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by George Skentzos

Ford Australia has returned with a significantly revised powertrain line-up, sporting a new generation of its proven inline-six and BOSS range of engines as well as two new transmissions which are available across the range.

The new FG Falcon engine range encompasses 4.0-litre I6, 4.0-litre I6 Turbo, 4.0-litre I6 E-Gas and 5.4-litre Boss V8 power plants mated to either a new six-speed manual or a new five-speed automatic, in lieu of the previous four-speed unit, on petrol sedans and utes.

“The comprehensive package of upgrades delivered with the all-new FG Falcon program has broadened the technological reach of the I6 and V8 engine families, building on the extensive engineering and development undertaken for BA and BF series Falcons.

Revisions to the iconic naturally aspirated 4.0-litre I6 engine has yielded more power, more torque and improved engine efficiency.
Maximum power has increased by 5kW to 195kW at 6000rpm, with more torque than any engine in its class – up 8Nm to 391 Nm at 3250 rpm, an advantage of more than 18 per cent compared to its direct competitor.

“The latest generation I6 engine has tremendous torque and driveability, with a flat torque curve and wide powerband at the top end as a result of all the new engine hardware and calibration developments that have been engineered for the FG Falcon program,” Ford Australia Powertrain Engineering Manager, Lee Kernich said.

An additional power boost can be achieved whilst running a higher octane fuel, liberating 198 kW and 409 Nm respectively when used with 95RON fuel.

One of the key sources of this increased performance has come from an all-new dual mode, split plenum composite intake manifold, incorporating a new electronic throttle body and fuel rail assembly.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

The new manifold design increases peak power over the previous Barra 190 engine, as well as improving power delivery and drive ability through enhanced responsiveness to throttle inputs. Other benefits include improved fuel efficiency and sound quality, and a 4kg weight reduction by virtue of using composite materials in lieu of an aluminium casting.

The highly acclaimed turbocharged variant of the 4.0-litre I6 engine has received a major overhaul, now producing V8-rivaling performance figures.

Maximum power is up by 25 kW to 270 kW at 5250 rpm, while peak torque has increased by 53 Nm – or more than 11 per cent – to 533 Nm, which is available across a wide rev range from 2000 rpm – 4750 rpm.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

Maximum turbocharger boost pressure has increased from 0.4 bar to 0.7 bar, or from 6 psi to 10 psi.

“With 80 per cent of the peak torque available all the way from 1250 rpm to 5750 rpm, the new I6 Turbo engine transforms the performance feel of our turbo models, delivering seamless power and fantastic responsiveness across all driving conditions,” Kernich concluded.

Complimenting the increased boost pressure, the new intercooler and ducting also delivers substantial gains, boasting a 50 per cent increase in intercooler core volume and size, a 40 per cent improvement in heat rejection and a 34 per cent reduction in flow restriction.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

While the calibration of the I6 Turbo engine has been optimised to improve fuel economy, it also incorporates a transient over boost feature, as well as launch assist and adaptive variable camshaft timing (VCT) anti-lag technologies.

“The transient over boost feature allows the engine to over boost by up to 10 per cent for several seconds, increasing available engine torque for improved performance during driving events such as overtaking manoeuvres,” Ford Australia Powertrain Development Manager, David Mitchell said. “Manual transmission turbo models are also equipped with a launch assist anti-lag feature, which increases available engine torque for more consistent maximum launch acceleration, as well as reducing turbo and exhaust temperatures, and minimising turbo lag and clutch wear.”

The I6 Turbo engine also employs cylinder cut on gearshifts in automatic transmission vehicles, for improved shift timing and overall shift refinement. Shift times have been reduced by more than 50 per cent during wide-open throttle applications, giving a sportier shift feel via the shorter, sharper gearshifts.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

The (arguably) flagship BOSS 290kW has made its transition into the FG Falcon XR8 range, producing maximum power of 290 kW at 5750 rpm and 520 Nm peak torque at 4750 rpm.

For the first time, the BOSS 290 engine is complimented by an all-new Semi Active Muffler (SAM) and exhaust system.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

The SAM comprises a cylindrical valve that is mounted on the muffler end-plate protruding inside the intermediate muffler, which opens and closes to change the vehicle’s exhaust sound characteristics.

During low speed applications and cruising, exhaust gases pass through a baffle to reduce noise for optimum comfort, however the gasses are redirected during spirited applications of the throttle, allowing a full, throaty V8 sound quality.

Ford has likened the system to a similar one found in the Aston Martin V8 Vantage – arguably the world’s best sounding car.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

The 5R55S five-speed is a new rear-wheel drive (RWD) automatic transmission, which has been designed in conjunction with Ford engineers in the USA and is produced in Bordeaux, France, for use in the new FG Falcon.

Revised gearing and software behaviour in performance mode offers instinctive gear selection without the need for driver input.

A back-out up-shift inhibit function holds the current gear for a short period of time after the throttle is released, preventing constant upshifting in performance situations such as balancing the throttle through a corner.

2008 Ford Falcon powertrain line-up

Specific transmission calibrations for the sedan and Ute allow for the sedan to be more performance-oriented, while the Ute has been optimised for its workhorse duties, such as carrying heavy loads and towing.

The new Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission is a major upgrade of the previous T56 six-speed manual transmission comprising of three variations in gear rations for the I6 engine (Falcon Ute/Falcon XR6), I6 Turbo engine (XR6 Turbo) and V8 (XR8) for improved performance and a more defined sports feel.




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