FORD Australia has confirmed that the axe will fall on FPV in 2014, two years before Broadmeadows is scheduled to stop production of the Falcon and Territory. In a statement, marketing boss Graeme Whickman said: “FPV has been very successful for the past 12 years and our relationship with Tickford for many years before that. We appreciate all of the great team members, dealers, customers and fans who have supported FPV through its history. We look forward to sharing further details of the final FPV models and the new XR8 over the coming months.”
Whickman tried to divert attention away from FPV’s inglorious end by announcing that the XR8 will return as part of a Falcon update planned for late 2014. Ford has not offered an XR8 Falcon since the 2008 FG Falcon XR8 with its 290kW naturally aspirated 5.4-litre V8.
"We have received a lot of interest and continued requests from Falcon fans to bring back the XR8," Whickman said, adding that it "will make our locally engineered and manufactured V8 engine available to a broader group of people".
Early information indicates the XR8 will be powered by Ford Australia's supercharged Miami 5.0-litre V8, as seen in 315-335kW forms in the current FPV range. However, Ford wouldn’t confirm how much power the XR8 would boast.
"We can't comment on speculation about engine tune this far out," spokesman Neil McDonald told Wheels. “We’ll be able to share more details closer to launch in late 2014, around the same time as [updated] Falcon and Territory arrivals.”
Suggestions that the reborn XR8 will have more real-world grunt than the Falcon XR6 Turbo are not backed by history as the XR6 Turbo has long been Ford’s local performance king.
McDonald did hint that Ford wouldn’t let FPV go without a fitting farewell, but wouldn’t talk specifics.
"At this stage we can’t say too much about what we’re doing with the FPV line-up. We’ve got a series of actions planned to make sure FPV is celebrated in the right style."