Update: Ford Australia has confirmed that the vehicle pictured is not the high-powered Falcon ute fans were dreaming of — nor does it exist. It is in fact just a tow vehicle used exclusively at Ford's Lara proving ground that features a mix of different wheels, interior and body parts.
Original story follows:
Images captured by CarAdvice's spy photographers suggest a high-power Ford Falcon Ute could be in the works before the Blue Oval brand retires the iconic nameplate in 2016.
Fitted with an FPV front end from the defunct Ford Performance Vehicles arm that ceased manufacturing in 2014, the Ute carries a V8-style bonnet bulge, along with blacked out wheels.
Trainspotters will notice missing fog lights and no 'GT' or 'F6' badges on the grille to the right of the Ford badge, which would normally be on display on these models.
The model spotted in these photos is also unique as it features a cab-chassis tray, which was never available on a 'hot' Falcon Ute.
It's highly likely that if Ford is working on a hot Falcon Ute to sign off the nameplate and this is an early prototype, progress on the special edition would be well underway.
Falcon vehicle line director David Wilkinson, who spoke with CarAdvice last year about underestimated demand for the XR8, wouldn’t comment on the possibility of the turbocharged 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder from the now-discontinued FPV F6, or the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 from the FG X XR8, being used to create a special send-off for the XR6 Turbo or indeed the Falcon Ute.
Do you think there is enough demand for Ford to offer one final 'hot' Falcon Ute model before the nameplate disappears in 2016?