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Ford Falcon

Range

Ford logo1 May 2008

The FG Falcon line-up consisted of six variants, with some new badges signalling the death-knell for the Futura and Fairmont nameplates.

The base-model XT scored a maximum five-star safety rating from ANCAP, a French-sourced five-speed automatic transmission as standard – or an even classier German-built six-speed auto from ZF - mated to Ford Australia’s trusty and torquey 4.0-litre inline six.

The next level up – the G6 - aimed directly at Holden’s popular Berlina, and delivered excellent refinement and handling prowess from new steering and front suspension designs. The G6 came standard with electronic stability control, front and side airbags, cruise control, air-conditioning, a large centre information display screen, a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels and a luxury sport suspension setting.

The G6E was Ford Australia’s replacement for the Fairmont and the Blue Oval’s direct competitor for Holden’s Calais. It added a host of luxury items, led by a six-speed automatic transmission, leather seat trim, 18-inch alloys, wing mirror-mounted indicators, Bluetooth phone preparation, a seven-inch TFT colour central information screen, premium CD sound with subwoofer, eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, a reversing camera and side curtain airbags.

The G6E Turbo added a big dose of extra comfort and refinement in FG guise, as well as the option, for the first time, of Ford’s scorching new force-fed 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder from the XR6.

The flagship Falcon came standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, leather seat trim, 18-inch alloys, wing mirror-mounted indicators, Bluetooth phone preparation, a seven-inch TFT colour central information screen, premium CD sound with sub-woofer, eight-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat, a reversing camera and side curtain airbags.

The XR6 Turbo came with a reworked engine that happened to deliver the same 270kW as the previous model, but with 533Nm of torque. The big-bore turbo six was a masterstroke of Ford Australia engineering and, apart from offering a seamless surge of acceleration in both six-speed manual and even slicker six-speed automatic forms, the XR6T was also relatively frugal with an official fuel consumption average of 11.7L/100km.

The FG-series XR8 (discontinued in April 2010 due to it not meeting the Euro 4 emissions standard) was the first to not be the quickest and most expensive sports variant of the Falcon model range, as well as the first to produce less peak torque than its six-cylinder XR6 Turbo sibling.

The XR8’s performance and standard equipment list did’t match the SS Commodore’s, which ran to a 6.0-litre alloy V8 and side curtain airbags, but the Ford evened up with climate-control air-conditioning, while the V Series-rivalling XR8 Luxury Pack added 19-inch alloys leather trim and premium sound and climate systems.

In April 2010 the FG range received an update, with the naturally-aspirated and turbocharged inline-six engines tuned to meet Euro 4 emissions standards, although there were no performance or cosmetic upgrades.

Equipment and fuel efficiency gains followed the replacement of volume-selling models' five-speed automatic transmission with Ford's slick six-speed ZF auto.

Side head/thorax airbags became standard in in XR6 and XR6 Turbo Ute models - but not in entry-level utes.

Similarly, while head-protecting front side airbags were standard across the Falcon sedan range, curtain airbags to protect rear passengers remained optional at base level in the Falcon, unlike its locally-built large-car rivals.

Bluetooth phone and iPod connectivity became standard on all FG Falcons (except utes with the optional column-shift), instead of being standard only on the G6E Turbo.

In July 2011 Ford launched the LPG-powered Falcon EcoLPi featuring an all-new liquid-injection LPG system that claimed massive improvements to performance, driveability, economy and environmental friendliness.

In fact, with 198kW of power at 5000rpm and 409Nm of torque at 3250rpm, the LPG Falcon was something of a performance black horse, eclipsing the standard petrol engine’s 195kW and 391Nm outputs significantly on 91 RON unleaded while equalling it for power on 95 RON premium unleaded petrol.

In terms of all-important fuel consumption, the EcoLPi-equipped XT was 16.1 per cent more economical than E-Gas at 12.5 litres per 100km (or 15.4 per cent better in the heavier G6, G6E and XR6 sedans, which returned 12.6L/100km).

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