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First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder 

 

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 Post subject: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 11:12 am 
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Ford’s new EcoBoost Falcon may have two fewer cylinders than its six-cylinder brethren, but it’s lacking nothing in performance.

For a while there, it looked like Queensland would never win a Sheffield Shield. But a few years ago, that changed.

The smart money also suggested that our Stateside friends would never elect an Afro-American to the office of president. Wrong again.

And for my part, I would have bet real money that I’d never be sitting in the driver’s seat of a four-cylinder Ford Falcon. And yet, here I am.
Never say never, it seems.

Australian Falcons and big capacity six-cylinder engines go together like beer and eskies. Always have.

But in an attempt to offer its customers a Falcon with improved fuel economy and regain some lost sales, Ford Australia has –in a nutshell - taken the turbocharged four-cylinder engine from the Mondeo EcoBoost and slotted it into the FG Falcon’s cavernous engine bay.

No technical details have been forthcoming, but in Mondeo EcoBoost form, the 2.0-litre engine pushes out 149kW of power and 300Nm of torque, good numbers in themselves, but down on the 195kW and 391Nm respectively of the traditional, six-cylinder-powered version of the Falcon.

In the Volvo S60, the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder produces 177kW and 320Nm, which is close to where we’re expecting the Falcon. It makes sense from a marketing perspective – there’s more than the Mondeo EcoBoost but less than the bread-and-butter of the Falcon world, the inline six-cylinder that’s twice its size.

That said, the seat of the pants suggests a power figure closer to 170kW for the four-cylinder engine in the Falcon Ecoboost.

And let’s not forget that the AU Falcon of 1998 boasted a power figure of just 157kW, and nobody ever complained that that car was underpowered.

But more importantly than just numbers, how does the four-cylinder Falcon EcoBoost feel to drive?

Just sitting in the car with the engine running is an exercise in altered perceptions. Revving the engine reveals a fairly refined powerplant, but one that is identifiably missing a couple of cylinders. It’s not quite as dramatic as watching a grown man with a toddler’s voice, but it’s still a bit mind-altering.

With the six-speed automatic transmission offering a little slip to mask a tiny bit of turbo-lag off idle, the four-cylinder Falcon steps off the mark quite well.

It revs up with enthusiasm, too, although the last 1000rpm or so feel a bit hard to come by. Again, this is not uncommon with turbocharged powerplants, which often produce their best at low or middle engine revs – where most people use them most of the time.

But what is impressive is the engine’s mid-range punch which gives the sort of relaxed progress that has been a major characteristic of all Falcons over the years.

Against the stop-watch (but not as scientific as tailored testing equipment) the Ecoboost Falcon doesn’t appear to give much away to its six-cylinder stalemate.

A 0 to 100km/h dash in the six-cylinder FG Falcon of 7.1 seconds was almost matched by the 7.6 of the EcoBoost car.

The best news is that the Ecoboost Falcon has shed about 60kg and this shows up as a much more talkative, entertaining front end.

The Ecoboost not only steers more accurately and naturally, it wants you to know it as well.

The bottom line is that the biggest hurdle for the Ecoboost Falcon will be a cultural one, not an actual product limitation.

Ford is still being very tight-lipped on pricing and while it’s tempting to think the Ecoboost Falcon will be the entry-level car, previous suggestions have been that it would actually carry a price premium. In other markets, the EcoBoost variants of certain Ford models are actually marketed as premium products and priced accordingly.

However, Ford is understood to be stepping away from this, accepting the fact that Australians generally don’t like paying more for fewer cylinders.

Best guesstimates – and a nod and a wink from Ford insiders - have the Falcon EcoBoost being priced at the same price as the six-cylinder versions it will sell alongside; the Falcon four-cylinder EcoBoost wll be available as an entry-level XT, G6 and flagship, leather-clad G6E.

The Ecoboost Falcon’s launch date has been delayed since the model was announced, but look for it early in 2012.

Source: smh.com.au

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:23 pm 
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The 4 cylinder Falcon will be RWD won't it? I'd hate to see a FWD Falcon.

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:55 pm 
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So the New Falcon will be a crappy camry with a ford badge. What a crock of s**t. Nobody want a 4 cly family car. f**k d***head. Ill stick with my old Ef thankyou
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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:03 pm 
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they are bringing out a 4 cyl turbo version of the fg next year but the 6 cyl will stay, if it doesnt say anything about being fwd than chances are it wont be so dont get on your high horses

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:08 pm 
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bry40l wrote:
they are bringing out a 4 cyl turbo version of the fg next year but the 6 cyl will stay, if it doesnt say anything about being fwd than chances are it wont be so dont get on your high horses


Who's getting on their "High Horses"?

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:22 pm 
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79raven wrote:
So the New Falcon will be a crappy camry with a ford badge. What a crock of s**t. Nobody want a 4 cly family car. f**k d***head. Ill stick with my old Ef thankyou


Pull your head in. :|

Quite easy to see the purpose of this car is in fact to take away sales where people who don't want a 6 cylinder would otherwise buy a Camry - obviously if someone still WANTS a 6 cylinder they aren't going to step down from buying it.

Reality is most people buying new cars aren't performance enthusiasts; I daresay 50% probably don't give a s**t about the difference in acceleration between it and 6 cylinder. The worst part is a lot of the people who are going to buy this car have so little idea about cars they associate the number of cylinders alone with more $$$ in the long term (regardless of engine size or other factors) and that is all they care about.

Obviously if you were buying a car you wouldn't buy one of these "s**t" cars, but luckily Ford marketing team are smart enough to offer products which appeal to a broad range of people, not just the person likely to keep driving his EF even though there is a brand new 6 cylinder FG on the market which is apparently all they should sell because that is what he would buy if he was in a position to buy a new car...

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:36 pm 
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revcore wrote:
bry40l wrote:
they are bringing out a 4 cyl turbo version of the fg next year but the 6 cyl will stay, if it doesnt say anything about being fwd than chances are it wont be so dont get on your high horses


Who's getting on their "High Horses"?

not you
:arrow:
79raven wrote:
So the New Falcon will be a crappy camry with a ford badge. What a crock of s**t. Nobody want a 4 cly family car. f**k d***head. Ill stick with my old Ef thankyou

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:45 pm 
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Ash wrote:
There's only 1-2% of people on here who would actually consider buying a new car. For the rest, this car will only effect them in 20 years time when they are in that price bracket that E-series are in now. And even then it wont effect them as there will still be a 6cyl version. Maybe in 25-30 years time after the 4cyl is a success and the 6cyl's have been dropped, then it may be an issue.


Agree 100%.

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Sign of the times.... just like the rest of you i will be keeping my 6 pot coon.

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:09 pm 
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skidder wrote:
79raven wrote:
So the New Falcon will be a crappy camry with a ford badge. What a crock of s**t. Nobody want a 4 cly family car. f**k d***head. Ill stick with my old Ef thankyou


Pull your head in. :|

Quite easy to see the purpose of this car is in fact to take away sales where people who don't want a 6 cylinder would otherwise buy a Camry - obviously if someone still WANTS a 6 cylinder they aren't going to step down from buying it.

Reality is most people buying new cars aren't performance enthusiasts; I daresay 50% probably don't give a s**t about the difference in acceleration between it and 6 cylinder. The worst part is a lot of the people who are going to buy this car have so little idea about cars they associate the number of cylinders alone with more $$$ in the long term (regardless of engine size or other factors) and that is all they care about.

Obviously if you were buying a car you wouldn't buy one of these "s**t" cars, but luckily Ford marketing team are smart enough to offer products which appeal to a broad range of people, not just the person likely to keep driving his EF even though there is a brand new 6 cylinder FG on the market which is apparently all they should sell because that is what he would buy if he was in a position to buy a new car...

mabe you should pull your head in, ford have already said its going to drop the i6, so what do you think is going to replace it? People dont buy Camry's for any other reason than the fact that Toyota has a rep of bullet proof cars. If the turbo 4 is the way to go, why are Holdens selling Commy 3.5 6's like hot cakes? If most new car buyers are not interested in performance, why are the turbo 4's and big 8's selling really well?
Who's to say I am not in the position to buy a new car? If I did buy a new car, from what I have read and heard about the new fords, that definately wouldnt be on my mind let alone a 4 cly Falcon. The reason I dont buy a new car is simple, you spend 30+k, add repayments over a 5 year contract then reolise you have just spent 40 to 50k on a car thats worth jack s**t, not to mention your 4 cly turbo falcon is getting slammed at the lights by an $1800 e series falcon with minor mods. Give me something worth buying and I might consider selling my soul to a finance company, until then yeah I will stick with my Ef thanks....... atleast its a 6
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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:48 pm 
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Ash wrote:
79raven wrote:
why are Holdens selling Commy 3.5 6's like hot cakes?


Weren't Holden talking about closing down Australian production due to lack of sales?

taadaaaa,winnah!

 

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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:00 pm 
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And by turbo 4's people are buying I mean hot hatches and something with a decent power to weight ratio. What Ford need to do is hit the drawing board and change the new Falcon body and interior design dramatically. The i6 turbo has such a huge following because it broke all the rules, not because of the body design. The agressive yet elligant design of the commywhores are whats selling them, and the 3.5's getting good power and respectable economy. Yes we love the i6, but honestly when you look on the roads now days most people are using new 4x4's to tow. I reckon the way forward for the Falcon is all australian designed 6 ( be it v or straight) with good power and respectable economy, rwd and a body/interior design that sets a new bench mark. They pay people good money to design cars, so get them to actually work and not play with there crayons
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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:02 pm 
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Ash wrote:
79raven wrote:
why are Holdens selling Commy 3.5 6's like hot cakes?


Weren't Holden talking about closing down Australian production due to lack of sales?

Well tell me why most family sedans I see on the road nowdays ( and I am on the road every day with work) are commywhores? They were going to close that plant because its cheaper to get the asian's to make it and ship it over
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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:32 pm 
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I understand Ford are scared, I just think any type of 4 cly Falcon is not the way. Large car with a highly strung 4 thats best in a car half its weight? And if they make it a fwd, it will be Fords version of the Magna, no matter how good a car it is
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 Post subject: Re: First drive: Ford Falcon four-cylinder
Posted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:42 pm 
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It will be interesting, that's for sure. If it was a n/a engine, it would be a flop. Due to being force fed, it has a good chance of success. Especially if they do an LPI version of it, taxi's will buy lots of them.

I'd love to take one for a test drive, even tho I'm not in the market for a new car, and probably won't be for another 10 years. Gotta pay down more of the house first. For those who are, I think this could be what swings a fair few people back to the blue oval, as they seem to be buying large family sized 4cyl car's from other makers.

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