Ford comes clean on V8 power

FPV GT-F 351 power figure

IF YOU thought the final GT Falcon – the GT-F 351 – makes 351kW, think again. It actually pumps out 404kW.

Ford has finally come clean and admitted its FPV GT models have been producing far more power than the official ratings since the introduction of the Miami V8 in 2010.

Owners of Ford Performance Vehicles have been reporting dyno readings significantly higher than the 335kW maximum stated power figure of the regular GT vehicles running the supercharged 5.0-litre.

FPV sources indicated a transient overboost function allowed for more power to be produced for short periods, but the peak power figure did not qualify as the official number. This is because the design rules require the engine to achieve its peak power figure at any time.

Now that FPV is producing its final batch of cars – and having made a big thing about the 351kW figure – the company has ’fessed up about how much extra grunt is produced when the overboost function is operating.

It says in that situation the engine will make 15 percent more power. That drives the peak power figure of the GT-F final edition cars to 404kW.

At lower temperatures, the overboost function works without a time limit. That means it produces 404kW all the time.

The only limitation comes on hot days, when the engine control unit limits the overboost function to 15 or 20 seconds to prevent engine damage. The way the ECU is calibrated, the overboost does not work in first gear in order to protect the transmission.

The official recognition of transient overboost function will make no difference to FPV sales, as stocks of regular GT and related models are almost all sold and every single GT-F has been allocated to a dealer.

It does, however, create more excitement around the return of the Ford Falcon XR8 model when the updated Falcon range appears in November.

That car will run what was the FPV GT engine, which is officially rated at 335kW.

However, as Ford now admits, the V8 will pump out 15 percent more power, for a peak figure of 385kW.

This much power in an XR8, which is likely to be priced within range of Holden’s SS Commodore, which costs $41,990 and produces 270kW, could really boost the appeal of the final hot Falcon.

The XR8 will also be the first Ford-badged V8 model since the last XR8 bowed out due to emission rules in 2010.

By then, FPV had removed all the Ford Blue Oval badges from its cars, replacing them with oval FPV badges.

With the release of the GT-F, Ford said its engineers achieved the 351kW power rating without any mechanical changes. Software modifications were made to achieve the iconic number, which matches the size (in cubic inches) of the famed 5.8-litre V8 that powered muscular Fords from the 1960s through to the early 1980s.

The company insists a noticeable change in the GT-F’s power curve can be observed above 4000rpm in every gear other than first.

“We developed a strategy around the calibration that allowed for a performance upgrade without impacting the all-round drivability,” said FPV chief program engineer Peter de Leur.

“In doing so, we were able to make this car special for our FPV GT-F customers.”

Ford Australia will not officially discuss the 0-100km/h figure of the GT-F, but Wheels sources suggest the car will do the sprint in 4.6 seconds, around 0.2sec under the GT R-SPEC, which was previously the fastest car in the line-up.

The GT-F costs $77,900, while the ute-based Pursuit will be $52,990.

The final 500 GT-F models wear a single, wide stripe that runs over the bonnet, roof and boot. They can also be distinguished from other GTs by the gloss black doorhandles, wing mirrors and spoiler, while the section between the headlights and bumper, as well as a strip above the grille, is also blacked out.

The cars also have unique instrument dial faces, seat stitching and a centre console screen that displays ‘GT-F 351’ on start-up.

Ford has also announced 120 Pursuit Utes will be built as part of the final FPV production run. These vehicles will take on many of the visual cues of the 351kW GT-F, but will not run the same engine tune.

Engineers admit the leaf-sprung rear end would be too much of a handful if the ute was fitted with anything more than the 315kW version of the Miami V8 that served in GS models.

As a running change that now applies Falcon as well, the GT-F will pick up new wide windscreen wipers and a roof-mounted radio antenna replacing the in-glass unit.

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