Why don't they just use the supercharger in the FTE mustangs instead?
FORD SUPERCAR IN DOUBT
PAUL DICKER The West Australian 28-07-2001
THE two-door Falcon 300+, hailed only a few months ago as the hero car Ford so badly needs, might never get off the ground.
Support for the supercar, which broke cover at the Melbourne International Motor Show in March, appears to be waning at Ford headquarters in Melbourne.
The Falcon 300+ prototype was developed by Perth performance company Advanced Engine Components and Venture Australia, which owns automotive design house Millard Design.
Although Ford initially warmly embraced the car, believing it could be a legitimate rival to two-door Holden Monaro due late this year, it made it clear it would not build the coupe.
Backing for the project appears to have cooled as Ford charts a fresh course based around a heavily facelifted Falcon due late next year.
That car will get a range of more efficient engines which is likely to include a new high-performance V8 which could pump out as much as 300kW.
Ford and its performance partner Tickford are desperate to develop a fresh range of performance models to counter the dominance of Holden's performance arm HSV.
Louise Teesdale, Ford's public affairs chief, said the ball was still very much in AEC's and Millard's court.
"It was never our project as such," she said. "It's still up to the other companies to make a call on the car."
However, it is clear the project still hinges on Ford's support. To have any chance of success, the two-door would need to be badged as a Ford and be sold through Ford outlets.
News that the Falcon 300+ might not go ahead will disappoint Ford dealers, who reported wide interest in the car and have taken about 30 orders.
AEC managing director Tony Middleton conceded this week that the project was now in the melting pot.
"We're still keen to do it," he said. "We never expected Ford to build the car but I understand they're still interested."
When the Falcon 300+ was revealed, AEC and Millard indicated that an initial production run of up to 100 cars could start late this year.
Tipped to cost around $100,000, the two-door was to use a Sprintex supercharged version of the 4.6-litre Ford V8 from the Mustang.
In the prototype, the engine put out more than 300kW and 500 Newton metres of torque. AEC estimated a 0-100kmh figure of just 4.8sec.