10 Muscle News
First pics of the last ever Aussie-built Ford Falcon, the FG X. Why didn’t they just call it the FK, as a nod to the first model, the XK? Paul Gover reveals the latest. Suggested song to play in your head while reading this section: ‘Say Goodbye’ by Hunters and Collectors.
December 1 is the beginning of the end for the Ford Falcon. The FG X goes on sale at the start of December, alongside the final update for the Territory, as Ford Australia commences the countdown to the end of its local carmaking business. Ford is running a long-term drip-feed tease for the last of the locals that began in August with teaser pictures of the hero cars in the line-up, starting with the XR8 – complete with a bigger bonnet bulge – and running through the XR6, G6E and Territory.
The newcomers share the ‘Aston Martin-style’ grille shape that is being attached to the nose of everything from the baby Fiesta through to next year’s Mustang hero car.
The on-sale date for the final update was confirmed by Bob Graziano, president of Ford Australia, as he set the scene for the FG X.
“The Australian design team has done a great job on the new Falcon, introducing Ford’s global design DNA ... with a premium feel,” he tells Australian Muscle Car.
He says using the XR models as the bait for the first tease – even though there is now the potential for a confusing and tongue twisting FG X XR6 name in 2015 – was a no-brainer at Broadmeadows. And he backs the X-car name choice, which is apparently based on the popularity of a range of X events in 2014 – including the X-Factor television show and the X-Games – and as a homage to the first-generation Falcons in the 1960s.
“The XR range makes up a significant portion of our Falcon sales and our customers have been asking for the return of the XR8 for some time now.”
He’s black-and-white on the objective for the final Falcon, even before any mechanical or interior details are made public.
“Very simply, we wanted to create the best Falcon ever,” Graziano says.
“This is a very important statement because many of the people who created this car are now working on future Ford global products. So it’s important to show how the spirit of Falcon innovation will live on.”
That’s already become obvious with camouflaged left-hand drive Taurus test cars now on trials at Ford’s You Yangs proving ground and the Edge, which gets a total overhaul in the USA in 2016, firming rapidly as the family-sized replacement for the Falcon.
No-one at Ford is prepared to comment on either the Taurus or Edge, even though it’s clear the company is already moving on past the Falcon and Territory. It’s already talking big on the Everest, the seven-seater SUV developed from the mechanical package that’s already created a class-leading ute in the shape of the latest Ranger.
The styling of the X-car is no surprise, with detailing including LED daytime running lamps, much sharper lines to the lamps on both ends, and the giant trapezoidal grille opening. Ford is also still pushing powertrain choices that run from the EcoBoost four through to the Miami V8, as well as hinting at a quality upgrade in the cabin and significant chassis tweaking.
“Falcon has always been a car for customers who appreciate great driving dynamics. We think this is a car that customers will enjoy owning. We feel we have something for everybody who is looking for a large car,” says Graziano.
“This is a great looking car and there is a lot of pride behind it from the designers, engineers to the assembly teams that will be putting them together. We are all proud of this car and the global products we are now designing and engineering here for the future, like Everest,” he concludes.