Ford Falcon Ute
AU Falcon ute
1 Jul 1999
From antiquated workhorse to Ford’s sole star of the new century, the utility’s role in drawing customers and cash into the company’s beleaguered dealers was spectacular – even more so considering it was based on the unloved AU Falcon.
No more panel van, but two “Supercab” extended two-seater cabin models – traditional 820kg-payload “styleside” (s/s) and the tray-backed 1285kg-payload cab-chassis (c/c) “dropside” – offered much greater space, comfort and refinement.
Dynamically, the AU ute benefited from improved steering and suspension, backed up by quieter, better performing engine choices (XL, XLS: 157kW/357Nm 4.0L I6, 175/395Nm 5.0L OHV V8, XR6: 164kW/366Nm, XR8: 185kW/412Nm). The XR6 payload was now 570kg, the XR8 550kg.
AU sedan-rivalling equipment levels (such as a driver’s airbag) and a unique egg-crate grille added to the big new ute’s appeal.