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Ford Falcon

AU Falcon Forte and Futura

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 auto-only base 157kW/357Nm 4.0L I6 was completely overhauled, and considerably quieter and more efficient for it.

But in spite of such advances, the futuristic, oval styling divided opinions, as did the GLi-replacing Forte’s vertical grille. Many were substituted with the '99 AU utility’s egg-crate item.

Falcon sales dovetailed. Ford retaliated by lowering the ride height and improving the brakes, and then wheeled out endless value-added specials, but to little effect. A better fate was deserved.

The boxy wagon continued with leaf-spring rear suspension.

New standard features: air-conditioning, remote central locking, steering wheel audio controls, immobiliser.

Engine options: 175kW/395Nm 5.0L V8.

Special editions:· Oct 99 – Classic sedan: dual front airbags, ABS brakes, alloy wheels, cruise control, power front windows, egg-crate grille, special paint, rear spoiler, decals.

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