1 Sep 1998
The curvy AU sported an all-new body and interior, heavily revised drivetrain, recalibrated coil spring suspension, optional independent rear suspension (IRS), extra standard features, greater refinement and much improved dynamics.
The base XR6’s 164kW/366Nm 4.0L “Intech” I6 was completely overhauled, and considerably quieter and more efficient for it.
A new XR6 model called VCT was released, featuring more efficient engine breathing and IRS. That produced 172kW/374Nm.
Meanwhile, the XR8’s venerable 185kW/412Nm 5.0L V8 benefited from a small torque increase. Plus, IRS was a standard fitment.
But in spite of such advances, the futuristic, oval styling divided opinions, as did the XR series’ droopy twin headlight and grille treatment. Falcon sales dovetailed.
New standard features: Air-con, remote central locking, steering wheel audio controls, immobiliser, sports seats, traction control system.
Engine options XR6: 172W 4.0L VCT I6 with IRS (XR6 VCT pack).