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More safety for new Falcon Ute stable

Loaded: Switchable ESC will be standard in Falcon XR utes in two months.

Ford to fit selected FG Ute models with standard stability control from September

Ford logo4 Jul 2008

By MARTON PETTENDY

FORD Australia was criticised at the May launch of its redesigned Falcon Ute for not making electronic stability control (ESC) available and for making traction control standard only in XR variants.

Having blamed a development delay, it has now honoured its promise to fit the potentially life-saving safety technology as soon as possible by announcing it will make its DSC system available progressively across the range from September 1, starting with variants fitted with sports suspension.

However, Ford will not match its most direct rival in Holden’s homegrown VE Ute by making ESC standard across the Falcon Ute range.

Instead, it will be a $500 option in the base and R6 workhorse models with ¾-tonne and one-tonne suspension (ie: all versions except XRs and the R6 style-side) from December production.

Reflecting Ford’s policy with the new FG Falcon sedan and BF MkIII Falcon wagon, LPG-equipped E-Gas will not be available with ESC because its Bosch safety system is not compatible with Ford's current LPG system.

As they become available, models fitted as standard with ESC will increase in price by $500, or 1.4 per cent.

That means that when the XR8 and XR6 Turbo become available with ESC as standard from September at $38,990 (up $500), the Falcon Ute flagships will still be $1000 cheaper than Holden’s Ute SS ($39,990), and $6000 less than the SS V ($44,990).

Similarly, when the FG XR6 ute hits showrooms in two months with standard ESC for $34,990 (up $500), it will still undercut the Ute SV6 ($35,990) by $1000.

And when optioned with the $500 DSC system from December 1, both cab-chassis ($27,795) and style-side ($28,195) versions on the base Falcon Ute will remain more affordable than Holden’s entry-level Omega ute ($28,990).

The locally-built Ford ute’s new DSC system will supersede its current traction control feature, which is currently standard on all XRs, a $750 option for lower-spec variants and unavailable on E-Gas versions.

As with the FG sedan, the Ford load-lugger’s DSC system also incorporates a four-channel anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assist (EBA), which is not presently available to Falcon Ute buyers.

Twin front airbags continue to be standard on all Falcon Utes, while head-protecting side airbags are available across the range as part of a safety pack, which also includes a perimeter alarm, for $600. The Holden Ute is not available with side airbags.

“With the introduction of DSC on Falcon Ute, in conjunction with the availability of side head/thorax airbags, customers are able to configure their vehicle with a comprehensive safety package that is unmatched in the passenger-derived ute market,” said Ford Australia vice-president marketing and sales, Mark Winslow.

“Ford Australia has continually been at the forefront of local automotive manufacturing in implementing advanced safety features in its vehicles and delivering real-world safety benefits to its customers.

“The Territory was the first Australian-built vehicle to be equipped with an electronic chassis control system when it was released in 2004, while the following year Ford delivered the first local application of DSC technology on a V8 sedan, as well as the first use of DSC with a manual transmission.

“Since then DSC has become standard equipment across the entire Territory range, as well as on all petrol Falcon sedan models. It was also introduced on the petrol Falcon wagon with the recent release of the BF Falcon Wagon MkIII,” said Mr Winslow.

Model applicability and timing:
Model Suspension Type Standard Timing
Falcon Ute C/C One-tonne Optional December 1, 2008
Falcon Ute SSB 3/4-tonne Optional December 1, 2008
Falcon R6 C/C One-tonne Optional December 1, 2008
Falcon R6 SSB Sports Optional September 1, 2008
Falcon XR6 C/C Sports Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon XR6 SSB Sports Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon XR6 Turbo SSB Sports Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon XR8 SSB Sports Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon Ute pricing:
Model Current RRP New RRP DSC RRP Effective date
Falcon Ute C/C $27,795 No change Optional - $500 December 1, 2008
Falcon Ute SSB $28,195 No change Optional - $500 December 1, 2008
Falcon R6 C/C $29,795 No change Optional - $500 December 1, 2008
Falcon R6 SSB $30,195 No change Optional - $500 September 1, 2008
Falcon XR6 C/C $34,090 $34,590 Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon XR6 SSB $34,490 $34,990 Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon XR6 Turbo SSB $38,490 $38,990 Standard September 1, 2008
Falcon XR8 SSB $38,490 $38,990 Standard September 1, 2008

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