Big V8 takes centre stage
AN engine, off all things, was the Aussie headliner at the Detroit Motor Show.
But this one is not just any old engine.
It is the all-new five-litre Coyote V8 that will soon be slotted into the Ford Falcon XR and, once a supercharger is bolted to the top, become the hero engine at Ford Performance Vehicles.
In its most basic form it pumps out 307kW and 529Nm of power, well up on the present Falcon V8 and even better than Holden’s 6.2-litre Chevrolet V8.
The Coyote is seen for the first time in Detroit as part of the unveiling of the latest Ford Mustang, and is a radical remake of the V8 blueprint with lightweight, all-alloy construction and twin-overhead camshafts.
‘‘We will be taking an engine from the Coyote family,’’ said Ford Australia’s spokesman Sinead McAlary in Detroit.
But that’s as far as it goes. No-one is saying yet if the Coyote will be in the XR8, or used by FPV, or subject to a supercharged upgrade. Even the American engineer in charge of the Coyote program is sworn to secrecy in Detroit.
‘‘I keep getting asked all these questions but I honestly cannot say anything,’’ he said. ‘‘My boss would kill me.’’ Ford Australia is moving rapidly towards a Coyote future as it also prepares for a four-cylinder Falcon, as well as an LPG upgrade and a diesel powerplant for the Territory.
Even its gearbox strategy is set for an overhaul, with the fourspeed used in lower-grade Falcons and the LPG model going in favour of a six-speed self-shifter.
Ford knows it needs to make the Falcon more fuel efficient, which is why it has a local program tied into the goals of the Ecoboost operation. But it also needs to keep the car attractive to muscle-car shoppers.