Join Date: May 2001
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
T3 review from http://www.autoguide.com.au/
FORD T-SERIES: BIGGER ENGINE, BOLDER LOOKS
Friday, 23 November 2001
By EWAN KENNEDY
Tickford has introduced an uprated range of its high-performance T-Series sports sedans to steal some of Holden's thunder with the new Monaro. Taking a whole new direction, Tickford says it no longer builds high speed luxury cars, but full-on sports sedans that compete directly with the HSV range.
By far the biggest news in the third generation Tickfords is that the Windsor V8 engine has been taken up all the way to 5.6 litres. The increase over the standard 5.0-litre capacity has been achieved by stroking the engine by a big 10.2 millimetres. This involved a complete rework of the pistons, conrods, crankshaft and the intake and exhaust systems, though the cylinder heads and block only received small changes. Considerable attention to detail and a lot of hand finishing makes this a very special power unit.
The result is an engine with strong torque from 1000 rpm upwards, with a peak of just on 500 Newton metres at 4250 rpm, and maximum power of 250 kW at 5250 rpm. Drive goes to the rear wheels through either a five-speed manual or a modified four-speed automatic transmission. The former isn't offered in all models.
In the world of the most Australian high-performance drivers there's not a lot of point in having more power without a body kit to announce the car's capabilities. Tickford has gone all out in fattening the appearance of the Falcons, particularly in the lower body areas, and, of course with a big wing. The latter carries a theme similar to that of the Falcon V8 supercars and works extremely well visually. There's certainly nothing subtle about the looks of the latest Tickford Falcons!
On-road performance is exhilarating. Tickford arranged for us to drive the cars on almost 700 kilometres of Tasmanian roads, many of them being used in the Targa Tasmania rally. The big cars are easy to drive, provide huge amounts of road grip, are simple to control at the limit and have big braking capabilities. Yet comfort remains surprising good for sporting machines of this type.
Particularly impressive was the note of the engine, especially under hard acceleration. It has just the right sound to bring a smile to the face of all V8 enthusiasts.
Luxury touring drivers would be best advised to go for the $84,500 Tickford TL50 based on the Ford LTD. The full on sporting driver should opt for the $66,950 TS50 with either manual, or automatic transmission with a sequential override. The guy on a budget can buy the lower spec TE50 for either $57,350 with a manual gearbox or $58,350 with a conventional automatic.
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen. It said, 'Parking Fine.'So that was nice.