Nto a storm
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.