Turbo moving in on rivals
By Cameron McGavin
Wednesday November 3 2004
FPV wants to create a storm with the Typhoon. By Cameron McGavin.
Attention Subaru WRX owners: if you're considering trading up to something bigger and more comfortable, Ford Performance Vehicles wants to see you. It's an unusual direction change for FPV, which has, until now, been entirely focused on usurping rival Holden Special Vehicles' position at the top of the V8 tree. Unusual perhaps, but hardly unexpected.
Ford's success with the Falcon XR6 Turbo meant an FPV version was always going to happen. And with this week's launch of FPV's mildly revised MkII line-up, the turbo-powered F6 Typhoon is finally on the scene.
Changes to the V8 GT, GT-P and Pursuit are slight. Mechanical changes are restricted to a new six-speed manual gearbox, which shifts better and improves the GT's sprint abilities. That and mildly improved suspension improve on an already impressive package. For V8 thrills, the GT ($61,350), GT-P ($70,200) and Pursuit ($53,340) are still tops.
The Typhoon, though, isn't targeted at the V8 crowd.
"The turbo customer, we've found, is more interested in a car's technical aspects," says FPV product planning and brand marketing manager Mark Behr. "We expect the demographic of the turbo will be slightly younger, potentially more white collar, and a different audience to the V8 sector."
Mr Behr says WRX owners in particular are enthusiastic about the Typhoon, and he expects to win them over.
Marketing hype or not, the Typhoon looks the goods on paper. For $58,950 you get a hefty 270 kW of power and 550 Nm of torque (more than any other Australian-built car) from 2000 rpm. The gearbox is the same six-speed manual that is fitted to the GT.
The turbo six lacks the V8's rowdy idle and thunderous bellow, and feels deceptively unremarkable around town, but squeeze the throttle and a satisfying ferocious turbo shove is unleashed, punctuated by fluttering wastage during the turbo's gear changes.
The Typhoon stands out as a tough performer.
Prices and details correct at publication date.