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by Tim Beissmann

Ford Australia will farewell its iconic high-performance sedan with the release of the limited edition FPV GT F by the middle of this year.

Created “out of respect for past Australian Ford GTs and their racetrack-honed heritage”, the FPV GT F (for ‘Final’) will be the last GT-badged Falcon, and promises to take design and engineering inspiration from the Broadmeadows-based brand’s performance sedans of the previous five decades.

Ford will produce 550 units of the FPV GT F sedan (500 for Australia, 50 for New Zealand), which will be priced from $77,990, as well as 120 units of an updated FPV Pursuit ute, priced from $52,990.

The new variants signal the end of production of the rest of FPV’s range, including the GS, GT, GT-P and F6 sedans and the GS and F6 utes. Ford will officially end FPV production after the final run of 670 limited edition cars towards the end of this year, at which time it will reintroduce the XR8 to its regular Falcon line-up to keep high-performance fans happy until local production ends altogether by October 2016.

The FPV GT F will feature the mechanical upgrades developed to enhance the handling capabilities of the GT R-Spec variant.

The front suspension gains stiffer upper control arm bushes, stiffer upper strut mounts and retuned dampers, while the rear suspension gets higher spring rates, retuned dampers, a larger anti-roll bar and reinforced lower control arms.

Ford says its nine-inch 275/35R19 Dunlop Sports Maxx tyres enhance cornering grip and acceleration from standstill, the latter helped further by the inclusion of a launch control function.

Six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brake calipers that are optional on the regular GT will be standard on the GT F.

Ford has released no details on the GT F’s powertrain at this stage. The GT R-Spec, the fastest Falcon in history, produces 335kW and 570Nm from its supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine, though the GT F is expected to be even more powerful.

The limited edition model has been linked to a peak power output of 351kW – ‘351’ being a legendary number in Falcon history, representing the size in cubic inches of its most famous V8.

Ford Australia design manager Nick Eterovic said the GT F’s design features visual cues that can trace their heritage back to the Ford GTs of the 1970s.

“There is a true sense of history and celebration with this car but we wanted to make sure that we retained the most exciting elements of the current FPV range, while modernising the design and adding fresh elements to the GT F,” Eterovic said.

Five colours will be offered – Winter White, Kinetic (blue), Silhouette (black), Octane (orange), and Smoke (dark grey) – along with four ‘stealth’ stripe colours: matte black, white, metallic gold and silver.

Ford says the cabin features darker tones and more lustrous finishes, premium stitching and embroidery, a high-series audio system, a new gear knob cover and dashboard spear, and a vehicle-specific build number.

The new-look Pursuit will share design cues with the GT F, and will be finished with a GT front bar, F6 side skirts and GT wheels.

Other additional features over the current entry-level GS ute include partial leather seats, premium audio system, satellite navigation, climate control and build-number badging.

The Pursuit will be powered by the 315kW/545Nm tune of Ford’s supercharged 5.0-litre V8.

The FPV GT F and updated Pursuit are expected to hit showrooms in June.




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