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I hope this hasn't been posted already GT: 290kW of raw power

First Drive with Paul Gover
The Courier-Mail

THE born-again Falcon GT has arrived and the answer to the question motor fans have been asking is: yes, it shakes.

But the shake and rumble says Ford is as serious about its latest muscle Falcon as Holden has been about its HSV hero cars for more than a decade.

Turn the key, touch the new-age starter button and the 290kW V8 fires with a rorty rumble that rattles back through the car.

Idling in the carpark or sitting at the lights, it has the same uneven muscle car beat that's always signalled serious V8 performance. The revs rise and fall, just a little, and you're never really sure if it's going to trip and stall.

It doesn't, of course, because modern engine-management computers can easily handle the fuel and spark needs of an aggressively tuned V8.

"I always said we would do a GT again when the time was right. The time is right," Ford president Geoff Polites says.

He also says the GT is a long-term member of the family, not just a now-and-then trickster.

There are three models – GT, GT-P and Pursuit ute – and all share the same muscular motor, suspension settings, rear wing, front spoiler and bonnet bulge, with tweaks to the trim and body bits to identify the models.

Prices start at $59,850 for the GT sedan, rising to $69,850 for the GT-P. Side stripes, which Ford believes will be essential to GT purists, cost $450.

It was the owners of old GTs who decided the ute should be a Pursuit, because there was no GT ute in the 1970s – although one wonders how they will like the GT and GT-P names in place of the traditional GS and GT.

The team at the recently renamed Ford Performance Vehicles has delivered on Polites' promise with a svelte speed machine that's a big step up from the XR6 and XR8 but still clearly linked to them.

The heart of the car is a locally tweaked version of the latest quad-cam American Boss V8, which is built on a mini assembly line at Broadmeadows.

It's had a lot of local engineering and there are plenty of Aussie bits inside, with a bottom line of 290kW at 5500rpm and 520Nm at 4500rpm.

The GT still has a five-speed manual gearbox, with a predictable mechanical package built around big brakes – Brembo stoppers on the GT-P, optional on the GT – sports-tuned suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels with 245 Dunlop sport tyres.

The work inside includes seats with much better support and leather trim, a new look for the dials and console and a starter button alongside the main dials. The GT-P also sports giant seat bolsters and an integral monogrammed headrest.

The GT is quick – 0-100km/h in six seconds or less, with a limited top speed of 250km/h – and, despite its 1800kg-plus mass, it is said to run as economically as 8.5 litres/100km in highway driving.

Flint says Ford is aiming for 100 sales a month, 15 of them utes, but won't be surprised if the car creates an instant waiting list.

Automatic models won't be available until mid-year.

ENGINE: Boss 290 V8 with four overhead camshafts and 32 valves

POWER: 290kW at 5500rpm

TORQUE: 520Nm at 4500rpm

TRANSMISSION: Five-speed manual or four-speed auto

MODELS: GT sedan, GTP sedan, Pursuit ute

PRICES: GT manual $59,850, GT auto $61,000, GT-P manual and auto $69,850, Pursuit manual $54,850, Pursuit auto $56,000

TOP SPEED: 250km/h

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My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.

My next Ford.....
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