Ford's 2008 FPV Falcons Thunder Down Under

Ford\'s 2008 FPV Falcons Thunder Down Under

There's never been a better time to travel to Australia. Case in point? Ford launched its revised FG Falcon range of rear-drive sedans and utes earlier this year. Better yet, the hot FPV Falcon portfolio is now making its way to dealers.

For the uninitiated, Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) is to Ford's offerings down under as AMG is to Mercedes-Benz. The division originated in the 1990s to prepare the Falcon for spec racing, but has since focused on tuning high-performance models for customers. The FG Falcon, launched at February's Melbourne auto show, is the latest recipient of FPV's speed tweaks.

Perhaps most interesting are FPV's modifications to Ford's turbocharged 4.0-liter inline-six, available in the F6 sedan and ute. In stock form, the motor develops 362 hp and 393 lb-ft of torque; performance close to a traditional V-8 but with a smaller thirst for fuel. Those are respectable numbers, but through a larger turbocharger, modified intercoolers and a host of other changes, FPV bumps the output to a whopping 416 hp. Torque comes on strong once the turbo spools at 1950 rpm, delivering 417 lb-ft until redline (5200 rpm).

Those figures are more than respectable, but for customers who still hanker for an extra two cylinders, FPV offers select models with a tuned 5.4-liter V-8. The "Boss 315" motor moseys 422 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. That's better than the Falcon's stock 5.4-liter (rated at 388 hp and 383 lb-ft, respectively), but it's only six ponies more and nine lb-ft less than FPV's turbo-six. Either motor is available with a Tremec six-speed manual or a ZF six-speed automatic, so there's no driveline advantage of picking one motor over the other.

Buyers may choose the V-8 for nostalgia or a dislike of forced induction, but they may also choose a V-8 model - GT, GT-E or GT-P sedans and the Pursuit and Super Pursuit utes - for their looks. All sport unique front- and rear fascias, side skirts, 19-inch alloy wheels, decklid spoiler and a muscular hood bulge.

Six-cylinder models sport the same accoutrements, save for a lowered hood line and a sectioned lower grille which exposes the intercooler. The look is fine, but we can live without the graphics; they're an odd mixture of traditional Ford striping and Aborigine war paint. We'd opt for the GT-E; it sports the V-8 grunt and spoilers of the GT-P but eliminates the garish dcor.

Not that we'll have that option, mind you. Ford's not bringing its FG Falcon to North America, and that means we'll be deprived of these awesome Aussies as well.

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