The first official image of the 2015 Ford Falcon has been revealed today ahead of its debut later this year, potentially as early as September.
The company took to Facebook to reveal the teaser image — likely the first in a ‘drip-feed’ campaign in which tidbits about the car will be doled out piecemeal to build anticipation — replete with the hashtags #2014Falcon and #Official.
The closely cropped image does not show much, but does confirm that the thoroughly redesigned Falcon nose will sport narrow headlights and a hexagonal grille similar to that of the Mondeo/Fusion, thereby bringing the Australian staple into line with Ford’s global styling language.
The car used in the teaser image appears to be an up-spec variant, given the chrome grille surround and the LED daytime running lights set within the main headlight cover.
The ‘new’ Falcon — it is really just an update of the 2008 FG — will be rolled out with a similarly made-over Territory SUV in November this year. Each will have a two-year shelf life before Ford’s Victorian engine and manufacturing plants shut down at the end of 2016.
Examples of the ‘FG Mk3’ have been spotted in recent times testing on public roads under moderate body camouflage. CarAdvice understands the revised Falcon will get a new bootlid design and possibly tweaked tail-lights as the other elements of a fairly minor stylistic makeover.
No images of the cabin have been published as yet. Don’t expect wholesale design changes, however you can expect to see a brand new multimedia system with the very latest in Ford’s Sync technologies fitted.
The existing Geelong-built 4.0-litre inline-six engine and the LPG version are expected to carry over, though the future of the slow-selling imported 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost turbo-petrol option is less clear.
Ford will also bring back the XR8 badge, probably using the guts of the outgoing FPV GT, including its 335kW supercharged V8 — up 45kW over the last atmo XR8 sold in 2010 — Brembo brakes and re-jigged suspension.
The return of the XR8 comes at an opportune time for Ford to tap into what could be a latent demand for hot and affordable V8 Falcons — after all, the 550-unit strong special edition FPV GT F 351 swansong for Ford’s local performance arm sold out in record time shortly after being announced in May this year.
The Falcon will be tasked with clawing back some small amount of ground against Holden’s rejuvenated VF Commodore.
Falcon sales are down another 30 per cent this year to 3562 units and production of the Falcon and Territory combined has been cut to just 83 cars per day. In comparison the VF is up some 60 per cent this year, making it the fourth-highest selling car in Australia so far this year with 16,355 deliveries YTD.
CarAdvice asked Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano recently if the company projected a similar bounce for the Falcon, and if the XR8 could be a potentially top-selling variant within the range.
In response, Graziano kept his cards close to his chest, simply stating the company would let the market decide come launch time.