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Be a Grand Sport all over again
- 2009 FPV FG Falcon GS; 5.4-litre, V8, petrol; six-speed automatic; sedan - $56,950*
- Metallic Paint $400; XR Leather Upholstery $2100; Satellite Navigation $2290; Premium Brakes $4900; Reverse Sensing System $500; Reverse Camera $500; Alarm $500; FPV Floor Mats $230
Twelve slotters, pin stripes, hood pins and a vinyl roof. Chances are that if you know what I'm talking about then the FPV Falcon GS is bound to appeal to your sense of sentimentality.
The GS (Grand Sport) Rally Pack was first seen in the dying days of the XW Falcon, and according to the press release of the day, was as an "economical, build-it-yourself, everyman's GT".
Designed as an option pack that was available across the Falcon, Futura and Fairmont range, the GS was dubbed "an option with impact", and is considered the forerunner to the 'S' pack models, still common until the XR nomenclature revival of the late 1990s.
The GS nameplate was eventually dropped with the XB series in the mid-1970s.
The GS Rally Pack - the latest option package by Ford - provided the base for an economical build-it-yourself "everyman's GT".Designed for all new Faclon, the Futura or the Fairmont, the GS - Grand Sport - Rally Pack is an instant conversion of the family car into a sports sedan.The option pack consists of side rally stripes with a GS emblem; fully chromes rally wheel covers; a padded three-spoke wood-rimmed sports steering wheel with full circle rim-squeeze horn and the full cockpit-type instrumentation which is standard equipment on the Falcon GT.Ford believes the GS Rally Pack and complimentary options will make a very popular combination, selling into the youth and performance minded market.
Ford News Release, Friday, June 20, 1969.
The newly released FPV GS sedan and ute models (limited in number to 250 and 75 respectively) aim to recapture fondly the enthusiasm of that era by blending the combination of GT-based 302kW V8 engine, FPV chassis enhancements, bespoke GS graphics and FPV driver comfort features at a very competitive price point set to draw new comers and collectors alike to this limited-edition range.
Of course with progress being what it is, the modern day GS offers much more in the way of creature comforts with a generous level of standard equipment that includes dusk sensing headlamps, front foglamps, 'premium sound' six CD tuner with iPod connectivity and steering wheel mounted audio controls, power mirrors and windows, cruise control, tilt/slide leather wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone climate control and Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity.
Optional equipment includes FPV-spec four-piston Brembo brake upgrade, leather upholstery and satellite-navigation.
The FPV GS Series also features 19-inch Graphite rims and a choice of six exterior colour/stripe combinations, unique GS striping graphics, charcoal cloth interior, FPV GT instrumentation, gear knob, starter button and badging. There’s also ‘302? graphics on the GS sedan’s rear spoiler.
At the heart of the beast FPV’s engineers have given the GS Series' 5-4-litre 'Boss' V8 engine the same twin throttle bodies and intake system found on the GT.
A recalibrated ECU, GT headers and dual exhaust sees the new GS Series develop 302kW of power and 551Nm of torque, or enough to conquer standstill to 100km/h in 6.5 seconds.
Our test car this week was mated to Ford's sterling ZF six-speed automatic transmission which has been recalibrated specifically for the GS. The box is decisive, and very accurate making for a rewarding drive to the rear wheels both in touring or through inner-city traffic.
For the more traditional among us, a six-speed manual gearbox is also available.
Fuel economy returns this week were 15.2L/100km combined, just one-litre more than that of the official ADR result. It's not a bad result given the amount of performance on tap, but its worth remembering the Boss V8 does require 98RON premium unleaded.
The GS Series offers a drive not dissimilar to that of the flagship GT, and although the power rating might be down some 13kW (torque figures remain unchanged), it's not so dramatic that you'd notice, and given the $12,000 price difference, unlikely to phase none beside the purist.
Steering is just as well sorted as any car in the current FPV range with a well-weighted wheel providing the driver with accurate and tactile road feel.
Underfoot the GS Series is sure and settled delivering a ride and handling combination that is easily on par with many more expensive European rivals - and given it is tuned specifically for Australian roads you might say this is an even greater compliment.
Braking is super confident thanks to strong Brembo calipers grabbing large diametre cross-drilled discs and is fitted as standard with the added security of ABS, EBA and EBD.
Other standard safety equipment includes front, side and curtain airbags plus ESC with Traction Control.
With a generously proportioned cabin the GS Series offers ample accommodation for five adults though I would hesitate to utilise the rear-centre seat given the omission of a headrest. Similarly the outboard seats' headrests are not adjustable in height which is a concern for taller passengers in the prevention of whiplash during rear impact.
Up back the GS Series boasts 504-litres of cargo space which can be expanded thanks to 60:40 split fold rear seats. Braked towing capacity is rated at 1200kg.
With the manual model available for only $54,950 - only $5000 more than an automatic XR8 - the FPV GS Series is the best way to get yourself in to not only one of Australia's top performance marques, but also a future classic.
Original examples of Ford's GS are now only second in terms of collectibility to that of the legendary GT, so you can be sure an investment here is worth the coin.
And even if I'm wrong, it's a bloody good way to blow 55-grand.
CarAdvice Overall Rating: How does it Drive: How does it Look: How does it Go: