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FPV & Tickford Forum GT, GT-P and all FPV Discussions. Formerly Tickford.

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Old 05-29-2003, 04:41   #1 (permalink)
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First Impressions

It's way too early for any definitive opinions but I can share a few initial impressions both from the vehicle pre delivery inspection and from the first little bit of driving.

Inspection

The good things:

1. As usual the team at Strapps did a first rate job of the vehicle detail (thanks Aaron) and the PD inspection. Consequently the car was spotless and all the work was completed in excellent time.

2. Likewise the tint guys (I'll look up their name as they deserve a wrap) for making room in a flat out schedule and for the personal pick up by their boss.

3. Also a big wrap to the phone installer who likewise made room in a busy schedule and then made sure I was happy with everything before actually doing the work. It's that little bit of extra care that goes a long way. Top job of both the phone and UHF installation.

4. To Jarrett for ensuring that everything ran smoothly a huge vote of thanks. Again it's comforting to know that someone is watching over everyone else!

The not so good

1. The absence of the (standard) power pedals is not a great example of Quality Assurance at work. The offer to retrofit them is ok as long as it doesn't necessitate a dash removal.

2. The reinforcement in the sill panels looks like it was done by the play school kiddies. For those who haven't seen it there are a few short sections of (what I assume) is ABS plastic that have been cut with a hacksaw (roughly) and then held in by a fragile clip. I'm tipping they won't last long.

3. The number of places where exhaust shielding came into contact with the exhaust itself - a sure way to get rattles. Easily fixed but shouldn't have arrived that way.

4. The rather flimsy inner rear quarter panel of the rear bumper. Apart from being a great dirt trap it has a good deal of flex in it as there are no supporting stays as the AU had.

5. The 9 day old dead battery.

Drive Impressions

The first thing that I noted was the seating position - these are great seats with a good range of adjustability that are instantly welcoming. Plenty of side bolstering and good support I am looking forward to the first long trip. On the down-side let me note the absence of a left footrest which for a left foot braker is a major loss.

The start button takes a bit of getting used to but no doubt I'll manage it.

Compared to the T-Series the car feels more solid on the road (with an extra 200 odd kg you'd expect that) and less sensitive to camber changes. Despite the move from 17" to 18" wheels there is also a much nicer ride with less of the crashing and banging that you heard from the underside of AU's. This matches my experience with the XT that I've been driving the last few weeks so it obviously applies across the range.

I've read complaints about the steering but I find it more direct and better weighted than the AU with noticeably more "bite" on initial turn in. I like it that way.

The Traction Control is way too intrusive. Even half throttle launches have it playing so I think the discipline will have to be (1) starter button (2) TC button. At least I have TWO traction control buttons to play with for some reason!

Performance seesm very much like the 4 barrels of old. You could drive around on half throttle and never know it had a whole lot as it only really responds when you prod the throttle hard and hold it there. Then, just like an old lady at a dance, it lifts its skirts and boogies. Seat of the pants tells me that there isn't a lot between it and the T-Series but I'll wait for real numbers to be sure.

The exhaust note is nicely pleasant until you open the throttle when it becomes purely addictive. Just turn off the (fairly good) sound system and listen to that instead.

Ergonomically, everything is where you'd expect to find it although the pair of buttons to either side of the steering column are hidden by the steering wheel rim and the ICC takes a bit of getting used to. Still it is reasonably intuitive and the graphics are large enough to make it easier.

The SatNav was a pain to learn and the instruction booklet may as well have been in Swahili as it mentioned all the functions but didn't really cover the "how to" as well as I expected - and the ball type navigation button on the remote control is just plain horrible. Will no doubt suit the track-ball generation but that's not me. I would have preferred to see four directional arrow buttons like most VCR remotes have now.

That's about it for initial impressions - I'll rack up a few thousand more k's and report back then.

Cheers
Russ
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:47   #2 (permalink)
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I'll take the keys & give you an XR8 - GT-P comparo then shall I Russ? When shall I pick her up?
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:53   #3 (permalink)
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And before I forget... Why the hell doesn't a performance car have a footrest these days? Cardinal Sin IMO! What twat brained rectal penguin thought up that bollocks??!!

Can't wait to get one FMRetroFitted to my XR!
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Old 05-29-2003, 04:57   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the impressions, I have cancelled my GT, Iam really wondering is it woth $67K, the car is still coming to the dealer anyway. Migth be a different story then.
Enjoy it as as all will know that you will.
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Old 05-29-2003, 15:11   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks Russ, always great to get some real impressions on a car. Look forward to more reports.
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Old 05-29-2003, 16:13   #6 (permalink)
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Two traction controls??? where are they, I can only find one.
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Old 05-29-2003, 16:16   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the impressions russ, you always seem to be able to convay a very realistic and unbiassed opinion. Do you write for a living?

Regarding the foot rest. I recall a discussion about it before BA was released. Apparently due to structural changes and seating position changes, the foot rest had to be deleted for safety reasons. Something to do with the way the driver/firewall/floor reacts during a head on collision.
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Old 05-29-2003, 17:11   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks Russ. It's great to get an real world impression on the GT-P without all the flowery crap the mags tend to put in.
As a possible suggestion, why not add your review and photos to the Fordforums newsletter.

Quote:
...Regarding the foot rest. I recall a discussion about it before BA was released. Apparently due to structural changes and seating position changes, the foot rest had to be deleted for safety reasons. Something to do with the way the driver/firewall/floor reacts during a head on collision.
If this is the real reason, in an accident hard enough to cause the floorpan and firewall to be forced to move in the cabin, I would think the last thing you would be concerned about would be a possible broken ankle from a footrest.
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Old 05-29-2003, 17:33   #9 (permalink)
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I'm green with envy.... *WANT A GTP NOW*

Nah i'm going to wait.. i'm going to wait... i'm going to wait....

I think i'll end up in a mental hospital rocking back a forward in a chair saying that soon.

I'll wait for the next generation, i'll wait for the next generation, i'll wait for the next generation....

And if it doesn't come with a blower, i'll get a quote from HMS and have one thrown on as part of the lease agreement.
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45,000km service coming up - and i'll be asking for a sizable list of fixes:
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Old 05-29-2003, 22:27   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by FM
What twat brained rectal penguin thought up that bollocks??!!
LOL well said!
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