The Ford Falcon XR8 performance flagship will return to the Australian line-up next year at the same time as Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) will draw to a close, the local car maker has announced.
Ford Australia vice president of marketing, sales and service Graeme Whickman said the local manufacturer has received a lot of interest and continued requests from Falcon fans to bring back the XR8 performance model.
“Re-introducing the XR8 sedan, packaged in our updated Falcon, will make our renowned locally engineered and manufactured V8 engine available to a broader group of people,” Whickman said.
Accompanying the news of the XR8's return was confirmation that FPV will wind up operations at the same time, spelling the end of the GT nameplate.
With further details to be announced at a later date, Ford says it has "planned a series of actions during 2014 to ensure the final FPV models celebrate the brand’s iconic status."
“We appreciate all of the great team members, dealers, customers and fans who have supported FPV through its history," Whickman said.
"We look forward to sharing further details of the final FPV models and the new XR8 over the coming months.”
The last Ford Falcon XR8 was sold in June 2010, powered by a 290kW/520Nm naturally aspirated V8. As for the next iteration – teased in August – it will be Ford's last last ever, with the Australian manufacturer announcing in May that it will end local production in October 2016. Surely planned to go out with a bang, and given the car maker took full control of FPV from UK-based partner Prodrive in August 2012, the final XR8 Falcon could well borrow an engine from its supercharged V8 cousins, the tamest being a 315kW/545Nm 5.0-litre unit.
Regardless of what goes under its bonnet, the XR8's successor as Ford Australia's hero car is already waiting in the wings, with the next-generation Ford Mustang confirmed for Australia from 2015.
Last month, Ford Australia announced it would continue to back the Ford Performance Racing (FPR) V8 Supercars team for the 2014 season, just one day before its drivers Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards took out this year's Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama.