Latest xr8 220 review - Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars
Ford Forum Ford Forum

» Auto Insurance
» Featured Product
» Wheel & Tire Center

Go Back   Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > The Pub
Register Home Forum Active Topics Photo Gallery Auto Loans Garage Mark Forums Read Auto Escrow

The Pub For General Discussion

FordForums.com is the premier Ford Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-29-2001, 21:12   #1 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Aussie Falcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 2,153
Lightbulb Latest xr8 220 review


GREAT-VALUE COUNTERPUNCH

The Australian 30-08-2001


MORE than just another attempt to even up a score with Holden, Ford's new XR8 Falcon sends a message to the General -- and the populace -- that the Blue Oval is back in town. While substantial gains in market share hinge on the AV Falcon due in September 2002, Ford Australia meantime has thrown its weight behind its sports sedans to build momentum.

Price realignments, specification upgrades, special value packs and, of course, last year's AUII upgrade -- which brought improvements in looks, ride and handling, refinement and running costs -- have all helped Ford rekindle interest. But Ford is clearly banking on an XR-led resurgence in the run-up to AV.

Now accounting for 10 per cent of Falcon sedan sales, the XR range at long last has an XR8 that can run doorhandle to doorhandle with Holden's SS Commodore.

To do so, Ford has slotted in the 220kW 5.0-litre V8 from the languishing T- Series, benching the premium Falcons for a couple of months before relaunching (again) with a more serious -- read 250kW -- commitment to straight-line performance. Yep, things are getting interesting again with Ford versus Holden.

For the XR8, it represents a change in fortune. Pricing has held firm at $45, 828 for the five-speed manual -- a four-speed auto adds just $720 -- and the package still looks good alongside the VXII SS Commodore launched this week.

An updated rear suspension and further improvements to the steering via a new tyre construction should help bring the Commodore closer to the XR8 in the handling department, an area where the Ford excels. However, no significant change to the SS package, now starting from $47,370, means the XR8 remains a cheaper and better value proposition.

Just about all the Falcon misses in the equipment stakes is a bona fide trip computer, electric seats and the option of side airbags. Apart from the latter , all can be overlooked.

Despite being an ancient warrior, the Windsor V8 soon proves its worth once it emerges from the Tickford workshop after a labour-intensive operation that strips it down to the block and rebuilds it using new cylinder heads, a larger diameter throttle body, modified intake manifolds and a high-lift camshaft.

The raw numbers are inviting -- 220kW at 5250rpm, a massive 435Nm at 4000rpm and claimed acceleration of 6.6sec from standstill to 100km/h -- 0.6sec quicker than the previous 200kW engine.

But the proof is in the driving.

Maximum torque peaks later than the 200kW engine, making it feel a little blunter than it ought to be at low revs, though rewards from the additional 20kW are soon (and we mean soon) realised as the needle nears the 5750rpm redline.

On past experience, the old cast-iron pushrod V8 should be running out of puff at this point -- and sounding like it's got a lung full of phlegm and tar. But it breathes easy at the top end, showing no sign of easing up and producing a superb note.

At idle, it rocks the car like a gentle mum rather than a ham-fisted dad. And in all gears through to fifth it provides a good response as speeds rise and fall.

There are drawbacks, including a thirst for premium unleaded petrol. Our test drive returned 15.7l/100km.

The XR8 can also be a chore around town, particularly when stop-start traffic demands constant use of the starchy manual gearshift and meaty clutch. Once free of the suburban burdens, cog swapping comes easily and the gear ratios reveal themselves as being well matched to engine output. Combine this with superb rear-drive handling characteristics and it becomes clear Ford has produced a car that should prompt more than a few Holden diehards to defect.

There is no getting over the fact that this is a container ship designed to transport big Aussie families. But the XR8 is amazingly agile, exhibiting excellent balance and control, terrific grip from the 17-inch 45-series tyres , and sharp, lightweight steering.

The double-wishbone rear suspension also does an outstanding job, on dry roads at least, keeping the tail in check. It simply refuses to step out of line.

The trade-off comes with the ride, which is firm -- and harsh when the road becomes really craggy.

The ($3050) premium brake package on our test car meant stopping power was never in doubt, while refinement levels remained high, a legacy, in part, of the laminated firewall introduced with AUII.

Aside from Tickford wings on the speedo arc and optional ($735) Momo steering wheel there's not much inside to flatter the driver, but he/she is well served with steering reach and height adjustment, tiller-mounted cruise control and stereo buttons, high-mounted heater controls, reasonable seat support and plenty of room.

Rear passengers benefit from excellent door handgrips, maplights, a three- point seatbelt, centre armrest with cupholders, rear vents and room. All up, this is incredible value for below $50,000, the best looking car in the line- up and one that delivers an important counterpunch to Holden. It deserves to succeed.


How it measures up

Ford Falcon XR8

Now runs alongside the SS Commodore and in the process becomes one of the best Aussie-built sports sedans available. Not much inspiration to be found inside , but the value lies in the stirring V8 and excellent dynamics.

Price: $45,828

Warranty: 3 years/100,000km plus roadside assist

Engine: 5.0-litre V8

Power: 220kW at 5250rpm

Torque: 435Nm at 4000rpm

Performance: 0-100km/h in 6.6 seconds

Fuel consumption: 15.0l/100km (city); 8.9l/100km (hwy)

Fuel tank: 68 litres

Transmission: Rear-drive, five-speed manual, four-speed auto

Turning circle: 10.9m

Standard equipment: Air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric mirrors /windows, cruise control, six-speaker six-disc CD stereo, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, sports seats, bodykit, 17-inch alloys, alarm

Safety features: Dual front airbags, ABS, lap-sash belts all seats, front seatbelt pretensioners

Value: Performance:

Overall rating: 1/2

Holden Commodore SS

The VXII upgrade has brought suspension and steering improvements but at first glance it's not enough to counter the punch from Ford's 220kW XR8. Neck and neck in a straight line, but when the road starts to twist? Our money is on the Falcon.

Price: $47,370

Warranty: 3 years/100,000km plus roadside assist

Engine: 5.7-litre V8

Power: 225kW at 5200rpm

Torque: 460Nm at 4400rpm

Performance: 0-100km/h in 6.4 seconds

Fuel consumption: 13.0l/100km (city); 7.4l/100km (hwy)

Fuel tank: 75 litres

Transmission: Rear-drive, six-speed manual, four-speed auto

Turning circle: 11.0m

Standard equipment: Air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric mirrors /windows, cruise control, six-speaker single-disc CD stereo, skiport, sports seats with electric controls, bodykit, 17-inch alloy wheels, front foglights, alarm (new )

Safety features: Dual front airbags, ABS, traction control, lap-sash belts all seats, front seatbelt pretensioners. Side airbags optional

Value: Performance:

Overall rating:

Subaru Liberty B4

One from left field, but the new high-performance all-wheel drive twin-turbo has loads to offer sports sedan enthusiasts in terms of performance, ride and handling, braking and top-shelf equipment. Need for 98 RON fuel is a downer.

Price: $55,130

Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km

Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder twin-turbo

Power: 190kW at 6400rpm

Torque: 320Nm at 4800rpm

Performance: 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds

Fuel consumption: 11.0l/100km (city); 8.6l/100km (hwy)

Fuel tank: 64 litres

Transmission: All-wheel drive, five-speed manual

Turning circle: 11.2m

Standard equipment: Climate-control, remote central locking, electric mirrors/ windows, six-speaker single-disc CD stereo, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, leather upholstery, sports seats with electric controls, 17-inch alloys, front foglights, alarm

Safety features: Dual front airbags, ABS, lap-sash belts all seats, front seatbelt pretensioners

Value: Performance:

Overall rating:

Mitsubishi Magna SportsVR-X

The other significant Aussie-made sports sedan can't match Ford and Holden in straight-line performance but nonetheless provides an absorbing drive. Things change next year when an all-wheel drive Magna debuts with at least 180kW.

Price: $39,320

Warranty: 3 years/100,000km

Engine: 3.5-litre V6

Power: 163kW at 5250rpm

Torque: 317Nm at 4500rpm

Performance: n/a

Fuel consumption: 10.0l/100km (city); 7.2l/100km (hwy)

Fuel tank: 71 litres

Transmission: Front-wheel drive, five-speed manual, five-speed auto

Turning circle: 11.2m

Standard equipment: Air-conditioning, remote central locking, electric mirrors /windows, cruise control, four-speaker single-disc CD stereo, skiport, sports seats, bodykit, 17-inch alloys, front foglights, alarm

Safety features: Dual front airbags, ABS, lap-sash belts all seats

Value: Performance:

Overall rating: 1/2


Second opinion

Campbell Potts

Real estate agent

Clifton Hill, Melbourne

HE has an EL Ford Futura in the garage as well, but Campbell Potts is not an avid Blue Oval fan. Far from it.

He would have bought a Subaru Impreza WRX if he did not have children to lug and, as a consequence, a requirement for lots of interior room and boot space.

And he drove the Falcon XR8 and Commodore SS (VX Series I) back-to-back before making a decision.

"I took them both on fairly at-the-limit test drives and the chassis and the handling of the Ford is just far, far more enjoyable as a driver's car in my opinion," says Potts.

"The Commodore, to me, felt a little bit jumpy at the back on rough roads at the limit, around corners, whereas the Ford just sits down and hangs on. "

Potts feels the XR8 has more usable torque at low revs, making it simple -- and fun -- to drive around the suburbs, and he prefers the Falcon's automatic transmission to the Commodore equivalent, which he says kept shifting "up and down like a bride's nightie".

He believes Ford does a better job distinguishing the appearance of its sports sedans from the less-expensive "cooking" models.

The Momo steering wheel/gearshifter and optional leather seats were added to further separate Campbell's XR8 from a standard Falcon, though he notes that only the centre inserts in the seatback and squab are leather.

Yet the bottom line, and one which justifies the decision time and again, is bang for the bucks.

"If you were to go to the core essence of the car, which is its performance -- everything else is standard Falcon -- I think it actually delivers a lot for the extra cost if you are prepared to make the compromises in terms of ride quality and a bit of noise," he says.

"But that's what the car is about."

www.theaustralian.com.au/motoring
Aussie Falcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-30-2001, 02:07   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
Good read
Thanks for going to that trouble Aussie
HSE2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2001, 06:19   #3 (permalink)
RACE
 
RATT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Sydney
Age: 38
Posts: 2,950
Great stuff!!

Thats three articles on 220 XR8, and all have been positive. :rocking:
__________________
BF XR6 Turbo
RATT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2001, 08:20   #4 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Martin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NSW/ACT
Posts: 3,023
Quote:
Originally posted by RATT
Great stuff!!

Thats three articles on 220 XR8, and all have been positive. :rocking:
I think Drive also did a review and gave it 3 outta 5 stars :thumbdown :thumbdown
__________________
1993 ED XR6 M5 (1 of 329)
Polynesian Green
Turbo on the way!!
1993 EBII Fairmont (Now wrecking, PM if you want any parts)
1988 Nissan R31 Skyline
Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2001, 15:13   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Rocklyn
Posts: 7,750
Quote:
Originally posted by Martin


I think Drive also did a review and gave it 3 outta 5 stars :thumbdown :thumbdown
Correct both Drive teams Sun and the Age :(
Tested the same car but had different people writing the article.
HSE2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2001, 00:28   #6 (permalink)
Registered User
 
Aussie Falcon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 2,153
The stars didn't come across in my above post. The Australian gave it an overall 4 1/2 stars out of 5, so it was a great result. Value and performance got 4 out of 5 each.
Aussie Falcon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-01-2001, 05:34   #7 (permalink)
Formerly J-type
 
The Stylist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Bagdad, Washington NZ
Posts: 1,629
The only let down seams to be the poor fuel economy and its thirst for the pricey stuff.
The Stylist is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Ford Forums - Mustang Forum, Ford Trucks, Ford Focus and Ford Cars > Fordforums Community > The Pub



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Drive article: XR8 vs SS FPRXR-6 Australian Falcons 32 02-22-2005 03:48
Anyone notice the correction in the Carpoint XR8 review? Martin The Pub 10 02-06-2003 16:43
XR8 full tyest at carpoint/Go Auto FalconIV Australian Falcons 47 01-31-2003 05:44
XR8 Review from Herald Sun CDAA Australian Falcons 17 01-27-2003 21:01
Falcon XR8 to Continue Sales Momentum RPO83 Australian Falcons 22 01-24-2003 04:40

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 14:50.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0
Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.