New Ford Falcon Revealed
With all these “accidental” leaks and reveals of new cars in advance of the Geneva and New York auto shows, it’s easy to forget there’s another important auto show in progress: The Melbourne International Auto Show. Struth! Ford’s showing its new Australian heavy hitter, the “Orion” Ford Falcon. Large sedans are the hot segment down under. Traditionally Ford’s rear wheel-drive (RWD) Falcon and Holden’s RWD Commodore duke it out for top props. Holden debuted the next gen Commodore a.k.a. the Pontiac G8) about a year ago. Now it’s the new Falcon’s turn to take wing.The good: The base engine is a 260 horsepower 4.0-liter inline six originally designed by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles in 1812. The optional turbocharged inline six harnesses 362 horses and crushes in-gear acceleration with 390 ft.-lbs. of low-down torque. And then there’s a 5.4-liter V8 with 390 horses and a semi-active muffler (essentially a bypass valve) that allows the engine to fully express itself over 2800 rpm. Also good: new six speed manual and automatic transmissions, and loads of alphabet e-kit (ABS, DSC, ICBMs) and a full complement of airbags.The bad: It’s not coming to North America unless (1) Vietnamese communists transfer hypnotic control of John McCain to Ron Paul after McCain gets elected President (2) the price of gas suddenly drops to $1/gallon and/or (3) America stops printing money, inflating the currency, and making imports prohibitively expensive.The ugly: The new Falcon’s not ugly per se, but it is all kinds of bland. The proportions seem somewhat weird from pictures, and the details are fair at best. The luxury “G” version (no, they’re not saying it the way 50 Cent does) cribs some exterior styling from Ford’s stunning Iosis concept and new Mondeo. But on balance, the new Flacon’s design was born as a five-year-old. Imagine the stretch marks. No, don’t.[Pixamo slide show of the new Ford Falcon here.]
Michael Karesh on Feb 18, 2008
Why are almost all the photos of the front end? Everything else is carryover? Sounds like Ford has finally dug up some engines capable of serious power (without supercharging a V8). Another sign that the horsepower race has peaked. Sorry, Ford, that party's over.
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