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2009 FPV GT E Road Test and Review
You can now have your cake and eat it too ...
- 2009 FPV GT E - six-speed automatic - $78,190
- None fitted.
- by Paul Maric
Whoever said you couldn’t have your cake and eat it too couldn’t have been further from the truth.
FPV’s all new range offers a choice for all punters, ranging from petrol snorting turbocharged cars, right through to luxurious road trawlers – like the FPV GT E being tested here.
Open the driver’s door and a forest worth of faux wood is on display. The comfortable, leather clad pews offer impressive side and bottom bolster to hold you in while tackling corners on your favourite mountain run. A chunky steering wheel offers great feedback and a commendable turning ratio to help reel in apexes.
The GT E features Ford’s new Human Machine Interface (HMI), which incorporates all the comfort controls. Dual-zone climate control allows the driver and passenger to set alternating temperatures, while full iPod integration allows the passengers to scroll through their iPod’s folders on screen. The system also charges your iPod, meaning infinite listening time – pretty impressive!
Also on offer via the HMI is Bluetooth connectivity. Syncronise your telephone with the car and all calls are displayed on the LCD screen in the cabin. Calls are answered and ended through the telephone button attached to the steering wheel, negating the need for any fines – GT E owners have no excuse!
Interior room is on par with the best. The FG Falcon features an improved ingress/egress rear door cutaway, allowing easier access to the second row of seats. Legroom is sufficient for adults, as is headroom.
Starting the GT E involves a turn of the key and a stab of the starter button. Once the fire-breathing V8 turns over, a mellow burble is heard until the car begins moving. The idle burble is enough to send any autophile’s pulse racing.
Under the bonnet, a 5.4-litre V8 engine sets the theme. Producing 315kW at 6500rpm and 551Nm at 4750rpm, the BOSS 315 as it’s more affectionately known completes the 0-100km/h sprint in just under 5.5-seconds. Official combined fuel consumption sits at 14-litres/100km, but expect to see that figure get larger as your right foot gets heavier.
Swapping cogs for the GT E is the German ZF-Sachs six-speed automatic gearbox. Commonly found in Audis and BMWs, this gearbox is one of the best on the market.
The slick shifting unit allocates points to the driver variable upon their driving style. The gearbox can then hold gears and downshift during hard braking if it senses that you’re heading for a spirited run.
What’s the GT E like to drive then? For what it is, it’s pretty impressive.
Under full-throttle acceleration, torque is felt through the entire rev band. Once the revs head north of 4000rpm, a set of valves open in the exhaust to make an incredibly raucous noise. It sounds like an angry car God, it barks and yells at the top of its voice in an attempt to gain attention; it’s a wicked sound and outdoes the vocal note on offer from the HSV competition.
Through corners, there is a considerable amount of body roll when pushed hard. It’s an occurrence that is expected though, considering the GT E’s weight – some 1852kg. It’s also more of a cruiser than an all-out apex slayer.
If you sink the boot in mid-corner, the rear end digs into the tarmac and pulls the mass through the bend without any fuss.
Braking is taken care of by six-piston 355mm cross-drilled and slotted Brembo brakes up front and four-piston 330mm cross-drilled and slotted Brembo brakes at the rear. These impressive anchors pull the GT E up in amazing fashion. They are virtually fade-free for run of the mill driving, likewise with several track laps.
Although the GT E features the same running gear as the FPV 5th Anniversary GT we tested last week, it resembles more of a sedate package. The lack of rear wing and go-fast overtones makes it the perfect package for the executive with subtlety in mind.
Your 78-large doesn’t get you satellite navigation though which is rather annoying. Ford’s latest iteration of satellite navigation features a system called SUNA TMC which communicates with your local traffic management centre to determine road conditions.
The Traffic Management Centre (TMC) relays the information to the satellite navigation unit in the vehicle. The driver then has the option of avoiding congested areas by taking an alternate route. The system works relatively well and contains detailed information on the congested areas – such as the average speed and delay in minutes.
The only issue with the system is that not all roads are monitored. Only main arterials and roads fitted with traffic sensors are covered for information, so often alternate routes are also congested.
Safety features standard in the GT E include: eight-airbags; Dynamic Stability Control (DSC); Traction Control (TC); alarm and a reversing camera (a very nifty feature when parking!).
The FG Falcon range also scores a five-star ANCAP safety rating, the best on offer in an Australian built vehicle.
FPV’s GT E is part of an eight car FPV line-up. Prices start at $57,990 for the F6 Ute and finish at $78,190 for the GT E flagship being tested.
The FPV GT E is the tea drinking, scone eating man’s choice in performance cars. It maintains a classy image, while still keenly erupting at the drop of a right foot. It’s the sleeper of the sports sedan world.
CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go:
- Engine: 5408cc Vee-eight
- Power: 315kW @ 6500rpm
- Torque: 551Nm @ 4750rpm
- Induction: Naturally aspirated
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic ZF Sachs
- Differential/Driven Wheels: Limited slip differential/rear wheel drive
- Brakes: 355mm cross-drilled and slotted front 330mm cross-drilled and slotted rear
- Top Speed: N/A
- 0-100km/h: 5.4-seconds
- 0-400m: N/A
- CO2 Emissions: 334g/km
- Fuel Consumption: 14.0-litres/100km
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 68-litres
- Fuel Type: 98RON petrol
- ANCAP Rating: Five-star
- Airbags: Six-airbags
- Safety: ABS brakes with ABS and EBD. ESP.
- Spare Wheel: Full size spare
- Tow Capacity: 1600kg braked/800kg unbraked
- Turning Circle: 11m
- Warranty: 3-year/100,000km
- Weight: 1852kg
- Wheels: 19-inch alloys with 245/35R19 tyres