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Ford Falcon

FG X Falcon

1 Nov 2014

Ford’s final Falcon launched locally in late 2014, bringing with it an updated face and major overhauls.

Touted as the most technologically advanced Falcon ever, Ford added its new Sync2 connectivity system housing an eight-inch touchscreen with climate, navigation, telephone and infotainment systems.

Other systems added as standard include an Emergency Assistant system, front and rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and the Falcon also came with a five-star crash safety rating.

Engine choices for the Falcon include a 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder in the base Falcon, a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder in the EcoBoost and a range-topping 5.0-litre V8 in the XR8.

To mark the end of the Ford Falcon’s story – and the end of Ford manufacturing in Australia – the Blue Oval released the Sprint in March, 2016. Just 1400 were made – 850 XR8 and 550 XR6 – with New Zealand buyers scoring 100 of the former and 50 of the latter.

Based on the XR6 Turbo’s 270kW/533Nm 3984cc 4.0-litre twin-cam unit, the XR6 Sprint gained a number of changes, including a higher compression ratio (to 8.7:1 from 8.5:1), a redesigned lower airbox, larger carbon fibre air intake, freer flowing exhaust, unique transmission calibration, bespoke engine calibration (including an engine-first launch control system, and GT F (V8) transmission mount (for improved handling characteristics.

Ford engineers have also swapped in the turbo and injectors from the FPV F6 that was discontinued when the car-maker's Australian performance arm was shut down in 2014.

Power was rated at 325kW (overboost: 370kW) at 6000rpm and the torque top is 576Nm (overboost: 650Nm) at 2750rpm. It drives the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic, because the regular Turbo’s six-speed manual couldn’t handle all that torque.

Under the bulging bonnet of the XR8 was an uprated version of the 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 producing 345kW at 5750rpm and 575Nm at 2220-6250rpm, an increase of 10kW/5Nm over the standard XR8. In lieu of a six-speed manual there was a six-speed automatic.

Visual changes included different foglight surround with a cut-out vent in the bumper, Sprint badging on the rear and mudguards, a stripe decal on the side in signature hockey stick style to match the daytime running light design and Sprint scuff plates, while the indicator has moved to the exterior mirror.

It also gained black headlight bezels, a black rear spoiler, body coloured deck-lid Appliqué, black 19-inch alloy wheels, six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes in gold and a numbered build plate for each model located on the engine.

Inside, both variants feature a unique Sprint interior with special seat packaging of leather/Lux suede trim, an auto-dimming mirror, a unique gear shifter assembly and surround, Sprint label on manual shifter, a gauge cluster with Sprint logo and an 'interior command centre' with dual-zone climate control and a 'high-series audio system on top of the Sync2 connectivity system.

Besides the uprated engines, the Sprint featured firmer suspension in the XR6, softer suspension in the XR8, different dampers, springs, brakes, and steering tune, as well as unique Pirelli P-Zero high-performance tyres. They were tuned to the suspension.

The Sprint development program was led by a team of Falcon Product Development specialists that were part of the Asia Pacific Product Development outfit based in Victoria.

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