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by Stephen Walker

15th March, 2009

Home > Road Tests > FPV

A clear and endearing favourite, amongst Australia's muscle cars, is the Falcon GT. It's the result of a trend which began in 1967.

With last year's release of the FG series Fords, the part-Ford owned car enhancement company, FPV (Ford Performance Vehicles) took on a higher profile by branding their cars with the FPV monicker. Thus the current performance version of the FG Falcon is known, simply, as FPV GT. It is sad to see the name Falcon GT fall by the wayside, especially given the 40 plus years of highly esteemed service to Australia's motoring history. But that's the way it is and it leads us towards the day when the name Falcon will also be gone.

In rejoicing the most recent edition of the highly admired model, we took a "Nitro" coloured FPV GT for a 'run'. We managed to cover some 925 kms around Melbourne and Bendigo, Victoria, thus seizing an excellent opportunity to assess an iconic nameplate in 'aussie' motoring.

On the road we couldn't help but notice that this muscle car, in experienced hands, is just so mild mannered. Sure it has the ability to be brutal with acceleration when the right foot is 'floored'. But in the normal way of driving around the city and country, in other words motoring in the Next Car manner, the FPV GT provides enjoyable motoring underpinned by the knowledge that more get up and go is just a light tap of the accelerator away. The GT offers comfortable ride and handling qualities. Again, the mild manners are evident when you drive the car in a normal manner, which is, of course, the way that normal people drive. Sure, the ride is firm, but in a comfortable way rather than a harsh way. (copyright image)

Stephen Walker
with the FPV GT.

The 'howl' of a V8 is always an attraction. And you hear it every time you get the revs up. The test car was equipped with the standard 6 speed manual transmission. The optional (at no cost) 6 speed ZF automatic transmission may offer an easier drive but the manual provides more potential to enjoy the howling V8, in a responsible manner, when it suits. There is no howl at city speeds, unless you drive longer than you should in second gear and sometimes in third.

Power from the 5.4 litre V8 is rated at 315 kW at 6,500 rpm. Torque is 551 Nm at 4,750 rpm (using 98RON premium petrol). These figures explain why the FPV GT offers enjoyment in abundance ..... when the numbers are high, the delight is high!

Fuel consumption is rated at 14.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle. When the foot is down hard, this figure has no relevance at all.

The CO2 emission level is high at 340 grammes per kilometre. That makes saving the earth a low priority for GT buyers. However, planting a few extra trees will offset any guilt. In fact, if we all plant a few extra trees then we will all breathe that little bit easier.

Occupant comfort is high. The seating is both stylish and comfortable (4-way power adjustment for the driver's seat). Roominess is apparent, as expected with a Falcon based car. The presentation of the interior is good. Sporty touches abound, with 'metal look' features amongst the trimmings. The steering wheel adjusts 4-ways. The centre console bin is deep. In fact, the only things missing in the GT are a footrest for the driver and an auto up feature for the power windows.

Standard equipment for the FPV GT includes six airbags, reverse sensing system, Datadot identification system, lumbar support for the front seats, dual-zone air conditioning, interior plate identifying the build number, iPod integration with the audio system which includes a 6 disc stacker, 19" x 8" alloy wheels (5) and locking wheel nut amongst other items. (copyright image)

The FPV GT is priced from $66,590 (RRP). Options fitted to the test car included a camera to assist in reversing manoeuvres ($650), together with a bonnet decal and stylish side stripes ($774). Hence, the FPV GT as tested price of $68,014 (RRP) offers satisfaction for the ego and value for the wallet or purse.

Other options that are available include leather trim, even bigger brakes than the suitable standard brakes and satellite navigation.

With a wide choice of colours available, the FPV GT looks good in many ways ..... from mild to wild. I'd like to see other manufacturers offer brighter colours, just like Ford has for some years now.

So the FG series FPV GT is the next step in a model that has been an attention getter for many decades now. It serves the iconic image quite well. It doesn't have the rawness of the original. But it does offer space and pace, together with easy driving attributes. Everything works well, including the steering, brakes and suspension. Hence, the ride and handling are well suited to the image of this performance car. Yet, at the same time, the comfort level is admirable and the roominess is obvious.

Therefore, it is the mild manners that are an absolute highlight for this car.

But performance and pose value is what the FPV GT is all about. And it delivers on both counts! Just as it did way back in 1967 with the original Ford Falcon GT!

More FPV News ..... here
More Ford News ..... here
More Prodrive News ..... here


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