Ford Australia has today announced a number of significant fuel economy and CO2 emissions improvements across its FG Falcon and SY Territory series vehicle range.
Revisions to the safety of Australia's only dedicated LPG vehicle, the E-Gas Falcon, have also improved with the vehicle now scoring a five-star ANCAP rating.
From April 2009 production, a Falcon XT sedan - when fitted with the optional ZF six-speed automatic transmission - will have a fuel consumption rating of just 9.9 litres per 100km.
Accompanying the reduction in fuel economy is a reduction in CO2 tailpipe emissions – down to 236 g/km.
Key contributors to the improved fuel efficiency on I6 petrol (4.0-litre six cylinder) Falcon sedan models include a new, latest generation catalytic converter, a new engine calibration for improved cold start performance and a further optimised transmission calibration.
"Over the past five years, our engineering team has developed fuel efficiency improvements of almost 14 per cent on this powertrain, helping to reduce a key operating cost for our customers, while also reducing the vehicle's impact on the environment by way of CO2 emissions," Mr Burela said. "However, these fuel efficiency improvements have not come at the expense of performance – in fact both power and torque have also steadily improved over the same time frame, delivering on a key customer want of more performance and better fuel economy.
"Since the new Falcon was introduced last year, we have continued our process of ongoing engineering development and refinement of the award-winning FG Falcon range. This development has delivered genuine fuel economy improvements on volume-selling six-cylinder sedans fitted with the six-speed automatic transmission.
"The Falcon XT with a six-speed auto now equals the fuel efficiency of the top selling medium-size four cylinder auto model currently sold in Australia. Customers can now choose a true family size vehicle that delivers fuel efficiency equal with a four cylinder model, while also providing all the traditional benefits of a large car package, such as performance, refinement, interior space, passenger comfort, five-star safety, luggage capacity and towing capability."
These improvements have been engineered without any degradation in the vehicle's performance.
E-Gas powered FG Falcon sedans and utes plus BF MkIII wagon models have also managed an upshift in safety thanks to the introduction of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC - also known as ESP) across the range.
A unique DSC calibration has been developed for E-Gas vehicles, combining brake intervention, throttle control and spark retard, to improve active safety levels on E-Gas vehicles.
The introduction of DSC on E-Gas-powered models now means the entire FG Falcon sedan range will be equipped with the latest in chassis control systems, ensuring every model in the range comes with a five-star safety rating from ANCAP.
Ford also announced that it intends to increase the availability of its E-Gas technology to include the Falcon XR6 sedan from the third quarter of this year.
"The dedicated LPG E-Gas engine will be available as an option on the Falcon XR6 sedan, which will give customers greater choice by combining the lower fuel costs of LPG-powered vehicles with the distinctive visual appeal of the Falcon XR brand," Mr Burela said.
The Falcon XR6 sedan with E-Gas will include DSC as standard equipment, as per all other E-Gas sedan models in the FG Falcon range from May 2009 production onwards.
Fuel economy improvements have also been achieved on Ford's SY Territory with the introduction of the new look SY Territory MkII range, which will begin production during April.
Thanks to revisions including a new, latest generation catalytic converter, a revised powertrain calibration, improved aerodynamic performance from the new front end design and reduced kerb weights, significant reductions in fuel consumption have been achieved, particularly on five-seat RWD models.
A reduction of almost five per cent, or 0.6 litres per 100km, has been achieved on Territory TX and TS RWD models (five-seater), while the rest of the RWD range, including all seven-seat variants, have improved by 1.6 per cent or 0.2 litres per 100km.
The Territory also gains additional equipment and features across the range with TX models gaining side airbags, cruise control, body colour cladd pack and 17-inch alloy wheels as standard.
Territory TS will now include body colour cladd pack, reverse parking camera, front fog lamps, leather-wrapped steering wheel, handbrake and gearshift, and a third row seat as standard.
Ghia models also gain a third row seat as standard equipment, along with an Alpine rear DVD system, side steps, rear privacy glass and 18-inch alloy wheels, while the Ghia Turbo picks up the same list of additions and a new alloy wheel design.