Ford Australia was keen to ensure its final ever Ford Falcons, the Falcon XR6 Sprint and Falcon XR8 Sprint, were the best they could be by getting feedback from car forums and user comments online.
While car forums and user comment sections (CarAdvice included) can be full of useful information, there is often a lot of commentary to wade through.
CarAdvice spoke with Falcon Sprint program manager, Justin Capicchiano, at this week's Falcon Sprint launch and he said that car forums were a huge source of feedback for his team (you can read our review at the links below).
"All the time [reading car forums]. The guys that post on there, sometimes they're quite critical of us — that's fine, because they've invested the money into the product, so they've got a voice. It would be remiss of us to not be responsive to that.
"We drive the cars as well, so we know where the limitations of the cars are. We also try and stay active in social media — going in the forums and reading through everything.
"You have to wade through a lot to get to the point, but quite often the emotion around a lot of forum posts gives you insight into where the most passionate guys are. They're not complaining that the cars are not fast enough — harnessing that power was the issue for them."
The feedback from car forums led Ford to invest in technology such as new tyres, the Pirelli P-Zero, and new suspension to get the most out of the Falcon Sprint range. Ford even developed a 'world first' for Ford Motor Company by implementing carbon fibre technology to manage airflow.
"We knew that tyre technology and suspension technology had moved on since the F6 came out in 2007 and now we're in 2015/2016, there's a lot that can be done in that period of time on tyre technology and suspension technology.
"We knew that if we tapped into the resources we had globally, we could try and leverage and do a lot more.
The end result for Ford was a product that the company could be proud of. 15 engineers worked full time on the Sprint project for almost two years and it's a car that the Mr Capicchiano describes as being "built by enthusiasts for enthusiasts."
We also had some laughs during the Falcon Sprint launch reading some of your user comments on the CarAdvice Facebook and Twitter pages back to Ford's core engineering team. So the next time you make a comment on your favourite car forum, or even at CarAdvice, rest assured that it's being read by many people...even the people that engineered the car.