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by Tim Beissmann

Performax International has gained approval to produce the Ford F-Series pick-up in right-hand drive for the Australian market.

The Queensland-based importer recently earned Australian Design Rule (ADR) approval for the re-engineered F-Series, meaning the locally produced ute can be road-registered in all states and territories.

The ADR approval completes a six-month development program led by former Holden and Ford Australia engineers at Performax’s manufacturing base in Gympie.

Performax says the first Australian-assembled F-Series trucks will be completed and delivered in August with a sub-$100,000 price tag.

Ford F-250

The Gympie plant will have the capacity to produce up to 300 F-250 and F-350 pick-ups per year in addition to its current annual output of approximately 320 Chevrolet Silverado, Ram 1500 and Toyota Tundra right-hand-drive conversions.

Performax International general manager Glenn Soper said the Australian-made Ford F-Series vehicles met a more rigorous set of standards than ever before required.

“Buyers of a Performax-built F-Series will have the assurance their vehicle is not just a one-off conversion job, but fully-warranted with production-line quality, consistency and parts availability,” Soper said.

“Previously, providers required individual engineering reports for each individual F-truck manufactured. By qualifying for true full-volume compliance under the new regime, we have proven we are conformity of production ready.

“This means that the department has such confidence in the sophistication and rigour of our controls and processes that they have deemed we no longer need to seek engineers’ approval on every vehicle we produce.”

Glenn Soper

Soper said the entry-level Super Duty crew-cab would be priced at less than $100,000, while the higher-spec Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum crew-cabs will start at roughly $125,000 before on-road costs.

“This is extremely competitive value when compared on features, work capacity and price with other premium 4WDs,” he said.

“Performax International believes there is good potential from buyers new to the model as well as residual demand from those who bought Brazilian-converted F-250s from Ford Australia between 2001 and 2007.”

Ford F-250

All Performax-built F-Series pick-ups will be powered by a 6.7-litre V8 turbo diesel engine producing 294kW of power at 2800rpm and 1084Nm of torque at 1600rpm.

The engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and electronic shift-on-the-fly four-wheel drive, combining to give the F-Series a claimed five-tonne towing capacity.

Safety features include six airbags (dual front, front-side, and side curtain ‘bags), electronic stability control, hill start assist and descent control, and roll stability and trailer sway control.

Its basic standard equipment list includes 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and cloth trim.

Ford F-250

The Lariat adds a rear diff lock, reverse-view camera and rear parking sensors, auto headlights, power adjustable pedals, leather upholstery, 10-way electric seats, steering wheel controls, LCD instrument cluster screen, 8.0-inch central touchscreen and a Sony premium audio system.

Highlights of the King Ranch specification include 20-inch alloys, two-tone exterior, woodgrain trim, premium leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, memory settings for driver’s seat and pedals and side mirrors, and remote start.

The flagship F-Series Platinum adds unique 20-inch alloy wheels, unique grille, keyless entry, in-built tailgate step, satin chrome tailgate, and chrome side steps, door handles, mirror caps and tow hooks.

All Performax F-Series pick-ups will be covered by a four-year/120,000km warranty.




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