It’s a logical choice for hauling bikes and towing
THE Jaguar engineers at the global launch of the $340,000 Jaguar XKR-S are telling me its six-speed ZF automatic is a good transmission.
I agree and then can’t resist mentioning that the very same gearbox is fitted to the Ford Falcon Ute I have just bought.
They cringe as I mention the ute has leaf-springs— archaic devices in the opinion of engineers working on sports cars of the 21st century.
Stirring the English is always fun but it is true, the Germanmade ZF automatic is a good shifter and it was part of the reason I shelled out my own hard-earned for the Falcon XR6 Ute I picked up last week.
It was an easier decision to make, given Ford has thousands sitting around at the moment and dealers are keen to move them. I reckon I did well after pitting a couple of dealers against each other.
Ford is advertising XR6 Utes for $32,990 but dealers will go lower if you buy a car that has been sitting around. The price will go north in a hurry if you want any extras such as 18-inch wheels or leather seats, so I took a standard car.
Just be careful as I know a bloke who bought a Falcon Ute in stock since last year. He got a great deal but the tyres have gone out-ofround and vibrate like hell. These should be covered under warranty, though.
I had been looking around at various utes and vans to carry push bikes and dirt bikes as well as being able to tow a rally car. Nothing suited as well as the Falcon Ute because it is practical as well as comfortable.
I was lucky enough to drive an FG XR6 Ute for six months as part of a long-term media test a couple of years back. Not one thing went wrong, despite an attempted creek crossing that went pear-shaped as water entered the cabin.
It had a Ford-built five-speed automatic but that’s been replaced with the ZF six-speed.
Box of tricks: The Falcon Ute has the six-speed ZF automatic