’em who is the Boss
Step on the gas and you get a wonderfully throaty V8 bellow courtesy of what Ford calls a ‘‘semi-active’’ muffler. It’s a clever little device lifted from Jaguar which forces exhaust gases through baffles to keep it quiet, but at high engine speeds it allows the exhaust to flow free so it sounds as a V8 should.
Ford is offering the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or a ZF six-speed auto, which was the box fitted to the test ute.
It was a smooth-shifting, nofuss unit and had the option of manual shifting through the ‘‘sequential sports shift’’ function.
True to its image of a sports ute, the XR8 sits low and lean on the road, rolling on big 17-inch alloys in standard form, but with the tough-looking option of 19-inch alloys as fitted to the test ute. With sports suspension the XR8 rides comfortably but firmly, and handles with precision. A standard limited-slip diff means it hooks up well in corners.
The steering is nicely weighted at speed on the road and at parking speeds.
The interior has a sporty XR8 trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power seats, air, CD sound, cruise and alloy pedals.
Outside it’s easily identified by the power bulge on the bonnet and the ‘‘Boss 290’’ stickers, but it also has a sporty XR body kit and flush-fit tonneau. The test ute also had an alloy sports bar and hard tonneau.
With the sports suspension the $39,490 XR8 has a GVM of 2380kg and a maximum payload of 540kg. It will tow up to 2300kg.
Inside running: the XR8’s interior has a sporty trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power seats, air, CD sound, cruise and alloy pedals.