Ford Australia launches Falcon GT F 351, last of its line [w/video]Sun, 15 Jun 2014 09:02:00 EST
It's always best to go out with a bang rather than a whimper, and Ford Performance Vehicles is doing just that in Australia with the Falcon GT F 351. It's the most powerful road car the Aussie performance brand has ever made with a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 pumping out 471 horsepower (351 kilowatts) and 420 pound-feet of torque. It's joined by the FPV Pursuit Ute with the same powerplant tuned to 422 hp and 402 lb-ft. Sadly, the last F in this Falcon's name stands for Final.
The GT F 351 is a monumental way to go out, though. It harkens back to the old days of Aussie muscle Fords, and the 351kw output is meant to reference the classic Falcon GT and its 351-cubic-inch V8. In addition to the massive power, the F has the improved suspension from the R-Spec model and Brembo brake calipers.
FPV is building just 500 GT F sedans for Australia and 50 more for New Zealand, plus 120 Pursuit Utes. They feature a blacked-out hood and black stripes over the hood and sides, plus gloss black accents around the headlights, door handles and mirrors.
To be clear, this isn't actually the final Falcon; its production ends in Australia in 2016. Instead, it's the swan song for Ford Performance Vehicles. It was brought in-house by Ford Australia, and the Blue Oval later decided to kill off the Aussie performance brand allegedly to give more room for the Mustang in the market in 2016. Scroll down to watch a melancholic video of FPV's final creations and to read the car's official announcement.
Ford Reveals Celebration FPV GT F and Pursuit
MELBOURNE, Australia, 10 Jun., 2014 – Ford today officially launched its celebration FPV models, the limited-edition FPV GT F sedan and Pursuit Ute.
351 kW supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine celebrates iconic FPV era
Most powerful GT sedan ever produced by Ford Australia
Engine overboost function provides 15 per cent more power
The most powerful GT sedan ever produced by Ford Australia, the FPV GT F is powered by a 351 kilowatt supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine. The GT F's output was specifically chosen as a reference to the iconic 351 cubic-inch 5.8 litre V8s that powered the original Falcon GTs.
The beating heart of the GT F has undergone specialised development by the Ford Product Development team and partner Prodrive Premcar to meet customer expectations of both performance and driveability.
"Our goal was to create the best vehicle we could; a vehicle that pays respect to Ford GTs of old yet celebrates all that is good about Ford's performance credentials," FPV Chief Program Engineer, Peter de Leur, said.
Apart from developing a character-filled 351 kW of power, the V8 engine in the GT F sedan has a transient overboost function in the engine management system that will enable drivers to access 15 per cent more power, if the prevailing conditions are favourable.
The GT F 351's power curve has been calculated to deliver a very noticeable feel to the car's performance. "This is delivered in every gear above 4000 rpm, other than first gear," he said.
"When we started this program we had an opportunity to look at a performance increase for the engine so we developed a strategy around the calibration that allowed for a performance upgrade without impacting the all-round driveability of the car," de Leur said.
"In doing so, we were also able to make this car special for our FPV GT F customers.
"We were also able to add things like rear camber bolt adjustment on the rear suspension so it can be adjusted for track days, if a customer wishes," de Leur said.
Developed to celebrate Ford's performance brand, the new FPV GT F also pays homage to the legendary Falcon GTs of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Each will carry an individual build number, with many specific numbers reserved by collectors and Falcon GT enthusiasts.
Customers have rushed dealers Australia-wide to secure the celebration run of FPV GT F sedans and Pursuit utes. Very few GT F sedans remain available and there is strong interest in the Pursuit utes.
Just 500 of the FPV GT F sedans will be built for the Australian market, with an additional 50 built for New Zealand. Ford will build just 120 Pursuit Utes.
In taking the covers off today, Ford revealed for the first time the GT F's unique bonnet 'black out', which harks back to the original Falcon GTs.
The 'black out' panel extends over the roof and rear deck lid, giving the last FPV a unique look.
Exposed too was the model's distinctive 'stealth' exterior striping package, together with gloss black accents on the 'raccoon eyes', grilles, appliques, door handles, mirrors and rear diffuser, ensuring that the GT F is unlike anything that has come before it.
'GT orange' detailing is another feature of this newest and celebratory FPV, which used on the model's unique '351' badging, instrument dial faces, seat stitching and embroidery, build number and manual transmission plaquette and the ICC start-up screen.
Ford's designers have given the interior finishes an even more contemporary look with darker tones and more lustrous finishes, including to the instrument panel spears, which have a look new to previous FPV models.
Available in five colour variants from the Ford palette, FPV GT F buyers have been given the choice of three colour tonings that convey either a bold and modern look, tone-on-tone elegance or a sense of heritage that recreates the original look of the first Falcon GT.
Ford also announced that every FPV GT F owner will be able to purchase a tailored car cover in dark grey and with model logo and stripe print.
The limited-edition Pursuit ute revealed today will feature a new exterior look incorporating a number of GT F style features and includes the bonnet/roof/rear deck black-out.
This final FPV ute is powered by a 315kW version of the same supercharged 5.0 litre V8 engine in the GT F.
By Chris Bruce
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