The Gympie-based independent importer was recently approved as Australia’s newest full-volume manufacturer, which means there is no theoretical limit to the number of vehicles it can convert to right-hand drive and sell. Performax International will be able to sell as many as demand warrants, unlike some low-volume importers of Ford trucks from the US.
Performax International told CarAdvice the full F-250 range will be available, with production to begin on right-hand-drive F-250 XL, XLT, Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum models, meaning buyers wanting the best of the best will have access to top-end versions that come stacked with standard equipment.
Converted F-250s will be sold by Performax International directly, and through their range of dealers around Australia.
Performance-wise, the F-250 will be a real working powerhouse, with every model powered by a 6.7-litre common-rail diesel V8. The engine churns out 328kW of power and a stonking 1166Nm of torque. The V8 oiler is backed by a six-speed auto and switchable-on-the-move 4WD.
The 4WD system is said to provide real-world, off-road ability, but it’s the towing capability that is truly unmatched. Each F-250 will be capable of towing up to 5.0 tonnes, a figure unmatched by any popular dual cab ute currently on sale in Australia (the currently benchmark is 3.5 tonnes for smaller vehicles like the Ford Ranger: see how those utes stack up in our ute comparison test).
High spec models are fitted with all the creature comforts and cabins you’d expect from passenger-focused sedans.The most recent F-250 offered in any number in Australia (by Ford directly) featured spartan trim, rubber floor mats and an ageing turbo diesel engine out of Mexico. This new 13th generation of the legendary F-250 range will be a significant step up in terms of inclusions. All models arrive in Australia with the heavy duty tow pack as standard equipment. All F-250s also get the Ford Sync entertainment system.
The range kicks off with the XL model, which in standard trim wears 17-inch steel wheels, has minimal chrome embellishments and will be the price leader. The XL gets cloth or vinyl trim and manually adjustable wing mirrors.
Step up to the XLT and you get 18-inch alloy wheels, a reverse-view camera with rear parking sensors, power operated side mirrors and higher grade seat trim.
Lariat models get 18-inch polished alloy wheels, a premium audio system, an 8.0-inch central colour display with a driver configurable message centre between the gauges, dual-zone climate control, powered side mirrors with auto dimming, body coloured exterior trim elements and chrome details, and leather seats and steering wheel trim. The Lariat (and all models above) also gain satellite navigation.
The top two spec levels are called King Ranch and Platinum.
King Ranch is fitted with plush leather trim complete with King Ranch logos embossing, heated and cooled front seats, and 20-inch chromed alloy wheels. A 10-way power adjustable driver's power seat is also standard along with memory feature. The side mirrors are heated for King Ranch models, and there are lower, manually adjustable spotter mirrors as well.
The top of the tree Platinum model gets even more luxurious leather trim, 20-inch chromed alloy wheels with black painted detailing, unique woodgrain interior trim, and more attractive exterior detailing. There are myriad different ways to customise each model too, so buyers can specify their F-250 before the conversion even begins.
At this point in time, only F-250 models are available with a dual-cab body and in pick-up body style. Performax has confirmed plans to add F-350 and F-450 models next year, with cab-chassis bodies also expected.
Performax International has been converting US vehicles to suit local requirements for 25 years, working on vehicles ranging from pick-up trucks to sports cars and everything in between. The company has extensive experience in the engineering and technicalities involved in converting these vehicles to right-hand drive and importantly meeting the requisite ADR standards.
“Old-fashioned conversion methods are no longer acceptable to customers buying these sophisticated new American pick-ups,” Performax International general manager Glen Soper said. “In engineering, electronics and final fit and finish, the Performax difference ensures we build every vehicle to factory-original quality standards.”
The key to Performax taking on a task of this magnitude is its ability to gear up to series-production volume levels. The company states there are no one-off or hand made parts among the more than 100 components required to convert an F250 to right-hand drive. All parts are numbered as per a factory offering and are as easy to replace as the same parts on any other new vehicle on the road if required.
Performax told CarAdvice that all work is completed to ISO 9001 Quality Assurance standards. Performax International is also certified to ISO/TS 16949 (Automotive Quality Management).
Ford F-250 range and pricing (plus on-road costs):
Ford F-250 XL - $105,000
Ford F-250 XLT - $115,000
Ford F-250 Lariat - $127,000
Ford F-250 King Ranch - $134,000
Ford F-250 Platinum - $134,000
Stay tuned for our Ford F-250 review soon.