You know I am sure you are wondering how the heck this car made it to this list, I mean all the other cars come from Japan and you might have picked up by now that I am not Ford or Holden’s biggest fan when it comes to performance cars. Nonetheless, I honestly couldn’t let this car drop out of the top 5 sports cars in Australia. This is a car made in Australia that caused such a stir when it first came out, when the clutch failure put it out of contention, and when it came back. This is the best thing to have ever come out of Ford’s performance division (Ford Performance Vehicles – FPV). It is, the Ford Typhoon.
I want to meet the people who decided that ford needed a Turbo version of the Ford Falcon XR6, I really do, because they are the people who brought Ford’s performance cars back into the spotlight. Currently destroying the Holden S/SS/SV6/SV8 and any other names Holden have given their ageing Commodores. Ford’s XR6-Turbo has been a car for those who have been enlightened by the fact that a Turbo Charged straight six engine can produce not only more power and torque than a V8 but also better acceleration and fuel efficiency, not to mention that we really need to realize that V8s aren’t as cool as they used to be.
It was Ford’s decision to sell the XR6-Turbo (which is the most successful model of the XR lineup) that led FPV to produce an even better car. There were some rumors flying around when the XR-6 Turbo first came out that Ford was forced to down tune the XR-6’s engine so that the performance figures would be lower than the Ford Falcon XR-8 for marketing purposes. The rumors were never confirmed, nevertheless it was obvious that either the Ford engineers were lazy in getting the most juice out of the XR-6 Turbo or they wanted FPV todo the work or they wanted to sell a few XR-8s and hence they took a little life out of the XR-6 Turbo.
Why do I say it was obvious? The XR-6 Turbo is already a bloody fast car! It produces a massive 245kw of power and an unbelievable 480Nm of torque, and gets to 100km an hour in just 6 seconds. However, with a little tinkering with the Turbo that figure sky rockets to around 260kw of power. So Ford had left this tinkering to FPV and they didn’t disappoint!
The FPV Typhoon’s engine produces 270KW and 550Nm of torque, if you love torque, than you should know that there is nothing in the FPV or HSV lineup that will beat this engine, and at 550Nm of torque, the Typhoon took the honour for the most Torque generated for any car ever built in Australia.
The Typhoon gets from 0-100km hour in an unbelievable 5.3 seconds. It is faster than the Mazda RX-8, the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX, the Subaru Impreza WRX STi and the Nissan 350z. So why is not up the top at number 1? Well, because, its a Falcon. The 4.0L straight 6 engine uses enough fuel as it is already, but with a massive turbo charged attached to it, fuel economy is at 13.5L/100km for city and highway driving. Unfortunately for Typhoon lovers, that 13.5L figure is simply a lie, unless you are going to drive the TurboCharged beast without getting past 3000rpm, fuel usage is going to be around a more realistic 16-17L/100km.
So you get Traction control as standard, and best of all you can even turn it off! What I loved about the Typhoon most was the centre mounted gauges above the AirCon vents that show the car’s turbo boost and oil pressure. It is little things like this that make the Typhoon a true sports car. Th close ratio six-speed Tremec manual transmission which has seen use in many high performance cars (HSV included) is also a great match to the car and comes with features such as an electronic lockout for reverse gear. The clutch feels light and as I mentioned already, it had caused the Typhoon a great deal of Drama when Wheels magazine fried two clutches in one day of testing.
You get massive Blue caliper performance 325/303mm brakes as standard, but if you’re feeling a little rich on the day you can opt out for the red caliper 355/330mm Brembos for a bit more. Other standard equipment includes FPV badged sports seats, dual climate airconditioning and a reasonable sound system. The rather oversized Momo steering wheel is not suited for everyone, as it is massive! Compared to the steering wheel found in a WRX the Typhoon’s fits the overall shape of the car since it matches the big and beefy feel you get when you sit inside.
The Typhoon is going to be one of those cars that will be looked back on in 20 years time as being not only ahead of its time but overcoming prejudice towards big turbos and setting a precedence for the future of Australian performance motoring. If I had to buy an Australian made car, this would be it.
Standard Features of the FPV Typhoon include: