Ford started its operations in Australia in 1925. In 1960, the automaker launched the Falcon lineup of cars which have gone ahead to create a legendary history. In fact, some of the models in the lineup are among the most sought after cars by collectors. In October, after almost a century operating a factory in Australia, Ford is set to close its factory doors in Australia ending a 91-year long manufacturing presence in the country. This means the curtain also falls on the production run of the Falcon lineup bringing its enviable 56-year long production run to an end.
The lineup will, however, go down in style as Ford is producing turbocharged and supercharged versions of Falcon Sprint models dubbed the XR6 Sprint Turbo and XR8 Sprint. This review is about the latter. The XR6 Turbo is reviewed separately.
The two models have all it takes to become future classics among collectors. However, not everyone will get to enjoy these models as their production will be limited to 1,400 units comprised of 850 XR8 Sprints and 550 XR6 Turbo Sprints. 100 of the XR8 Sprints and 50 of the XR6 Turbo Sprints will be shipped to New Zealand. This limited production has left many enthusiasts on the cold as the models are already sold out even before their production commences. Ford should have built more.
Either the automaker has perfected the act of leaving its enthusiast craving for more or that its market research department is inadequate to predict potential sales. Am saying this because the automaker planned to sell only a thousand units of the new Ford Mustang but ended up receiving over 4,000 orders. Over a year ago, the automaker also left fan craving for more with the predecessor Falcon XR8 sedan. Read along to find out more about the new 2016 Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint :
2016 Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint Exterior
On the outside, Ford designers have paid a great deal of attention to craft an enticing exterior that goes along with the huge muscles underneath its hood. The vehicle as is the XR6 Turbo Sprint is based on the FPV RSPEC chassis. The 4-door sedan features specific features that set it apart from other members of the Falcon family including its immediate sibling, the XR6 Turbo Sprint. These features are a silhouette black painted roof, wing mirrors and a lip spoiler.
The 2016 Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint shares most of its other features with the XR6 Turbo Sprint. These include new-look fog lights, black painted headlight bezels and wing mirrors which are integrated with indicator lights; there is also a new deck spoiler at the rear. Air vents have also been cut out of the front bumper to help channel more cooling air to the monstrous engine inside.
It rides on a set of 19-inch wheels which are painted in gloss black and wrapped in Pirelli P-Zero tires which improve its traction. The wheels measure 245 mm and 265 mm at the front and rear respectively. I don’t understand why Ford reduced their width considering non-Sprint models of the XR8 feature 275 mm wheels. Next to the wheels are 6-piston and 4-piston gold-painted Brembo brakes.
The vehicle also features a number of “Sprint” badges like on the rear and on the side mudguard. Each of the 850 models will have a numbered build plate on the engine.
2016 Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint Interior
While the exterior is lovely, the same cannot be said for the interior. Its cabin looks plain; in fact, it is not so much different from the FG Falcon, a model sold 8 years ago. Ford could seriously have done better. The automaker features the same bland cabin for the XR6 Turbo Sprint.
However, there are a few interesting features to pick out of the bland cabin. One feature is excellent upholstery of leather / suede mix on the seats. “Sprint” emblem is stitched on the seats to tell everyone this is not the standard Falcon, but the “Sprint’.
Other additional features include a unique gear shift ensemble, an electro-chromatic mirror which helps prevent the driver from being blinded by other drivers at night. There is a “Sprint” emblem on the shifter for manual models and another emblem on the gauge cluster for both manual and automatic models.
Just like the XR6 Turbo Sprint, the cabin also features a Sync 2 infotainment system with an 8.0-inch display screen that integrates satellite navigation, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity which I in turn enable Smartphone integration. Ford has further included a dual-zone climate control system as well as a high-series sound system. Interior body panels compose largely of plastics which as I said earlier is a big let down from the Blue Oval automaker. Nonetheless, the cabin is not the Falcon XR8 Sprint’s best suit.
Engine Specs and performance
The drive-train under the hood of the XR8 Sprint is its bets “suit”. The vehicle is equipped with a supercharged 5.0 L, V8 engine which is capable of producing 462 hp@ 5,750 rpm and 424 lb-ft of torque from as low as 2,200 rpm to 6,250 rpm.
The engine is paired to either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed automatic transmission system. Further, the drive-train features an overboost function which pumps output to 536 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.
Price and release date
Ford dealers in Australia and New Zealand had already taken orders of the Falcons Sprints even before the automaker announced official prices. The models have in fact sold off even before the automaker avails them in May. To make a kill out of the high demand, Ford hiked the Falcon prices by $ 6,500.
Therefore, 2016 Ford Falcon XR8 Sprint models with a manual gearbox start at $ 59,990 while those with an automatic gearbox start at $ 62,190 exclusive of destination charges. The XR6 Turbo Sprint price, on the other hand, was hiked by a massive $ 11,500 to $ 54,990.