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Post Info TOPIC: First Drive: 2008 Ford Falcon G6E Turbo and XR6 Turbo

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First Drive: 2008 Ford Falcon G6E Turbo and XR6 Turbo

This is a genuine Steve Irwin-style "Crikey!" moment. Despite taking a sales-chart beating from snapping-jawed archrival Holden, Ford Australia has rolled out a new Falcon family, the FG series. Among the seven-model range are a couple of turbo-powered tear-aways. V-8-quick, sweet-handling, spacious, and tastefully restrained in appearance, they're the surprise, tire-smokin' stand-outs in the line-up.

Sad to say, they're marked "not for export," thanks to an earlier decision to shelve development of left-hand-drive versions. Never considered immigration Down Under? These cars might just be the thing to change a Ford fan's mind. Beginning with the stars, here's the rundown on the turbo versions of the new Falcons. We'll bring you drive impressions of the V-8 and naturally aspirated six-cylinder models over the next two days.

Ford Falcon G6E TurboIt's nothing short of a tragedy that the only Americans who'll ever drive the latest turbocharged (and rear-drive) Falcons from Australia are likely to be a handful of Ford guys in Detroit. An even greater tragedy is that the wonder from from Down Under is powered by an engine marked for extinction. Come 2010, Ford Australia will shutter its sole foundry and engine assembly plant, and switch to importing U.S.-made Duratec V-6s for its large sedan.

A month ago, Ford Australia powertrain engineers delivered detailed media briefings on the final update of the turbocharged version of their 4.0-liter inline-six, developed for the near all-new FG-series Falcon. Despite the presentations being matter-of-fact, lacking any hint of boastful fanfare, they still created elevated expectations. Now, having driven the two Falcon models that use the engine, the XR6 Turbo and G6E Turbo, it's obvious they were being modest. The engine is a bona-fide V-8-killer, and the models it powers belong to Australia's high-performance elite.

The turbo's headline figures are 360 horsepower and 393 pound-feet. Impressive numbers, to be sure. On paper. But on the dragstrip, they're something else again. For max power, the Ford engine is in the same ballpark as GM's regular-strength 6.0-liter V-8 and Chrysler's 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. But the sheer breadth of its torque spread elevates it into a different league. Those pound-feet are delivered all the way from 2000 to 4750 rpm. It doesn't have a torque curve as such. Torque plateau would be a more apt description.

Independent performance testing (by repected Aussie mag Wheels) has yielded a 0 to 100-kph (0-to-62-mph) time of 5.1 seconds for the automatic-only G6E Turbo. The same car's best standing-start 400-meters time (so close to a quarter mile it hardly matters) was 13.3 seconds, with a terminal velocity of 108 mph. An XR6 Turbo, also auto, recorded figures just one tenth slower. Compared with models of similar size, layout, and pedigree on sale in the U.S., like the Dodge Charger R/T and, inevitably, Pontiac's made-in-Australia G8 GT, the turbo Falcon clearly has what it takes to leave both sucking its dust.

While Australian and American appetites are in perfect alignment on performance, there's divergence when it comes to design tastes. Ford Australia's U.S.-born design director, Scott Strong, has summed up the distinction nicely. "Aussies like American scale, but European aesthetics," he's said in past interviews. Ford Australia dynamics engineers would add that the preference for European also extends to ride and handling, steering, and stopping.


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Posts: 13

That's one nasty inline six we will never see :( especially with the body change that does not allow left hand drive.

Turbos baby

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Posts: 1009

it looks like a lexus

91 mustang 5.0 97 expedition 5.4
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