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Mr. Embargo
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Source: Bruce Newton, GoAuto

THE Ford Australia-developed Boss family of four-valve 5.4-litre V8 engines could be the company's first export opportunity to the US, ahead of any interest in Falcon or the forthcoming E265 cross-over.

Ford Motor Company heavyweights in Detroit are impressed by the local development of the modular V8 and there could be opportunities for an export program back to home base.

While there are no concrete plans in place, it is believed that preliminary discussions over the possibilities for the Boss in North America have been conducted.

A study into the possibility of Falcon exports to the US was given the green light in November.

Raptor and the Falcon’s platform are also believed to be included in the study.

US interest in the Boss family was confirmed to GoAuto by Philip Martens, Ford Motor Company vice-president, vehicle programs and processes, and North American product development.

His enthusiasm is particularly significant for Ford Australia because his responsibilities include improving the Ford North America product creation process, including program management, commonality, quality, cost, speed, vehicle evaluation and verification.

He confirmed a pre-Christmas meeting in Dearborn with Ford Australia product development vice-president Trevor Worthington at which the Boss engine was discussed.

"Trevor came to see me, to see if we could close-couple the working relationship between the two (Ford Motor Company and Ford Australia) – and the best way to do that is to have a common product program to share what you're working on," Mr Martens said.

"Given all the things that they have done with the Falcon, the easiest way forward is for us to share an engine, and that's what they could do. But we don't have any plans written down specifically yet."

Mr Martens praised the work done in Australia developing Boss, arguing that remoteness from headquarters in North America had actually aided the process.

"They (Ford Australia) are best being left alone to find creative solutions driven by market need. They're going to get more out of that than throwing it (5.4-litre four-valve engine development) into the big Ford system here," he said.

"That's why the reverse cycle – bringing it back up here – is what I prefer."

The Boss engine has been developed locally in two configurations – a 260kW/500Nm version for the XR8 and a 290kW/520Nm version for the Ford Performance Vehicles range.

The Boss four-valve head configuration is unique to Australia and largely because of that the engine is also locally assembled at FPV's headquarters in Melbourne.

The engine's performance is well beyond anything achieved out of that family in normally-aspirated form in the US.

Mr Martens suggested the Boss could be applicable to Ford's North American rear-wheel drive line-up, including the next generation Mustang launched in 2005. But he also believes the XR8 Falcon might be worthy for investigation for US sale.

"I could see us doing that, we'd have to go through a federalisation study and you'd have to fit it in," Mr Martens said.


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