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FORD NEWS                                     

Ford promises 'best Falcon ever'

The 2002 model is set for a major overhaul with a series of new engines, including a turbocharged six, to help Ford ignite a power war.

The long-awaited replacement for the controversial AU Falcon promises to be the most exciting and powerful Falcon ever.
Behind the fresh new face is a range of high performance engines, including turbocharged six-cylinder power for the sporty XR6 sedan.
The next Falcon range - codenamed AV - is due in Ford showrooms in September next year and each model is expected to have substantially more power than its respective Holden competitor.
Ford will finally kill off its ageing Windsor V8 and replace it with a state-of-the-art 5.4-litre modular-designed V8, with three valves per cylinder for the base car and four valves per cylinder for Tickford-modified cars.
The new V8 will be sold in three variants: a basic level to suit the everyday Falcon, a middle-of-the-road model for the XR8 sports sedan and a 300-plus kW version to take on Holden Special Vehicles' finest.
Ford also plans to increase the appeal of its XR6 range, and is on track to release a turbocharged version of the 4.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine.
The Falcon turbo is designed to provide V8-like performance. According to a Ford insider, it is expected to produce "at least 220kW" for the upper model XR6.
For regular Falcons, the tried-and-true 4.0-litre six is being "significantly revised" and will bring with it twin overhead camshafts. The twin-camshaft set-up was first designed during the EA Falcon development of the late 1980s but was deemed too expensive to produce at the time.

The AV Falcon will bring with it a new front and rear, on a similar styling theme, while maintaining the roof profile and doors of the existing car. The bonnet will be bulged slightly to allow for the new V8 engine, and styling cues will be taken from the R5 concept ute, which had twin-beam headlights.

The AV also gets a new interior with a more upmarket appearance and a hint of the European styling adopted by the new Mondeo, which isn't sold here. You can count on more equipment across the range.
Suspension is to be improved for better ride and more stable handling, with a lightened version of the existing independent rear-end likely to become standard on Falcons.
Meanwhile, Ford is due to take the wraps off a new T-Series - the luxury/sports range that never really took off and struggled against the more established HSV at the Sydney motor show in October. It is expected to go on sale soon after.
The updated T-Series will get a more powerful version of the Windsor V8, with capacity stretched to 5.7 litres and more grunt than the rival 255kW HSV V8. Expect power in the order of 260kW.
The new T-Series also brings a new spoiler kit for a more aggressive appearance, and Ford will offer the option of bigger, more powerful cross-drilled brakes.

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