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Old 12-10-2003, 19:47   #1 (permalink)
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eek Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Just found this preview drive on the autoexpress magazine website. They took a phantom XR6T with 18" and were a big fan of the car and its speed and had very few criticisms..........

<B>Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo</b>

We've found an Australian with a kick that's nearly as good as England rugby hero Jonny Wilkinson's! It's the bargain Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo, which is likely to put a smile back on faces Down Under. In its home market, this car costs $43,995 - that's about £14,500.

Ford brought the model driven here over to this country to prove that it's not only arch-rival Vauxhall which can make Aussie muscle cars. Even if you include our test vehicle's leather trim, automatic gearbox and electric seats, you'd still have change from £20,000.

With a turbocharged straight-six engine belting out 323bhp, the Falcon has plenty of muscle to flex, too - and it doesn't do so subtly. Our car was finished in pearlescent metallic purple, while its flared wheelarches, 18-inch alloy wheels and rear spoiler do little to hide the performance potential.

The XR6 tag also hints at the new-comer's sporting prowess by recalling Fiesta XR2s, Escort XR3s and Sierra XR4s of old. In Australia, the Falcon is the equivalent of a Mondeo in the UK. However, it's nearly a foot longer than a Vauxhall Omega - and difficult not to notice in this colour scheme.

Fire up the engine and you're in no doubt that there's a serious piece of iron throbbing away under the bonnet. Even at idle, the unit sounds incredible. When you engage sports mode on the gearbox and floor the throttle, it's like poking a sleeping lion with a stick. At first, the car grumbles, then, as the turbocharger kicks in, it becomes fierce, growls angrily and leaps forward with the kind of eagerness that will leave lesser sports saloons cowering in fear.

Although not the most agile or dynamic of cars, the Ford has a thrilling rawness that Europe's manufacturers are often all too keen to engineer out. It may be wild, but the Falcon isn't hard to tame. The excellent steering has a direct feel, while the rear-drive chassis is twitchy without being unnerving.

Don't expect refinement, though. The archaic four-speed automatic gearbox takes an age to swap between ratios, even when used in manual mode, and has a tendency to clunk when reverse is engaged. Ride quality is firm and, at speed, there's lots of noise in the cab-in - although as most of it is from the sports exhaust, enthusiastic drivers are unlikely to complain. The Falcon lacks the build strength of European Fords, so while the dashboard is attractive and well finished, some plastics on the door trims and switches are poor.

Nevertheless, the XR6 Turbo is an exciting car. What's more, it's built for right-hand-drive markets, so is easy to live with in the UK. While Ford says there are no plans for official Falcon sales here, it should be simple enough to get one, either by bringing it to Britain yourself or using a private importer. The newcomer might not be an out-right winner, but for once the Aussies have scored a pretty good try!

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/preview...y.php?id=42529
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Old 12-10-2003, 21:15   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Hmmm . . . they make some odd calls tho . . .
I'm assuming that HSV's import under vauxhall, otherwise wtf are they on about vauxhall and "aussie muscle cars" ? ?
I'm also a little surprised about the auto box comments - while not a 5 or 6 speeder as in a merc or bmw, imo its a fairly good unit, with quick changes (the auto turbo I have driven went through gears pretty well) . . .
uurgh . . . "The XR6 tag also hints at the new-comer's sporting prowess by recalling Fiesta XR2s" I'm sorry, but Falcon and fiesta should not be in the same sentence . . .
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Old 12-11-2003, 01:45   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by XR8 Lamah
Hmmm . . . they make some odd calls tho . . .
I'm assuming that HSV's import under vauxhall, otherwise wtf are they on about vauxhall and "aussie muscle cars" ? ?
nope... vauxhall will be importing/rebadging the monaro for sale in the UK early next year as a vauxhall monaro. British T.v show Top Gear just did a test on the monaro (It was a HSV GTO) and they loved it. video is here
www.jabbasworld.net/video%20...en%20Monaro.zip
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Old 12-11-2003, 04:04   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Quote:
The newcomer might not be an out-right winner, but for once the Aussies have scored a pretty good try!
Lol reminds me of a joke I read recently:

A guy walks into a bar with a dachshund under his arm. The dog is wearing a England rugby jersey and is festooned with England pom-poms.

The bartender says, "Hey! No pets are allowed! You'll have to leave."

The guy begs him, "Look, I'm desperate! We're both big fans, the TV's broken at home, and this is the only place around where we can see the game."

After securing a promise that the dog will behave, and warning him that he and the dog will be thrown out if there's any trouble, the bartender relents and allows them to stay in the bar and watch the game. The big game begins with the poms receiving the kickoff. They march down field, get stopped at the 22, and kick a penalty goal.

Suddenly, the dog jumps up on the bar and begins walking up and down the bar giving high-fives to everyone. The bartender says, "Wow, that is the most amazing thing I've seen! What does the dog do if they score a try?" The owner replies, "I don't know, I've only had him for five years."

"For once" my arse...
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Old 12-11-2003, 15:17   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

"Ford brought the model driven here over to this country to prove that it's not only arch-rival Vauxhall which can make Aussie muscle cars."

"While Ford says there are no plans for official Falcon sales here, it should be simple enough to get one, either by bringing it to Britain yourself or using a private importer."

So Ford UK showed that they too have muscle cars, but they aren't for sale.. Well that kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it. Anyone wants to start up a Falcon exporting business?
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Old 12-11-2003, 15:26   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Good review, good to see they like Phantom and the look of the BA.

Not too sure about the auto box comment, I know it is a little slow in the sequential mode, but I wouldn't describe it as archaic.
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Old 12-11-2003, 20:18   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Yes, I'm afraid the world of Corporate Ford HQ must be chock full of morons with their heads stuck far up their backsides.

With the exchange rates, the performance Falcon models with be a perfect niche import into the UK, yet it seems NO ONE at Ford HQ has any interest in seeing the Falcon be successful anywhere but Australia.

Why is this? Are we still being punished for inflicting the Mercury Capri on them?
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Old 12-11-2003, 21:02   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

JR I think the reason as to why they aren't being imported is due to the fact that they are selling so well here in Aus that the supply wouldn't be able to get to EU
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Old 12-11-2003, 21:44   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

The auto box is pretty old but its not like its a btr85le or something lol, anyway it's nothing that a shift kit cant fix.
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Old 12-11-2003, 23:03   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Autoexpress magazine XR6T review!!!!

Hmmm, i tell you one thing, if I ever head over to the UK they better have transmissions that shift so quickly I can't even tell without watching the taco!

Archaic indeed, lucky for them they weren't test driving a bloody VY.
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