Nto a storm

Herald Sun - Motoring - - COVER STORY -

The new face fol­lows Ford’s global styling di­rec­tion, and is de­signed to warm us to the look of its even­tual re­place­ment, the Mon­deo.

Sus­pen­sion and me­chan­i­cal parts are as be­fore. The XR8 has been re­vived by us­ing the best bits — in­clud­ing the su­per­charged V8 — from the pre­vi­ous Fal­con GT.

Inside there’s a new eight­inch touch­screen with dig­i­tal ra­dio, rear view cam­era and clever emer­gency as­sis­tance that di­als 000 if you have a crash in which an airbag de­ploys.

Best of all, though, prices have come down. Sav­ings are claimed to be up to $9600 on the out­go­ing Fal­con but the re­al­ity is that no one paid full price for one be­fore.

The range starts at $35,990 for an XR6 and tops out at $54,690 for the XR8.

As roomy and com­fort­able as ever, the Fal­con soaks up bumps with ease. New en­ergy-sav­ing Miche­lin tyres on the base model are qui­eter, with more grip.

The en­gines, whether LPG, four-cylin­der and six-cylin­der, pro­duce ef­fort­less power.

The same bug­bears re­main: the seat­ing po­si­tion is too high; the steer­ing wheel is too low and doesn’t reach close enough to the driver.

Are th­ese enough to stop some­one from buy­ing a Fal­con? Prob­a­bly not.

Ford is not count­ing on a sales resur­gence but ex­pects to have enough or­ders to keep the fac­tory run­ning un­til Oc­to­ber 2016.

For bet­ter or worse.

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