Ford is looking back
All things aren’t Eco at the Blue Oval as it considers reviving an old hero
FORD may bring its iconic Falcon XR8 back from the dead. At the moment, as the company focuses on greener cars, buying a Blue Oval car with a bent eight means finding at least $58,000 for an FPV.
But Ford Australia CEO Bob Graziano hints strongly at the resumption of a mainstream eight. ‘‘ We have been studying (the XR8 business case) for some time now,’’ he says.
‘‘ It is an iconic name and brand. With everything we are currently doing, we just have to find the right balance.’’
Ford has drastically shaken up its showroom stock over the past 18 months, with 85 per cent of its line-up featuring either all-new or markedly facelifted models.
This week it adds the new five-door mid-sized Kuga SUV to the mix.
Actually, the Kuga isn’t all that new. The keenly anticipated SUV is nearing the end of its global lifecycle.
Based on the previous Focus platform, it has only a year left in its current shape before a newer face, new Focus backbone, and more variants — which are likely to include a small-capacity diesel— make their way here in 2013.
‘‘ It’s taken a while to get the Kuga here, but we have just been so busy with all the other models over the past 18 months; do the maths, and with the Kuga, we have changed 90 per cent of our showroom line-up,’’ Graziano says.
For now Australia gets a limited supply of the Kuga, with a five-cylinder turbo the sole engine, and two trim levels; the mid-spec Trend and topshelf Titanium.
Ford’s other small SUV, the Escape, will continue to be sold alongside the Kuga for now, essentially filling the role of the entry-level SUV.
‘‘ The Kuga is our first step in our SUV growth story,’’ says Ford marketing manager David Katic. ‘‘ The total segment is worth 12 per cent of the Australian marketplace. The demand is huge.’’ Kuga test, Page 32
Heart throb: The XR8 could return, Ford’s