• Mar 2, 2007
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Australia's FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the original Ford Falcon GT with a special 200-car limited edition. The FPV Falcon GT 40th Anniversary is powered by Ford's Boss 290 5.4L V8. The 290 in its name refers to its power output in kilowatts. Put in our terms, that's 390 horsepower, and it's joined by 383 pounds of twist. That power goes to the rear wheels, natch. Breathing is aided by an FPV high-flow exhaust and six forward gears (manual or automatic) round things out on the powertrian side.

It should be noted the same drivetrain is found in the "regular" FPV Falcon GT. What sets the anniversary edition apart from its bretheren is the R-Spec suspension that underpins the car. Developed by Delphi at the request of Prodrive (co-owner of FPV along with Ford), it's designed to improve on-track performance without overly compromising everyday ride quality and tire wear.

The cars are given a coat of black paint with a gold Shelby-style stripe package (a la the Hertz Mustangs), GT 40th Anniversary decals aft of the front wheels, "BOSS 290" on the hood's power bulge, R-Spec badging on the rear, and 19" alloys (with red Brembos peeking through the spokes) trimmed in black. Note also the slick detail touches such as the FPV logo that's part of the lower grillework up front. The thing looks positively menacing and it has the goods to back it up. Man, they sure know how to do it right in Australia. Meanwhile, we get a new Five-Hundred Taurus. Yay.

Press release after the jump.

[SourceFord Australia]


PRESS RELEASE:

2007 Melbourne International Motor Show
FPV CELEBRATES 40 YEARS OF FORD GT

Ford Performance Vehicles has unveiled a new limited edition model at the Melbourne International Motor Show today, celebrating the long history of the GT nameplate in Australia.

The FPV GT 40th Anniversary commemorates 40 years of the Falcon GT legend, which stretches back to 1967 with the original XR Falcon GT.

Only 200 GT 40th Anniversary models will be built, each with a unique build number badge and certificate of authenticity.

All vehicles will be finished in Silhouette black with a striking gold over-body stripe kit, reminiscent of the classic GT stripe kit last seen on a locally produced Ford model with the XC Falcon Cobra Hardtop in 1978.

Gold GT lower body stripes with a '40th Anniversary' decal, accent colour treatment on the side skirt flutes and rear spoiler pillars, and special GT-P 19-inch alloy wheels with gloss black accents complete the standout exterior package.

The interior of the anniversary model is equally distinctive, with FPV sports seats finished in a combination of leather and suede, featuring silver thread highlights and an embroidered 'GT' logo.

FPV floor mats with '40th Anniversary' logo inlay match the exterior touches, while an iPod®/MP3 audio player connection, which integrates with the FPV audio system, is fitted as standard.
In addition to the unique 40th Anniversary features that transform the GT visually, FPV has also designed a new suspension package to take the handling prowess of its latest model to new heights.

The 'R-Spec' handling pack incorporates an advanced level of suspension tune, allowing customers to fully exploit the potential of the GT 40th Anniversary in track days and club sprint events.

It will also feature a higher capacity oil cooler on automatic transmission models, which increases the efficiency of the transmission cooling system under the extreme conditions and temperatures often experienced on race tracks.

"We're constantly monitoring the feedback of existing and potential FPV customers and a track pack version has been high on customer wish lists since the launch of the first FPV GT in 2003," said Prodrive AT Asia-Pacific Managing Director, Bryan Mears.

"Australia has a rich history of vehicle owners wanting to explore the potential of their cars in the safety of a race track.

"The new R-Spec package will allow drivers of this unique limited edition model to extract the best possible performance out of their vehicle."

Mr Mears said a critical element of the engineering of the R-Spec package was the need to optimise the race track potential of this special FPV model, while not compromising the ride and handling balance of the vehicle.

"This package is aimed at those people who want a daily driver that can also mix it with the best at a club sprint event."

Due to go on sale in April, the FPV GT 40th Anniversary edition will be available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, with a recommended retail price of $65,110*.

*Pricing excludes dealer delivery and statutory charges
R-Spec handling package

Prodrive Chassis Engineering Manager Peter Ford said his team were confident they have delivered a handling package that stayed faithful to the design brief.

"We set out to create a dual purpose car; one that could be driven to the track, be competitive in a club event, and then comfortably carry everyone home at the end of the day.

"Fortunately, we had an outstanding base vehicle to start with. The GT already had great handling levels and the challenge was to find ways of maximising its inherent handling characteristics, while retaining a balanced set-up.

"The team sat down and looked at a number of options. Racing tyres and a competition spring set-up were two popular options early, but were dismissed due to the prohibitive cost of both.

"Research from customers showed us the cost of racing tyres, particularly replacing them, was out of their reach.

"And a customised racing spring set-up – the cost of which would have been significant – would have negative impact on the ride and handling of the vehicle, while also compromising tyre wear and potentially adding more cost."

Ford said his team sat down with engineers from Delphi, which supplies dampers for the FPV range.

"We had been thinking there was enormous tuning potential within the standard damper set-up, and the Delphi engineers were confident a sportier level of suspension tune was easily available.

"The traditional approach to twin-tube damper tuning is to let the compression, or base, valve handle damper forces in the compression direction and to let the rebound, or piston, valve handle the rebound damping forces.

"By allowing the piston to handle more load in the compression direction we learnt we could share the damping forces by both the piston and the foot valve.

"This had two immediate benefits, namely reduced valve lag and increased valve response," Ford said.

The secret to the improved handling characteristics of the R-Spec package is the revised balance of pressures between the piston and base valve, resulting in a more progressive transition to disc opening speeds.

In addition, Ford's team adopted a pyramid disc stack on the compression side of the piston, using disc diameters from 32mm to 27mm, as well as tuning the size of the rebound spring and piston orifices.

"The sum total of those changes is a suspension tune that is much more digressive and in line with tuning techniques used by prestige European marques costing much more than an FPV," Ford said.

"We have delivered a suspension tune that offers a significant improvement in diagonal pitch, provides a much more even footprint in power-on situations and with a much sharper turn-in response.

"Critically, we have maintained an impressive level of ride comfort. While the R-Spec package picks up more road irregularities, we have maintained the supple ride that has earned FPV cars an enviable ride and handling reputation."

Track pack performs

While the team was happy with its outcomes, the real test for the R-Spec handling pack came in the hands of long-time FPV test pilot and V8 Supercar veteran John Bowe.

The two-time Bathurst champion gave the R-Spec package its final approval in a test day at the demanding Winton Raceway.

"The initial impression of the GT is one of containment. The car feels tighter, sharper; far less inclined to roll and exhibits a big improvement in diagonal weight transfer," Bowe said.

"Another strong positive is the difference the package makes to steering feel, creating a far more instantaneous response with added weight and feel.

"And the road ride is very good; firm, but not harsh and it handles bigger bumps amazingly well."

Employing the 19-inch alloy wheels and 245/35 ZR19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tyres that come standard with the GT 40th Anniversary edition, Bowe recorded a highly competitive 1:43.10-second lap time around Winton.

While lap times are relative to the day and the driver, recent independent testing of an FPV GT puts the times recorded by Bowe – and the overall handling improvements achieved by the R-Spec package – into perspective.

Fellow Ford V8 Supercar driver, Warren Luff, completed a 1:46.05-second lap of Winton Raceway in a standard FPV GT during last year's Performance Car of the Year testing by Motor magazine.

"The R-Spec package clearly delivers what the engineers set out to achieve," Bowe said.

"For those customers that want to indulge in track days, but only have one car that has to multi-task, this would fit the bill perfectly."


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  • 20 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      As chris said, the FPV Typhoon is a much better car. The inline 4.0 litre straight six produces 270 kW (360 hp), only 20 kW less than the Boss motor, but is much lighter and improves the balance of the car.

      But I have to say that Ford really hit the nail on the head with this special edition, man that thing looks great.
      • 7 Years Ago
      That GT emblem on the front grille just doesn't do it for me. It kills the whole flow of the front IMO.

      And ya... pretty much like everyone else agrees... more nicer cars for not the US market. Good call. Idiots.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I am taking a pledge right here on Autoblog that my current Sport trac is my last Ford. I will not even rent Ford again.

      This pledge will expire only when Ford brings better styled vehicle they offer in Europe and Australia.

      My support for Ford has officially ended.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In Europe and elsewhere US cars are sold at higher price points than here. The role of the Ford Escort, Chevy Cavalier and Dodge Neon are filled by Opels, Peugeots and low end BMWs like the 316i (1.6 litre 4 cylinder, cloth seats, no sunroof) or Mercedes B series. Ford couldn't sell the Euro Focus here because we wouldn't pay for it. Its a Ford. Why would I spend BMW cash on a Ford product? The reality of the cars quality and value is trumped by the perceprion of Ford as being the maker of 'common' cars.
      • 7 Years Ago
      KT, it has that spoiler because it looks just like the V8 Supercars one, it's exactly what the market for these things wants as they're buying a V8 specifically, everyone knows the turbo I6 version is a much better car.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You know I don't feel sorry for Ford one bit. They have excellent cars in other markets, but cry as to why their home of N.America is going so bad....LOOK AT YOUR PRODUCTS! Americans are not idiots, yet you (Ford) keep offering us second rate products. So I don't feel bad you all are folding fast...I mean we get another Focus that is yet another FACELIFT! I don't care if there is a 2 door coupe, still the 1999 Focus at the base of it all. The Five Hundred (Oh now Taurus, like that changes anything about the car)The Fusion is the only ray of light in the brand....no small cars that are cool....Hell even Chevy had a retro 4 door in the form of HHR (I am not saying Ford needs one of these, but come on ANY SMALL NICE B-SEGMENT CAR!!). THen Look at Ford of Austrailia's and Europe's car portfolio....FULL OF NICE CARS! Nope, no sympathy for Ford from here....
      • 7 Years Ago
      13:
      Perception would be changed by adding some higher quality materials and advancing design language. The interior of the new Focus is much better than previous, but the design stinks. Bringing the Euro Focus shell here would not be hard.

      And it doesnt matter where you build it. Evidence all the Hyundai, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Toyota, and Nissan plants in the US that are operating profitably. Why cant the US? likely because of the union trying to hang onto the glory days when they pushed companies into contracts they are still paying for. GM's union is the largest buyer of Viagra in the country. go figure.
      • 7 Years Ago
      #9- No, they're all right. These niche Australian products are the key to salvation for FoMoCo North America. Hosanna, Hosanna, Kumbaya, pass the Kool Aid. They should import these posthaste.

      Also, I hear the FPV boys, apart from being excellent car tuners, have interesting new plans for implementing something they call world peace...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Here's a radical idea that could save Ford billions....SHUT DOWN ALL OF YOUR PLANTS in the US, except the ones building the Mustang, full-size pickups and the new Edge/MKX. Just rebadge your European, Australian and Mazda offerings. Problem solved and cars that people actually want to buy.
      • 7 Years Ago
      @4:

      Shouldn't North American companies have to build great cars no matter where they sell them?

      I definitely don't buy based on "national pride." I'll buy what I like (style, value, dependability, etc), no matter who makes it or what country it comes from.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I honestly feel for American Ford lovers, hopefully you get the all new model to be released in one year rumered to have *320kw 5.4GT *300kw inline turbo 6 *290kw xr8 and *270kw XR6. Check out fpv.com.au
      The America(mustang) is where Australia should be looking up to for performance aspirations and applications yet for the last ten years the ozzies have had to engineer & develop ways to extract more power out of the 5.0 then 5.4 American motor to compete with Holden (using corvette engines). Its made work hard for Ford Aust but hopefully their work will be paid off if they get a chance to export to countries like the US and the middle east where the aging Crown Vic is sold (flogging a dead horse). The Falcon GT has heritage, it was the fastest 4 door production car for ten or more years from 1971(XY GTHO phase111).
      • 7 Years Ago
      You dont want the Falcon, what you need is a souped crown vic!

      NO really add a sports package to it and a performance engine and it will look really nice.
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