The new Falcon? Mostly irrelevant…

Posted on February 18th, 2008 in Driving Emotion,Ford,Opinion by Julian Edgar

FPV’s new GTYesterday Ford took the wraps off the new FG Falcon.

New Australian developed and built cars come along only very rarely; Ford took the unusual step of releasing the car on a Sunday so that it could gain precious free airtime on the Sunday night TV news and in the Monday papers.

Away from my home base, I watched the Sunday night Channel Nine TV news in Adelaide with interest. How breathlessly and non-critically would they report the release of the new car?

The report was relatively short but it was what followed that had me gobsmacked.

fg-falcon.jpgImmediately after the report on the Falcon finished, the Nine news moved straight to a segment on the booming sales of the hybrid Toyota Prius, and the way in which some individuals are now converting their cars to battery electric power. The station interviewed several Sydney electric car enthusiasts and presented a glowing report on the cars. Phrases like ‘fuel economy’, ‘greenhouse gas emissions’ ‘oil consumption’ and ‘cost to run’ sprinkled the report.

The juxtaposition couldn’t have been a bigger slap in the face for Ford: even the dimmest viewer could not have missed the implicit comparison.

Today, on the Monday after the Falcon’s release, my emailed update doesn’t have a single mention of the new Falcon.

Imagine how different the news reports would have been if Ford had released a car with breakthrough fuel economy and lower greenhouse gas emissions. A turbo diesel engine, or a downsized six cylinder turbocharged to gain efficiency.

Instead we have launch control – and even more power, torque and weight. Oh yes, and a fuel consumption improvement that is nominal to say the least.

It’s very hard to believe that the Falcon will not go the way of the Mitsubishi 380 – and for much the same reasons. High quality engineering directed in completely the wrong direction, aiming at a target that started to move a decade ago and has now gone…

(See also this blog)

A bargain to be had…

Posted on November 27th, 2007 in Driving Emotion,Ford,Intercooling,Turbocharging by Julian Edgar

xr6-intercooler.jpgRight now – and probably for the next few years – there’s a helluva bargain to be had.

I’ve bought one to put on the shelf and I highly recommend that anyone else into useable road performance does so too. And what should you buy? At least one of all those BA and BF Ford Falcon XR6 intercoolers that are being flogged-off on Australian eBay, commonly priced from about fifty bucks.

Yes, from fifty bucks.

Now maybe the people who want far in excess of the Falcon’s standard 240kW have an urgent need to replace these Garret-cored, bar-and-plate intercoolers with something far better, but for people who are happy to drive a car with performance not limited by wheelspin, these intercoolers look perfect. Being an all-welded design, they’d also be dead-easy to jacket with aluminium sheet, making them water/air intercooler cores. At a core size of 370 x 175 x 60mm, they’re relatively compact but have well-shaped alloy end tanks. For people wondering overall size, they’re 620 x 270 X 60 cm to the extremities. Inlet/outlet tube size is 58mm (hose ID).

Even if you consider the time and labour to fold up new end tanks from sheet aluminium and pay someone to TIG them to the original core, you’re still talking an excellent intercooler for the price.

The one I bought came with all its hoses and clamps – also very useful when you’re plumbing any intercooler into place.

Without having done any flow or temperature testing, but looking at the core and assessing the original application, I’d be happy running at least 200kW through them – more, eg 250kW – with a good water spray.