THE most powerful Ford Falcons to ever roll off the carmaker’s Australian production line have been revealed, with the limited-edition Sprint series to feature a 325kW turbo six-cylinder and a 345kW supercharged V8.
However, while enthusiasts will cheer the limited-edition models that will help to carry the Falcon name to its October end, the sharper looking package of the two, the XR6 Sprint, will only sell with a six-speed automatic gearbox. An optional six-speed manual is reserved exclusively for XR8 Sprint versions.
A Ford spokesman said the decision to limit the XR6 Sprint to the automatic transmission was because most buyers of the Falcon’s turbo models opted for the self-shifter.
On sale in May, Ford says it will build only 500 of the $54,990 XR6 Sprints, and 750 of the $59,990 XR8-badged cars (the auto option adds $2200 to the price).
While the huffed 5.0-litre V8 produces peak power at 5750rpm, and maximum 575Nm from a low 2750rpm, on paper the XR6 Sprint’s 4.0-litre in-line six peaks an extra 250rpm higher at 6000rpm, but spreads its 576Nm – 1Nm higher than the bent eight – over a much more tractable rev range, 2220–6250rpm.
An overboost function will temporarily lift the XR6 Sprint’s to 370kW and 650 Nm, while the XR8 Sprint will serve up to 400kW and 650Nm.
“We’re excited to be able to offer our Falcon enthusiasts a car that truly represents the performance DNA of Ford,” Ford Australia chief executive Graeme Whickman said.
“The Falcon chassis is recognised for its refined ride and fantastic balance but our dedicated product development engineers have taken the opportunity to further hone the Falcon’s dynamic package – ride, body control and performance of the six-cylinder turbo and V8.
“We think customers will really appreciate the amount of dedication and work that’s gone into this limited-edition series.”
Ford has managed to squeeze an extra 15kW and 16Nm out of the Geelong-built turbo six by sourcing the turbocharger and injectors from the the now-retired Ford Performance Vehicles version of the Falcon, as well as adding a larger intercooler.
As well, the XR6 Sprint’s transmission calibration is unique to the vehicle, which also features a new lower airbox, bespoke engine calibration and new larger air intake system.
The V8, meanwhile, draws on its retired go-fast arm for the V8, but steps up performance from the FPV-badged car’s 335kW and 570Nm. The V8s will use the FPV GT-F calibration for the auto transmission.
As well as underbonnet tweaks, the Sprint models also gain subtle styling changes to help them stand apart on the road. That includes a black roof on XR8 versions, a gold-coloured Brembo six-pot calipers down the front and four-pot versions down the rear, and a boot lid spoiler.
Each version of the Sprint will include a build number mounted on the engine.
Ford is expected to release more performance details ahead of the Sprint series’ official reveal next week.
Who do you think deserves to win the 2017 COTY title? Cast your vote for a chance to win $1,000.
Sign up here to receive the latest round-up of Wheels news, reviews and video highlights straight to your inbox each week.