Ford Falcon Springs no more after 2016

Ford Falcon Springs no more after 2016

Your last chance

IT’S tragic that Fords like the Falcon Sprints will be no more after this year.

The XR6 and XR8 are easily the best cars produced by Ford Australia. Engineers had more input than bean counters this time around – to produce the likes of the Sprint pair takes passion and know-how, both plainly evident here.

The XR6 Sprint’s performance upgrade sharpens dynamics and brings substantial outputs (up to 370kW/650Nm on overboost).

It scores a bigger turbo, injectors, intercooler and air intake, engine computer upgrade, recalibrated trans- mission, larger exhaust, beefier Brembo brakes, firmer suspension and high-performance tyres.

There’s no getting around the fact that Falcons look like repmobiles or taxis, even with black 19-inch alloys and “power stripes”.

The XR6 Sprint has a more aggressive stance thanks to the lower ride height but the white test car went incognito in the traffic and has little or no street appeal except for those in the know.

Compounding the problem is an exhaust with no raunch. It sounds like a vacuum cleaner… and shouldn’t, especially on full song.

At 1818kg the XR6 Sprint is a porker but you wouldn’t know it from behind the wheel. Take it to the track and the tyres and brakes start protesting after a few laps but generally the car holds its own in standard spec.

At the bowser, you’ll get the weight message loud and clear. Ford claims 12.8L/ 100km on 98 octane but that rises sharply when you push it to the limit. Does it matter?

Not really, especially given the pace of this big four-door sedan that keeps European hotrods honest, at half the price.

The $55K ask might seem a lot but if you itemise components, the Sprint’s a bargain.

But don’t delay if you want one.

Ford has built only 550 of these and a few more of the XR8 Sprints.

It may be too late for the V8 but the six is just as good, exhaust note apart.

It has a slightly lighter feel and accelerates just as hard as the V8.

We’ve seen a few at track days – with competition brake pads and semi-slick tyres, the XR6 Sprint is a force to be reckoned with.

Avoid white if you can; even the gold has more cut-through on the street.