Sprint finish for Falcon a numbers game

Ford has revealed prices – and some performance details – about its last blast performance Falcon models.


SWANSONG special Sprint editions of the XR Falcon arriving in May will place above the regular models they’re based upon in New Zealand.

This confirmation comes from Ford New Zealand which, in releasing details – and a solitary image - of the limited edition’s V8 flagship, has also expressed confidence that the Sprints will very likely spur a resurgence of interest in Ford Australia’s ageing big sedan before it ends production at the end of this year.

 “People have been asking us for a long time now what we would do in the final year of the Falcon, including a lot of people who have been holding off on purchases to see what might be released,” brand spokesman Tom Clancy said.

Just at last weekend’s Leadfoot hill climb on Rod Millen’s Coromandel property “we had a number of queries and excited fans asking about a potential special edition this year.”

Just 1400 Sprints will be produced before Ford winds up its Australian manufacturing operations in October, and of these 50 XR6s and 100 XR8s are earmarked for New Zealand.

The auto only XR6 Turbo kicks off the special range at $66,340, $7000 above a standard XR6 Turbo and $3500 below a standard XR8. The Sprint XR6 features a significant power and torque boost over the donor car of 55kW and 43Nm to 325kW at 6000rpm and 576Nm at 2750rpm.

The asking price for an XR8 is $74,990, a $5000 premium. Available in manual or auto in identical money, the Sprint V8 takes an uprated version of the 5.0-litre Supercharged V8 producing 345kW at 5750rpm and 575Nm at 2220-6250rpm, which is an increase of 10kW/5Nm over the standard model.

Clancy confirmed the regular editions will remain in the range and suggested demand for the big car was still okay.

“We sold 87 Falcons last month. In addition to the Limited XR6 Sprint and XR8 Sprint, the XR8 and XR6 will still be on offer.”

“There has been a lot of excitement building for this announcement – and that includes inside of Ford. The Falcon team over in Ford Australia are an extremely passionate group and they have poured quite a bit into this to make sure it’s a very special vehicle.”

Ford Australia has denied the Sprints have not been introduced to lift the long-standing model's flagging sales. 

A spokesman for the Melbourne head office commented: “I don't think that was even a consideration. What we wanted to do was to provide the best possible celebration and this is how the Sprint has eventuated.” 

Both versions include an overboost function that adds extra performance for up to 10 seconds, depending on variables, such as intake air temperature.

When activated in the XR6, power and torque lifts to 370kW/650Nm, while the XR8 can boost to 400kW/650Nm.

Mechanical changes to the XR6's 4.0-litre inline six-cylinder turbo include the addition of a larger intercooler, a unique transmission calibration, a new lower airbox, bespoke engine calibration and a new larger air intake system.

Ford engineers have also swapped in the turbo and injectors from the FPV F6 that was discontinued when the car-maker's Australian performance arm was shut down in 2014.

The derivatives have unique exterior touches over the standard Falcons.

The XR6 has a new foglight surround with a cut-out vent in the bumper, Sprint badging on the rear and mudguards, a stripe decal on the side in signature hockey stick style to match the daytime running light design and Sprint scuff plates, while the indicator has moved to the exterior mirror.

It also takes black headlight bezels, a black rear spoiler, body coloured deck-lid Applique, black 19-inch alloy wheels, six-piston front and four-piston rear Brembo brakes in gold and a numbered build plate for each model located on the engine.

The XR8 also adds black door mirrors and a silhouette black painted roof.

Both types take a unique Sprint interior with special seat packaging of leather/lux suede trim, an auto-dimming mirror, a unique gear shifter assembly and surround, Sprint label on manual shifter, a gauge cluster with Sprint logo and an 'interior command centre' with dual-zone climate control and a 'high-series audio system on top of the Sync2 connectivity system.

Six colours are available for both variants, including Winter White, Smoke, Aero Blue, Silhouette, Kinetic and Victory Gold.