Test of Ford TS50
Date:4/4/2002 Source: Peter Barnwell
SNAPSHOT OF FORD TS50
Bbbbbad to the bbbbone and bluddy beaut is a good way to describe Ford's TS50 muscle car.
The third generation T Series cars made huge performance gains with the installation of a ``stroked'' version of the old 5.0L V8 engine.
It now displaces 5.6L and kicks out a whopping 250kW of power and and even more inspiring 500Nm of torque.
You can tell there's a beast under the bonnet by the rumbling idle that actually rocks the car when stationary.
The hand built engine is crammed with go-fast goodies, hot cam, crankshaft, special pistons, injection system, exhaust, valves, ECU, not much is retained from the old 5.0L donk.
The TS50 is a step up on the TE50 being based on a Fairmont so there's a schmick dash and more tricky bits than the lower spec TE.
But underneath it's the same, with dynamics by Tickford which actually makes the T-Series cars.
The TS has a raunchy looking body kit based on Ford's V8 Supercar racers and the meanest looking set of 18in wheels we have seen this side of an HSV Senator.
Under protest (asif) we took the manual TS50 for a spin but in reality that's what it did to us _spun us out.
We were totally blown away by the performance and handling of this locally made supercar.
It has few vices, is forgiving to drive while at the same time being a forceful piece of kit. Women generally didn't like the thing, the looks or the feel. ``Blokes car'' being the usual comment.
That was fine by the blokes who drove it.
No longer feel threatened by Subaru WRXs, blow them away.
Sounds like the fury it has under the bonnet.
Handles like it's on rails but may be too firm for some.
Steering is direct, can juggle car with steering on full throttle.
Drinks premium unleaded, heavily around town, lightly on the highway.
Low skirts graunch driveways and gutters.
Extremely stable at all speeds, massive tyres have incredible grip considering car's 1.7 tonnes weight.
Gearbox feels good but notchy on 3-4 shift on test car. Top is for cruising only.
Optional Brembo brakes are sensational, never fade but ABS is too pessimistic.
Boot is heavy to lift due to coffee table size wing.
Wing contributes markedly to car's high speed stability.
Hand built and signed engine is comforting thought at 600rpm and accelerating.
Seats are comfy have adequate side bolstering and firm squabs. Rear seat takes three.
Five three point belts and dual front bags.
Love the interior with subtle use of metal and colour co-ordinated leather upholstery inserts. Sound system is good, powerful with plenty of bass and being Fairmont based means not missing out on much.
TS scores climate control air and other goodies _ the gentleman's hoon car.
Datadot identification system used on all com ponents to deter thieves.
Priced ($66,950) to compete with mid-luxury cars like small six cylinder BMWs and Mercs, medium Volvos and other exec. models.
Give us the red blooded Aussie every time. TS50 has inspirational performance and handling, feels wonder ful to drive, sounds the business and comparatively speaking, is bargain priced.