Ford Falcon Ute

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Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Hicube on Mon Jan 11, 2010 12:46 pm



Though they may only seat two passengers in the cabin and look a little strange to foreigners, the Australian ute is a true thing of beauty to most locals, and accordingly they're highly popular too. In the past decade these intriguing vehicles - often unfairly labelled as the hooligan's choice - have turned from purely utilitarian haulers into thoroughbred sports cars.

Instrumental in the Australian ute's evolution have been arch rivals Ford and GM Holden, who have consistently impressed customers and critics alike with their growing ranges of utilities, and in 2005/2006 Ford has revealed its latest challenger, the BF Falcon Ute.As Ford's most powerful 2-seater, the XR8 ute is powered by a quad camshaft 5.4-litre V8 giving it plenty of power - not mention street cred - but its also been given a trump card in the form of a German 6-speed automatic gearbox, which costs just $1,250 over the standard 6-speed manual.

Step into the cabin and the first things that beam their way to your eyes are the seats, which look fantastic if you opt for the leather upgrade, featuring dimpled suede ($1,495 option). And the second thing you notice is the lovely slimline 6-speed automatic gearbstick. But more on that later...

The handling of the XR8 ute – essentially a performance model – is fairly linear, like it should be. It will hold its line through a corner quite doggedly for something so long and heavy (more than 1800kg and 5.0+ metres long). The wheels did squeal a touch when put under pressure (as the sidewalls flex), but in general the big brute handled very nicely indeed, and will keep weekend warriors happily chasing hot hatches through the twisties - and torching them on the straights.

The light-ish steering suited my tastes perfectly. At times I thought feedback wasn't brilliant, yet the steering feels solid as the outside wheel does most of the work, ensuring the Ford tracks faithfully through the average corner.You can point it in the direction you want to go and even with a bit of forcefulness it will still oblige. The rear suspension (live axle, leaf springs) is perhaps the only weak link in the chassis, but I think that calling it a weak link might be a bit strong.

Though it isn't quite as fiery as the core of the sun, Ford's big V8 belts out wonderfully fat chunks of torque, and one can only wonder at the gains that could be made with a few simple upgrades, such as an exhaust and engine ECU (chip). And what a gearbox! It is one of the best automatics I've had a the good fortune to operate. It's got six forward ratios, three modes and an electronic brain that would give your high school math's teacher something to mull over.

From afar, the XR8 ute looks tough. Up close? Tough. I think a lot of this has to do with the power bulge on the bonnet that symmetrically flows with the more conservative lines of the front end, giving it a real "go ahead punk, make my day" attitude. The vehicle we tested featured the hard tonneau cover and spoiler, which for BF models now features a strangely appealing reverse power bulge.

The 3D (mixed depth) dials with 260km/h readout are a nice touch and are much more appealing than standard flat dials found in some Aussie cars. They look much nicer than Holden gear, particularly with the XR logos taking pride of place, while the dash plastics are so-so.
Tell a lie; the dash plastics are actually not too offensive to the eye or the touch, making use of a soft-ish rubbery material. The interiors of locals cars have improved greatly compared to five years ago, but there are still one or two minor gripes, such as the faux silver door handle inserts. In our test ute they didn't seem to be flush fitting and even worked their way off at one stage.

Dual zone climate control is a nice touch if you can afford the extra cost, and for some reason I liked the analogue clock above the information readout. Techno-cool blue lit dials are gear, and the LCD display gives the vehicle a touch of sophistication, able to display radio stations, temperature, instant fuel consumption and other cogent information. If you don't opt for the prestige sound system or luxury pack, such telemetry is displayed below the tachometer in a small digital display.

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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by jpmc on Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:42 pm

A little more info for you.

The 6 cylinder option comes with power ranging from
195kw (261hp) @ 6000rpm and 391Nm @ 3250
upto the turbo model coming in with
310kw (415) @ 5500rpm and 565Nm @ 1950 through to 5200rpm


The 8 cylinder option comes with power ranging from
290kw (388) @ 5750 and 520Nm @ 4750
upto the top model coming in with
315kw (422) @ 6500 and 551Nm @ 4750

These of course can be tweaked to give even more power if required thumbsup
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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by jpmc on Mon Jan 11, 2010 6:53 pm

Here's a top of the range V8 model



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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Hicube on Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:55 pm

That looks a beast, Wish we got those sort of motors here Drool

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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Rislar on Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:42 am

Where's Nav1 i bet he cant beat one of those babys Very Happy

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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Dave C on Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:46 am

reckon he will give it a try......
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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Hicube on Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:44 am

No doubt he would..... If he lost, could you imagine the other bits he would be bolting on to his nav for a rematch.......Scarey thought affraid die laughin

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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Rislar on Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:46 am

Ha ha, funny enough there's enough room for a jet engine on the back Shocked ROFL

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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Hicube on Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:53 am

dont give him ideas, for gods sake Idea

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Re: Ford Falcon Ute

Post by Rislar on Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:31 am

ROFL

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