It gets worse for Typhoon. Drive.com.au review
Another bad review for F6 Typhoon.
Ford F6 Typhoon
The Sydney Morning Herald
Friday January 21 2005
Faults in Ford's big six turbo shoot it down, reports BILL MCKINNON.
Drive verdict: 2.5 stars (out of 5)
Unstable air mass.
Good: Engine has a character all its own and no shortage of power. Smooth as they come. Secure on the open road. Reasonable ride. Comfortable driver's seat.
Bad: It's too expensive. If I owned one and it had as many problems as the test car(s), I'd want my money back. The claimed 270kW is only produced under ideal conditions. Tyre noise. Heavy in tight corners. Wooden steering in town. Falcon seating position won't suit all drivers.
High-powered "hero" model Falcons and Commodores are now nudging the 300kW mark. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that reliability and durability may be casualties of the power struggle.
In stretching the 4.0-litre XR6 turbo Falcon's 240kW to 270kW in the new Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) F6 Typhoon, for example, significant faults have emerged on test cars which are hardly conducive to recommending ownership.
Ford and Holden - which has also had its problems with 5.7-litre V8 engines - pitch hotrods like the F6 as hard drivin' bloke mobiles, yet when road-testers and customers go out and do just that, the engineering seems to be falling over at an increasing rate.
Drive's week with the F6 included one day when the temperature hit 42 degrees. All engines - especially turbos - like their air delivered dense and cool. At 40-plus, our car's ECU would frequently shut the engine down for a moment as the turbo came on to full boost, usually with the tachometer passing through 4500 revs. This problem has been reported elsewhere, in less extreme conditions and on the 240kW XR6 turbo. On cooler days, it wasn't apparent in our car.
The clutch in Drive's F6, a twin plate item specifically developed to handle the engine's claimed 550Nm of torque, was fine during our test, however both Wheels and Motor magazines had clutch problems in their time with the F6.
Our car also had a clunky tailshaft/differential connection, which seems common to Falcons and, if they're driven hard, can require replacement. Excessive gearbox noise was also apparent, particularly under load at low revs. If you had just handed over $58,950 for an F6, and were unlucky enough to score a series of dramas like that, you would be inclined to return to your FPV dealer for a not very matey chat.
The F6's 30kW power gain over the XR6 turbo - and a 100Nm torque increase - is achieved by increasing the capacity and efficiency of its induction system/intercooler, which raises boost pressure by 50 per cent. Stronger valve springs and conrods, plus a huge oil cooler, are also fitted. The six-speed Tremec T56 gearbox is shared with the XR6 turbo (and V8 Commodores).
PBR brakes with twin-piston front calipers and large, grooved discs are standard. The premium Brembos are a big dollar option.
Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are fitted with 235/40 Dunlop SP9000 tyres; our test car had 245/40s at both ends.
The F6's engine is less cantankerous than expected and from idle to redline is beautifully smooth. Around town, especially on a warm day, it does stutter and surge a bit on light throttle openings; this can also occur when running on cruise control. It doesn't have that instant off the line lunge of a base Falcon six or V8 but once the turbo kicks in the delivery is jet-like and elastic, stretching from 2000rpm to 5600rpm.
The turbo is clearly audible, its high-pitched whistle rising to a menacing hiss as the revs build, accompanied by a subdued but pleasantly mean straight-six exhaust growl. At 100kmh in sixth, the tacho shows 1900rpm. There's only a trace of turbo lag when you put your foot down to overtake.
The ratios in the six speed gearbox are well-chosen, allowing you to keep the engine humming at 3500rpm-plus across the intermediate gears. The shift action is reasonably fluid and precise. The heavy clutch has a very late, high takeup.
Fuel consumption is comparable to a V8. Premium is recommended because the engine "pings" on regular unleaded.
The lowered, stiffened suspension works well on the open road, where the F6 tracks through sweeping bends with great composure and accuracy. In tight corners, the Falcon's sheer mass cannot be disguised. It is considerably less responsive and agile than a Commodore. The tyres provide decent grip, at the expense of excessive noise levels on coarse bitumen.
The steering is direct, almost too direct for its size. Around town, though, the test car has a strangely stiff, wooden feel at the wheel, perhaps due to the ultra-wide tyres.
The ABS-equipped brakes are only average. Firm pedal pressure is required to begin arresting 1700kg.
The ride is compliant, given the low-profile tyres. It's more of a tourer than hard case sport, so the F6 is quite comfortable on a long drive. The plush, armchair-sized driver's seat helps, too. Its upholstery (optional leather on the test car) is embossed with a triangle motif, also used for the grille. The deeply concaved backrest could use more lumbar support.
The dash layout is as per Falcon. Tough guy touches include gauges for turbo boost (oddly, with no numbers for reference) and oil pressure, tacky faux carbon-fibre trim, a big, fat leather-wrapped gear lever knob and a push button starter. Standard equipment includes air-conditioning, an in-dash six-stacker CD player and four airbags.
Some drivers will dislike the Falcon's high seating position and the slightly bus-like angle of the steering wheel.
The back seat is steeply angled. The Falcon's tapered, low roofline, and pronounced wheel arch intrusion, means you have to duck and weave when getting into the back.
The boot's uneven floor can be extended with the 60/40 split fold rear seat. A full-size spare on an alloy wheel is underneath.
The 240kW XR6 Falcon turbo, especially with the four-speed automatic, is the best drive in the BA range, with refinement, performance and poise that really shine on a flowing country road. The F6 feels considerably less cohesive and convincing, as though the unique big six turbo concept has perhaps been pushed too far in the pursuit of mine's bigger than yours (ie Holden's) performance numbers.
Given the gremlins which affected Drive's F6 (and others), it seems that the Typhoon may be yet another example of Ford (and Holden) sending a new model out underdone, leaving customers to finish off the reliability and durability testing program.
Engine: 4.0-litre, 24-valve turbocharged six cylinder.
Power: 270kW at 5250rpm (above average).
Performance: Not possible to record an accurate 0-100 kmh time. We'd estimate mid-six second bracket, which is competitive.
Brakes: Discs with ABS (average).
Economy: 10-13 litres/100km highway; 18-23 litres/100km city (thirsty; premium).
Prices: Recommended retail $58,950.
Street price: No deals yet.
Main options: Brembo brakes $7302; leather upholstery $3375; sunroof $2761.
Warranty: Three years/100,000km (average).
Residual value: New model, no history.
Safety rating: Four stars out of five (BA Falcon).
Ford Falcon XR6 turbo
Less power and pose value but a much more refined, coherent package and better value. 240kW turbo six goes smoothly and strongly with the four speed automatic. Magazine tests show this is quicker than the new F6.
Ford FPV GT
Like the XR6 turbo, the GT drives like it has been more thoroughly tested and debugged than the F6. But it's still big and heavy. The 290kW V8 sounds great but needs to be revved.
HSV get the 297kW 6.0-litre Gen IV V8 donk fitted to the latest Corvette. Will it stand up to being driven hard? The 5.7-litre Gen III wasn't a model of reliability but we're yet to hear of any dramas with the 6.0-litre.