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Ford Falcon

AU FTE T-Series

Ford logo1 Oct 1999

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

The curvy AU that the FTE (Ford Tickford Experience) T-Series (TE50 and sportier TS50) sedans were based on 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.

Tickford, Ford’s special vehicles operation, released the T-Series in late ’99 to take on the ever-popular HSV group.

Based on the Falcon XR8, the TE50 added a modified 200kW/420Nm 5.0-litre Windsor V8 (with a unique camshaft and freer exhaust) mated to a five-speed manual or Tiptronic-style four-speed automatic gearbox, improved brakes, enhanced suspension package, bespoke grille and bodykit, and luxury leather trim interior.

FTE also wrought a similar package onto the AU Fairlane and called it the TL50. It was meant to convey a sporty yet luxurious edge.

Meanwhile, the TE50-based TS50 added an auto-only 220kW/435Nm 5.0 V8, larger 18-inch alloy wheels and a suspension package that included thicker anti-roll bars and Koni shock absorbers.

But buyers were still put off by the AU’s divisive design and the TE series never sold to expectations.

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