First published in the August 2011 issue of Wheels magazine, Australia's best car mag since 1953.
Sinister FPV show special ups grunt and grip - only 125 of these FPV black beauties were built.
The future of FPV’s GT flagship has been revealed with the unveiling of the dramatic, all-black Concept at the Melbourne motor show. FPV hopes its dark star has the gravitational pull to attract customer feedback and shape new-model development.
To that end, upgrades to the car’s suspension and wheel/tyre package are designed to address criticisms levelled at the current GT and GT-P.
When FPV bolted the supercharged ‘Coyote’ V8 into its flagship models last year, suspension tune was left untouched. And Wheels hasn’t been alone in criticising their front-end floatiness and insufficient rear grip.
To better harness the Coyote’s grunt, the Concept scores new 46mm monotube adjustable dampers, progressive rate springs, fatter rear anti-roll bar, plus stiffer bushes in the front-end upper control arms and key rear suspension links.
It’s unclear whether FPV will introduce these changes to the regular range, reserve them as part of a Walkinshaw Performance-style aftermarket upgrade, or fine-tune the set-up for a GT-H or GT-HO flagship.
Power-wise, the GT-based show car’s 5.0-litre supercharged V8 is fitted with a Prodrive-designed three-inch exhaust to optimise gas flow and liberate an additional 10kW, lifting overall output to a substantial 345kW. Mid-range torque is also improved, although the 575Nm peak is unchanged.
FPV insiders report the exhaust delivers a “classic V8 muscle car note”, at the same time confessing the stainless-steel set-up would push the ADR dB meter beyond the certification zone.
The standard-fit 245/35 rear rubber has proved inadequate in transferring the extra grunt to the road; on the Concept, the rears are wider 265/35 Dunlops, while the fronts remain unchanged. Wheels are single-piece forged alloy 19s (8.0in front/9.5in rear).
The combination of higher output and improved traction is likely to substantially improve on Wheels’ 13.1sec (at 180km/h) 0-400m best for the GT. Expect mid-to-high 12s, and sub-5.0sec 0-100km/h.
Stopping power also has been stepped up, with Brembo calipers (six-piston front, four-piston rear) matched to larger ventilated rotors all round (two-piece 360mmx36mm front, one-piece 340x26mm rear).
Exterior changes are dominated by a custom front bar with monster brake ducts in place of the usual foglights. And a matt black graphics package includes unique pinstriping and badgework.
According to FPV chief Rod Barrett, “The Concept has the potential to become a production car”, confirming that feedback gathered following its display will be incorporated in the company’s future model strategy.
And while FPV says there’s currently no plan to change the Boss 335’s engine spec. history shows that won’t be the case for long. It’s worth noting this Concept was revealed on the 40th anniversary of the launch of the legendary XY Falcon GT-HO Phase III.
And given the Coyote engine’s known ability with the easy addition of an intercooler) to accept close to double the current 0.4 bat of boost delivered by the GT’s Eaton TVS blower, there’s definitely potential for a full 375kW/600Nm of go to further enhance this car’s show.
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