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Sunraysia Daily Saturday, February 21, 2015
X-factor Falcon still
a potent performer
DARK clouds may be amassing on
the Ford Australia horizon with the
approaching demise of manufacturing
but there is some sunshine still in the
blue oval skies.
Heading the Falcon flight is the FG X XR8
sedan, with which Ford has returned a V8
engine - the 5.0-litre supercharged Boss unit -
to the Falcon XR Series line-up. The FG X XR8
six-speed manual selling for $52,490, plus on-
roads, and six-speed automatic $54,690. The
latter was our test vehicle.
With the new Falcon FG X series already
in showrooms and the arrival of the updated
Focus and Focus ST, all-new Mondeo, Mustang
coupe and convertible and Everest SUV, by
2016 Ford will have reworked in some way its
entire model Aussie line-up.
Also making a push into new territory is the
company s myFord Capped Price Servicing
program, which has now been extended up
to seven years and 135,000 km, whichever
comes first, up from six years and 105,000 km.
The service also is extended to include brake
pad replacements. The Capped Price Brake
program provides a maximum rate for brake
Front and centre is Ford s global design
DNA with a signature trapezoidal grille,
chiselled headlight treatment and smoother,
wraparound tail-lamps with LED technology. A
daytime running light set-up is unique to the
On the outside the Falcon XR8 has strong
visual differences over other XR Series models,
with a bonnet power bulge, quad-tipped
exhaust system, power side exterior repeater
mirrors and unique shadow-line five-spoke 19-
inch x 8.0 (front) / 9.0 (rear) alloy wheels.
Inside, generous seats offer outstanding
support, cushioning excessive lateral body
movement when taking to twisty bits in
spirited driving. Seat inserts are natural
perforated leather with the seat bolster in
Nudo print leather.
Instruments and controls are clearly defined,
the latter readily falling to hand, while front
and rear parking sensors help drivers with
greater accuracy by providing a proximity
warning tone of hidden obstacles.
The new Falcon is replete with smart
technology led by Ford s SYNC2 connectivity
system with Emergency Assistance standard
across the range. Microsoft-based SYNC2
enables occupants to use voice commands
to control phone, music, radio, air-con, and
navigation with single-shot GPS for destination
entry, where fitted.
A high-resolution 8.0-inch colour touch
screen with four colour-coded quadrants
enables easy access to features.
As well, customers gain a digital radio
(where there is coverage) and twin antennas
for improved audio quality.
The Boss 5.0-litre, supercharged 32-valve V8
puts out maximum power of 335 kW at 5750
rpm and maximum torque of 570 Nm all the
way from 2200 to 5500 revs. That s bulk grunt
under your right foot virtually all the time.
To match the performance of the sporty
sedan, the FG X XR8 features front Brembo
four-piston calliper brakes and rear single-
piston calliper brakes, high-spec cooling fan,
limited-slip differential, heavy duty battery and
sports steering gear.
Ford has fitted the FPV GT R-Spec
suspension to the new Falcon XR8.
A passenger safety cell, incorporating ultra-
high strength steel for all-round protection, is
augmented by six airbags, including curtain
airbags. Dynamic stability control limits over-
steer and under-steer by working with traction
control and ABS braking to help keep the
vehicle under control.
A fatigue warning system lets the driver
know when it s probably time to pull over and
rest after prolonged periods of continuous
driving. It all adds up to the entire Falcon FG
X range earning the top five-star ANCAP safety
Front and rear parking sensors are standard.
Emergency Assistance comes into play
in the event of the vehicle being involved in
an accident in which airbags deploy or the
emergency fuel pump shutoff is activated.
SYNC2 uses its hands-free phone capabilities
to attempt to connect the driver directly with a
000 operator through the paired phone.
Compared to the last FG Falcon XR8, Ford
claims the FG X XR8 has better turn-in, more
rear grip, less body roll and an increased sense
of control from behind the wheel.
This was put to the test at the vehicle s
launch when the FG X XR8 was committed to
road and trackwork.
The animalistic sedan was raced around
a slalom set-up, its characteristic 335 kW
V8 growl ringing out at any power-packed
At no time was there any hesitation in the
vehicle s response to driving input.
In another part of town, fuel consumption
was shown to be within large V8 parameters,
with the XR8 showing the creditable figure of
11.6 litres per 100 kilometres on the motorway.
But hovering around the 20-litre mark in stop-
start city traffic. Ah well, think of the fun factor.
Parking especially in skinny shopping centre
spaces was relatively stress free due to a
reversing camera with guidelines. Getting in
and out was not so easy at times, the wide
opening doors a threat to close neighbours.
There will be many things familiar to the
Falcon V8 aficionado in the new FG X XR8 and
those not so familiar will soon find their way
around the new surroundings. It s a bit like
coming home really.
Visit Davison Motor Group LMCT 6390 on
the corner of 15th Street and Etiwanda Avenue
or phone 5021 5757 for all your Falcon FG X
The Falcon XR8 stands alone
from the rest of the XR series.
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