side steps, doorhandles, mirror caps tow hooks and tailgate.
Mr Soper told GoAuto that recent media attention has boosted interest in the 2014 F-Series range and that the company is currently holding a number of pre-orders for the F-250.
He said Performax expected the F-Series to be the biggest seller out of its entire American-built pick-up range, which also includes the Toyota Tundra, Dodge Ram, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra Denali.
The F-Series, along with the other pick-up offerings, gain a lot of attention from pedestrians and other drivers, according to Mr Soper.
“I always have a brochure in the centre console because people are interested in the vehicles, in particular ute drivers they nearly snap their necks to get a look at the Tundra or the F-truck.”
Performax is currently in the process of introducing the 2015 F-Series – unveiled at the Detroit auto show in January – to Australia in the coming months.
Toyota’s high-riding US-focused pick-up, the Tundra, arrived in Australia under the Performax banner in April this year, while the right-hand-drive version of the Dodge Ram went on sale in August last year.
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