For Sale By:Private Seller
Drive Type: None
Vale, North Carolina, United States
Australia's Motoring has put together a little video on two of the great performance vehicles available down under - the Holden VF Commodore HSV GTS and the Ford Falcon FPV GT R-Spec. And while both FPV and the Falcon might be on their way out, there's still plenty of time for a little head-to-head comparison between the two.
The cars aren't all that well evenly matched, though. The Ford boasts a 5.0-liter, supercharged V8, which the Aussies measure out at 449 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. The HSV, though, with its Corvette-derived, 6.2-liter, supercharged V8 is just too powerful - 576 hp and 545 lb-ft of torque.
Predictably, it doesn't end too well for the Ford. As the guys from Motoring point out, the new VF Commodore is just too new and too good, with its extra power and its adaptive dampers (GM's excellent MagnaRide). Interestingly, Motoring did point out that the Holden's electric steering is better than the Ford's hydraulic steering, which is a lot like a Porsche purist saying they prefer water-cooled engines to air cooled.
Ford is in a bit of a pickle for importing and selling Turkey-built Transit Connect cargo vans as passenger vehicles in the US, then converting them to commercial-vehicle specification stateside in an effort to bypass a 25-percent tax imposed on vehicles imported for commercial use. Automakers are required to pay a 2.5-percent tax on imported passenger vehicles.
The Blue Oval got into trouble for this in a January ruling in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials asked Ford to stop the practice of importing the Transit Connect vehicles with passenger seats, then removing and shredding them. Now Automotive News reports that Ford is appealing the ruling. The 25-percent "Chicken Tax," as the tariff is often called, is 50 years old and was enacted as a response to a German tariff on chickens. Like Ford, Chrysler bypasses the higher tariff, but it does so in a different manner. It partially disassembles Sprinter cargo vans before shipping them to the US, then rebuilds them at a plant in South Carolina.
But the ruling against Ford's strategy states that it "serves no manufacturing or commercial purpose" and is there to "manipulate the tariff schedule," Automotive News reports. As Ford's appeal goes through, it is importing the Transit Connect and paying the higher tax, hoping for a favorable outcome and planning to build the next-generation Transit Connect, which it plans to launch before the end of the year, in Spain.
A legendary name might be accompanying the redesigned, 2015 Mustang when it finally makes its world debut - Mach 1. Stumbled upon by the team at Ford Authority, the Mach 1 title was found in a trademark filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and would revive a name last used on the fourth-generation, 2003 Mustang.
While the the 2003 vintage was well and good, the Mach 1 is really remembered for a three-year run from 1969 to 1971 - it's best to just forget the emissions-choked 1972 to 1978 Mach 1s - when power output ranged from a modest 250 horsepower with the two-barrel, 351-cubic-inch Windsor V8 to "375 hp" (actual output was rumored to be well north of 400 horsepower) with the righteous, 429-cubic-inch Super Cobra Jet V8.
What does the title hold for the sixth-generation Mustang? It's tough to say. The fanatics at Ford Authority seem to think Mach 1 could take the place of the Shelby GT500 at the top of the Mustang hierarchy, which sounds like a valid argument. At the same time, we could see the SVT Cobra moniker returning for the flagship model, and the Mach 1 doing battle with the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 (unless the Boss 302 were to return). Confounding things is the historical precedent - the Mach 1 was responsible for the death of the Mustang GT in 1969, so it might make sense as a volume performance model.