Blown away

FPV’s su­per­charged V8 puts it back on top of the lo­cal power game, writes Stu­art Martin

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

A su­per­charged V8 has fi­nally put Ford Per­for­mance Ve­hi­cles back on top in the lo­cally de­vel­oped pe­for­mance power wars.

While Holden Spe­cial Ve­hi­cles left out­puts un­touched and added gadgets and good­ies within to its lat­est E3 update, the arch ri­vals at FPV spent its cash on up­ping the ante un­der the bon­net, with a two-pronged su­per­charged V8 at­tack on its ri­vals.

The com­pany’s first su­per­charged V8 puts the GT range back at the top of the FPV food chain — though some say it never ab­di­cated its throne to the F6. But un­til now FPV’s turbo six has had its ad­van­tages over the V8.

FPV gen­eral man­ager Rod Bar­rett says the blown V8 will bring peo­ple back to the breed.

‘‘It’s about 40 per cent turbo six and 60 per cent V8, but this could take us back to 30 per cent six and 70 per cent V8,’’ he says. ‘‘This car I think will bring peo­ple back. It’s way ahead of its time for Aus­tralian per­for­mance cars.

‘‘The new en­gine is amaz­ing, its all-round per­for­mance frankly sets a bench­mark for Aus­tralian-made cars, and the ex­cit­ing thing is that it has been de­vel­oped here, for our cars. They have real pres­ence with the new graph­ics pack­age— we’ve cre­ated cars that fully de­serve to be part of the Fal­con GT her­itage and will write an ex­cit­ing new chap­ter in the model’s his­tory.’’

Value

The ute kicks off the GS range at $51,990 and the sedan is priced from $56,990 (both with no­cost op­tion au­tos), up from $49,950 and $54,950 re­spec­tively as a spe­cial edi­tion.

The GT starts from $71,290 (up from $67,890), with a six-speed man­ual or a no-cost six-speed au­to­matic— FPV says it’s a six per cent in­crease in power for a four per cent in­crease in price.

The GT-P has risen from $78,740 to be priced from $80,990 (with ei­ther man­ual or auto) and the auto-only GT E is $81,450, up from $79,740.

Any­one look­ing for ex­tra fea­tures or equip­ment changes for the price rise will be dis­ap­pointed, as the money has been spent in the en­gine bay, so the safety and fea­tures lists are un­changed over the out­go­ing mod­els.

Technology

THE su­per­charged V8 might have its ori­gins in the US but it was de­vel­oped here by FPV par­ent com­pany Pro­drive for $40 mil­lion.

While it is based on the Mus­tang’s Coy­ote V8 — an all-alu­minium dou­ble over­head cam 32-valve pow­er­plant — there’s an Ea­ton su­per­charger that’s been mas­saged lo­cally by Har­rop with en­gine in­te­gra­tion work in-house at FPV.

FPV says it is hand-as­sem­bled us­ing plenty of lo­cal bits — but is 47kg lighter than the out­go­ing 5.4-litre V8.

The GS ver­sion pro­duces 315kW and 545Nm — up from 302kW and 551Nm — but FPV says it is smoother, faster and more ef­fi­cient than the out­go­ing 5.4-litre V8.

The GT vari­ant now pro­duces 335kW and 570Nm — in­creases of 20kW and 19Nm — and new su­per­charged V8 en­gines in the sedans ex­hale through a quad-pipe bi-modal ex­haust sys­tem which FPV says en­hances per­for­mance and the ex­haust note.

Torque de­liv­ery for both en­gines mim­ics the plateau mas­querad­ing as a torque ‘‘curve’’ for the F6 Turbo — the su­per­charged V8s in ei­ther spec have peak torque on of­fer from around 2000 revs through to 5000 revs.

Pro­drive Asia-Pa­cific man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

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