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E-Gas Falcon set for fuel economy lift

Gassed up: Ford Falcon's E-Gas engine is in for a technology upgrade.

Modern LPG gear to make Ford’s LPG model more attractive to fleets, public

26 May 2009

FORD’S E-Gas Falcon – the only dedicated LPG-powered car in production in Australia – is set to make significant gains in fuel economy and exhaust emissions when a Euro-IV version is released before the July 2010 compliance deadline.

The Falcon’s LPG engine will be upgraded with the latest technology, thanks to a new contract with Orbital Corporation Ltd, which sells fuel-injection systems around the world for motorcycles and outboard motors and does engine compliance work for local manufacturers.

Orbital assumed a key role in the LPG industry after directors decided to enter the alternative fuels market last year by buying Boral Alternative Fuel Systems, which held the Ford contract for supply of LPG technology for the Geelong-made six-cylinder engine in the E-Gas Falcon.

Orbital has tied up some of the world’s best LPG intellectual property under agreements with international companies Vialle, of the Netherlands, and Continental, of Germany.

Orbital Gas Products managing director Tony Fitzgerald said the new wave of LPG equipment should give the E-Gas Falcon big improvements in consumption and emissions.

“The next generation, providing it is applied properly, will actually yield quite significant fuel economy gains and further CO2 improvements as well,” he said from Korea.

 center image Left: Orbital Gas Products managing director Tony Fitzgerald.

Mr Fitzgerald said Orbital would supply engine equipment to ensure Falcon’s inline six engine met Euro IV emissions standards when those rules were introduced in July next year.

“It will be quite a different beast to what is on the vehicle today,” he said.

Mr Fitzgerald said the current Euro III system had a “very basic vaporiser”.

“Ford has done quite a remarkable job to get the existing technology to do what it does today,” he said, given that it has had to be tuned to meet Ford’s other criteria of in-field durability, which includes 80,000 trouble-free kilometres.

Mr Fitzgerald said that, under the Ford contract, Orbital had been empowered to assemble the best equipment it could find for the new E-Gas Falcon.

“Orbital has a joint venture with Continental and through our relationship we are the sole agent in Australia for Continental’s LPG equipment, and for Continental’s CNG and LNG technology.

“There is a fair amount of engineering support and integration required, so we ended up cutting a deal where we do all that on their behalf.

“We go and source the components in the Continental network. For instance, the injectors come from Pisa in Italy and the electronics from Korea. We source the parts and do some local adaptation and system integration and then on-supply to the customer.”

Mr Fitzgerald said other companies, both the local manufacturers and importers, were interested in LPG.

He said Orbital had worked for all the local car-makers, not necessarily on LPG.

“There is some Orbital DNA in Falcons and Commodores and even some Toyotas as well.

“We believe there is a new market for after-OEM bi-fuel applications as well – dealer installed – but something with full factory warranty of the normal car.

“We are working with other companies as well (as Ford), for imports and other Australian models as well.”

From this month, the E-Gas Falcon – both the FG sedan and utility and the BF station wagon – will be among the safest cars on the road as they will all have a five-star crash rating thanks to the addition of stability control.

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