Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo

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Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo
XR6T
ManufacturerFord Australia
Parent companyFord Motor Company
Production2002–present
ClassFull-size
Body style(s)4-door sedan, ute
LayoutFR layout
Engine(s)BA
  • 4.0 L 240 kW (322 hp)
BF
  • 4.0 L 245 kW (329 hp)
Transmission(s)BABA MkIIBF
ManualsService Manual

The XR6 Turbo is a sports sedan variant of the Ford Falcon, produced by Ford Motor Company of Australia.

The XR6 Turbo was initially released in the BA series Falcon in 2002. In October 2004, an updated version of the BA (dubbed the Mk II) was released which brought a 6-speed T56 manual transmission to the XR6 Turbo, however, the automatic remained the BTR 4-speed. In September 2005, Ford released the BF series which brought small cosmetic features, a new 6-speed ZF automatic gearbox featured in various BMWs and Jaguars, plus an extra 5 kW (7 hp) of power.

A 6-speed manual BF Mark II XR6 Turbo sedan has a suggested retail price (RRP) of A$43,990 and the 6-speed automatic has a RRP of $45,490.

General

The XR6 Turbo is based on the popular XR6 model - with minor extras and the major inclusion of a Garrett GT3540 turbocharger and front mount intercooler. The turbocharger, as well as other internal modifications bring the engine's power to 245 kW (flywheel kilowatts) (328 hp) @ 5250 rpm over the standard 190 kW (255 hp) offered in the XR6. The BF XR6 Turbo's maximum torque production is 480 N·m (354 ft·lbf) @ 2000 - 4250 rpm.

The XR6 Turbo is fast becoming one of the most popular family size performance vehicles in Australia and some have speculated it will be the next Aussie cult car in the same light as the now defunct Holden Commodore VL Turbo. Unfortunately due to the competitive nature of the new-car market and the new BF series, resale values of earlier BA examples are now more affordable as approximately $26,000 buys a 3 years old manual sedan model.

The car is available with a host of factory options; some popular ones include entertainment system, navigational system, premium audio, sunroof, leather seats and extra safety installations. A Prestige Pack was released as an option in 2004. The pack comprised of several of these options bringing the standard XR6 Turbo up to the specification of luxury models such as the Fairmont Ghia, without compromising the sporty feel.

History

After the ill-fated Ford Falcon AU series, which many speculators thought would spell the end for local Ford content in Australia, the BA range was developed on a shoestring budget. The XR6 Turbo only received a fraction of that R&D budget as Ford Australia struggled to repay its debts to the Ford Family in the US. Perhaps this was why the turbo option was pursued by Ford. The cost effectiveness of simply bolting on an existing Garrett turbo charger onto a tried and true engine, required minimal research and development. Suddenly Ford had a weapon against their main rival Holden.

However tight the budget, the XR6 Turbo was initially well received. Motor Magazine even said that with few aftermarket modifications, the Ford could be tweaked to 440 kW (590 hp), making it quicker than a Nissan Skyline GTR. Australian tuning garages now had a domestic, forced induction engine to tweak. A welcome alternative to imported Toyotas and Nissans with far smaller engine capacities than the Falcon's 4.0 litre.

Notable Australian performance companies including CAPA, Nizpro and APS continue to develop aftermarket performance kits for the XR6 Turbo assuring its popularity.

XR6 Turbo about to cross the finish line at Mt. Panorama.

Export markets

Ford offer the XR6 Turbo, and the entire Falcon range, primarily to New Zealand and South Africa (until 2003). Unfortunately for Ford, the BA platform cannot be ported to left hand drive. Otherwise it may provide formidable competition to the Holden Commodore/Chevrolet Lumina platform sold extensively throughout the world.

As of October 2007 Ford Australia has abandoned plans to produce the 2008 Falcon in a left hand drive variant for export markets [1].

Models

The XR6 Turbo platform has also been used to create the XR6 Turbo utility (or ute) and the Turbo Territory Ghia SUV. It was also used as a base for the Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) Typhoon.