The big-hearted Ford gets the running gear to handle its awesome outputs
FPV’s back on track with revised models that can handle the eye-widening output of its supercharged V8
AT LAST, the supercharged V8 in Ford Performance Vehicle’s flagship GT has wheels and suspension capable of putting its awesome power to the road.
The $76,900 GT RSpec— internally known as Panther— is also the first FPV with launch control, which chief engineer Bernie Quinn says is equally effective with the manual or automatic transmissions.
The heart of the machine— the ‘‘ Miami’’ 5-litre V8 is unchanged. The engine was hailed at its launch in late 2010 as the most powerful V8 developed for an Australianmade muscle car.
It rapidly became apparent that its outputs of 335kW/ 570Nm were too much for the rear rubber to cope with.
The handling lacked the expected precision.
The release of 350 examples of the GT RSpec, fitted with 275mm-wide Dunlop MaxxSport rubber on 19-inch wheels (plus a strut-load of suspension upgrades and reinforced engine mounting points), is intended to address those issues.
FPV tested the US-built Ford Mustang, BMW’s M3 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG to establish handling benchmarks.
‘‘ We realised we had to get the power to the ground more effectively and we also wanted more traction mid-corner and powering out of the corner,’’ Quinn says. ‘‘ We’ve achieved that. This car is more agile, more responsive to steering inputs and puts its power down better in all situations.’’
The GT RSpec comes at a $5700 premium over the regular GT.
FPV boss Bryan Mears says the GT won’t be built while RSpec versions are going down the production line – and he won’t say whether upgrades will become a standard fit on future GT models.
Beyond the badging, the RSpec is identified by a C-stripe along the side panels and the unique rims.
Later this month, the 350 sedans will be joined by 75 Pursuit utes. The $57,990 utes will share the alloy wheels and C-stripe decals but will be sold only in black ‘‘ Silhouette’’ paint with red ‘‘ Vixen’’ accents. Half the sedans will have this colour scheme, with the rest split between red, white and blue, with black highlights.
NSW Police has a deal to buy the 150th car off the line, to coincide with its 150th anniversary. The car for the boys in blue will be . . . white.
Power dressing: RSpec
models have unique decals and wheels; utes will be sold in black Silhouette paint with red accents