More things that were optional on the AU II are standard on the AU III. Also body coloured mirrors, clear side indicators, different wheels on some models, optional Ford Racing (Rebel) Bodykit on XR8, Series III badge on the boot... and so it goes on.
Actually, on AU3 XR8 the Rebel style kit (called the Ford Racing Kit)is standard. The Tickford style kit as fitted to my AU2 (extra cost option back then) is a no cost option on AU3.
Also, AU2 XR8 was 200kW until vehicles built June 1 2001. After that they were 220kW and can be spotted via body colour mirrors. 220kW was not a free upgrade because you lost 5th alloy wheel, 6 CD changer went to single, and a few other minor items Ford thought no one would notice.
AU3 was best in Forte, Futura and definitely Fairmont Ghia. Others were so minor it wasn't more than a badge.
BA'1.5' Pursuit 290
Lightning Strike / Reflective Orange Stripes 'General' Dog - AP's German Shepherd and Best Mate - 02Dec1998-15Dec2003.
'Pepper' Dog - General's and My Little German Shepherd Sweetie - 1996?-02Apr2006. 'Sako' Dog - My Beautiful and Pretty German Shepherd - 2001?-23Aug2006.
I thought AU3's were released a tad later. I'm under the impression that in June the AUII recieved a minor update kind of an AUIIb model. My car is built July 2001 and it's an AUII, though it has coloured mirrors and probably initially had the side skirt rockers ala Falcon SR.
My indicator lenses are still amber however.
AP is not wrong about loosing items, although i have a spare 17 inch alloy, the biggest lost for the HP was LSD Diff.
Clear indicator lenses are on it's way to upspec the car. :s5
Motor May 2001 Quote: "Believe it or not, there are actually a bunch of weirdos out there who reckon a six cylinder is the dux gutz. Bugger it: I'm one of them" :s5
AUII Late Ed XR6 HP T5 Venom- Full Tickford Body Kit, 17in Wheels, Herrod Bi-plane Spoiler, Momo Steer/Gear, T-Series Interior Options, Premium Stereo and a very light-tuned 4.0L I6
(FPV-Tickford Club of NSW Member and Co-Founding Member of 3FB Inc, Ford Forums Food Bandits)
One other 'minor' improvement - the windscreen is different in the area front of centre rear vision mirror - a 'dot matrix' affect similar to what is seen around edges of screens. This really improves sun strike when driving west at dusk, when sun is shining between both sun visors and around mirror - really only a 15 minute event in the afternoon.
I think Momo wheel became available in grey coloured highlight. AUIII XR8 only standard with normal body kit in NZ until last month, as Rebel kit was sold as part of an overall package 'limited to only 22 vehicles in NZ'. Now I believe there is a choice of kit.
Oh yes, and the clear indicators were redesigned so water got trapped inside of them. And front ball joints changed so they knocked continuously at low speed on a flat road. (neither mod has a fix?)
Ball joints have a fix. Grease in them originally heated up an dried out, leaving them ball joints to rub and knock. They either re-grease them with new stuff, or replace them if they've been worn. Go ask your dealer.
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