By Tim Colquhoun
The Ford v Holden battle for brawn-under-the-bonnet bragging rights continues, with Ford firing the latest salvo at the Melbourne Motor Show on Friday.
Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) has unveiled the F6 Typhoon, a 270-kiloWatt, turbocharged six-cylinder sedan based on Ford's XR6 Turbo. Confirming the power war with rival HSV is far from over, the latest FPV model is just 20 kilowatts shy of the prodigious 290 kilowatts output of its stablemates, the GT, GT-R and Pursuit, despite having two fewer cylinders.
Officially a concept car, the F6 Typhoon is already slated for production, with FPV anticipating it will start rolling off the production line at the end of the year. A price has not been announced, but FPV says it will be between $56,000 and $59,000.
FPV says the engine in the Typhoon concept, which delivers 550 Newton metres of torque, has the highest torque output of any production engine built in Australia, outstripping even the Boss 290-kilowatt, 5.4-litre V8 engine in the other FPVs, which produce 520Nm of torque.
FPV managing director David Flint says his company is intent on establishing a significant niche for high-performance, six-cylinder cars in a market currently besotted with V8-powered vehicles.
"FPV is forging ahead as the powerhouse of Australian performance cars," he said. "Tickford established its credentials here in Australia with the original Ford Falcon XR6 in 1992. Now the time is right, with the outstanding BA Falcon platform, to reinforce our influence on the six-cylinder high-performance market in Australia and take it to the next level."
Rival HSV has no vehicles with a six-cylinder engine in its model line-up, instead choosing to focus on V8-powered cars. The last car it sold with six cylinders was the supercharged XU6, which was discontinued in 2000.
The 4.0-litre, six-cylinder engine of the F6 Typhoon is turbocharged and intercooled. FPV says the increase in power and torque over the XR6 Turbo engine has been achieved by using an intercooler that is 50 percent larger, and a dual air intake system that allows the turbo's compressor to work more efficiently.
Some engine modifications have also been made to allow it to handle the increased loads.
Prodigious acceleration necessitates prodigious braking ability, which is provided on the F6 Typhoon concept by 355-millimetre front and 330-millimetre rear cross-drilled and ventilated brake rotors with Brembo calipers.
The concept has a five-speed manual transmission.
The Typhoon takes styling cues from the current FPV stable, but has unique pewter highlights on the front and rear bumpers, mesh grille inserts and a boot lid spoiler.
Interior features include sport seats badged with the FPV moniker, aluminium pedals and a rather token and unnecessary dash-mounted starter button.
Prices and details correct at publication date.