Ford Australia insists the inline six-cylinder petrol engine in the Falcon has not reached its fuel efficiency limit despite the powerplant not benefitting from any economy improvements as part of the FG MkII upgrade.
Ford today revealed the official fuel consumption data for the updated model. The LPG-powered Falcon EcoLPi sedans enjoy economy improvements of 0.2 litres/100km, while the petrol-powered XR6 Turbo ute is now 0.1 litres/100km more economical. Ford Australia’s Justin Lacy said the small efficiency gains were achieved through engine recalibration work and software changes, and were the result of retesting of the Falcon range.
The Ford FG MkII Falcon range is in production now and will filter through to showrooms between the end of December and the end of January.
The most economical models in the range (XT, G6, G6E, XR6 sedans) continue to use 9.9 litres/100km on the combined cycle, 11.2 per cent more than the most economical Holden Commodore models (Omega, Berlina sedans), which use 8.9 litres/100km. The four-cylinder Falcon EcoBoost is expected to achieve official consumption of around 8.0-8.5 litres/100km when it goes on sale around April next year.
Despite the apparent stagnancy of the naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine’s fuel figures, Lacy said work was “constantly being done” to improve efficiency and insisted the engine’s potential had not been reached.
“There’s never a final point where there’s a limit,” Lacy said, promising that consumers would continue to see “incremental improvements” as Ford’s engineers worked on the vehicles.
Lacy said the next wave of improvements to the Falcon’s economy may not come in the form of engine upgrades, but could come about through reductions in overall vehicle weight, improved transmission efficiency and improved vehicle aerodynamics, which are three key focuses of Ford internationally.
Any improvements may still be some way off however, as Lacy admitted the current numbers “will probably stand for some time to come”.
He said Ford Australia’s engineers had “a lot more work to do” to meet the upcoming Euro 5 emissions standards, which will be phased in progressively from November 2013 to November 2016. Euro 5 requires a 25 per cent reduction in NOx emissions and introduces maximum limits on particulate matter and non-methane hydrocarbon emissions.
Ford upgraded the Falcon range in June last year to make it compliant with Euro 4 emissions regulations, improving fuel consumption between 5.7 and 8.5 per cent across most models.