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Ford FG Falcon: G6E Turbo

By Feann Torr - 19/February/2008

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
Ford Falcon G6E Turbo

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
With more torque at lower revs than Holden's
6.0-litre V8, the G6E Turbo engine is hardcore

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
Ford wanted the new G-Series to be plush, and
the G6E Turbo flagship model is suitably smooth

Turbo Torque

New stuff? Where do we start... The over boost function can add an extra 53Nm of torque for a short period of time whenever you bury the accelerator pedal. There's also quicker gear shift times under full throttle for automatic XR6 Turbo and G6E Turbo models.

But if you opt for a manual transmission the revised 4.0-litre turbo engine has a few more tricks in store.

Launch Assist: Though it won't launch the car for you like some systems, the new 'launch assist' feature ensures the turbo is ready to go and the clutch is less likely to fry.

1. The launch assist feature kicks in when the vehicle is stationary, and you push the clutch pedal in and whack the car in first gear. 

2. Then you mash the accelerator pedal and the FG Falcon's computer brain limits engine revs to 3500rpm by diverting air from the motor to the turbo. It takes 2 to 3 seconds for the turbo spools up. 

3. Execute a standing-start 'launch' from 3500rpm with full turbo boost and less clutch wear.

A new Garrett turbocharger has also been developed specifically for Ford's turbo six with faster response. A larger intercooler is also added and boost pressure increases from 6 psi to 10 psi (0.4 to 0.7 bar).

The air induction system has been completely re-jigged for better flow, and the compression ratio has increased from 8.7:1 to 8.8:1. 

All told, the new turbocharged 4.0-litre engine is even more potent than before, yet more fuel efficient too thanks to an improved variable camshaft system.

- Feann Torr, Editor

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
This is a bad photo - the car looks much
better in the metal, with a sleeker image

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
This interior shot shows the higher gearshifter

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
The new HMI system comprises two
LCD screens - one in the instrument
cluster, the other in the centre console

Ford Falcon G6E Turbo
With Mondeo-inspired front ends, Ford's new
luxury G-Series cars have a real European flair

Melbourne, Australia — One of the more intriguing new models in the 2008 FG Falcon range is the G6E Turbo. 

This all-new model is the flagship of the G-Series luxury range (G6, G6E, G6E Turbo) and the first Falcon model outside the XR6 Turbo to boast what is arguably the most potent mass-produced performance engine built in this country. 

Peak power is a staggering 270 kilowatts @ 5250rpm - enough power to launch a small satellite into the mesosphere. 

This avalanche of power is channeled to the rear wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox. 

Luckily the G6E Turbo features new traction and stability control systems to keep the wheels from turning the tyres into molten rubber.

While the new 6-cylinder turbo engine is on par with the Holden Calais' 6.0-litre V8 in terms of outright power, this straight six engine outdoes the General's V8 in torque terms by just 3 Newton metres. 

It cranks out 533Nm across a wide powerband of 2000 - 4750rpm.

On the road this profusion of low end torque should translate to improved drivability over the Holden models, particularly as the G6E Turbo comes standard with a German-made ZF 6-speed automatic gearbox with tiptronic control.

But the new Ford Falcon G6E Turbo has a secret weapon. It can also generate 10 per cent more peak torque for "several seconds" thanks to a new 'over boost' feature. 

That's roughly another 50Nm, which would take peak torque to a mind-numbing 586Nm.

According to David Mitchell, the powertrain development manager at Ford Australia, the over boost feature allows the engine to increase turbo boost "by up to 10 per cent for several seconds, increasing available engine torque for improved performance."

I reckon the G6E Turbo is going to be the 'must-have' model of the new series. It's all-new, has a subtle sports luxury look with a discreet spoiler but packs enough firepower to injure the ego of Holden's 6.0-litre V8 Calais.

I can tell you now the V8 Calais versus G6E Turbo Falcon comparo is one we're all eagerly anticipating.

Ford's G6E Turbo has a smart look, fitted with 18- or 19-inch wheels, a subtle body kit that includes a lower front apron, side skirts and rear apron. 

This is the model that bears an uncanny resemblance to the new Ford Mondeo and it's no coincidence. 

Talking to Ford's designers, they said they were heavily influenced by the Ford Europe's new 'Kinetic' design ethos, which is all about flowing lines and also underpins the Mondeo's exterior styling.

Ford Australia's chief designer, Scott Strong, said that Ford wanted to build on the heritage of Australia's oldest nameplate, but the kinetic design philosophy was also a consideration. 

The front end of the G6E Turbo is slightly longer than the previous Falcon's and vehicle's snout isn't as square as the BF which lends the car a modern look and feel.

The Ford Falcon G6E Turbo can be identified easily thanks to one of the most imposing grille treatments ever seen on a Falcon. The bold front end has a European flavour, festooned with chrome. 

There's a touch of Jaguar in the upper and lower grille sections which is at simultaneously elegant and menacing. 

Meanwhile the fog light surrounds, headlamp bezels and window edgings all have a shiny chrome finish that clearly denotes this model as the king of bling.

We spent more time sitting inside the new FG Falcon yesterday and getting used to the new layouts, functions and designs. It was good to have a fiddle with the new HMI, or human machine interface systems as well, which we'll get to later.

The restrained luxury theme continues inside the Falcon G6E Turbo with acres of soft 'Nudo' leather in a light beige tone. 

The carpets are soft plush pile which adds warmth to the interior, while leather upholstery on the seats cossets occupants nicely. Yet more Nudo leather surrounds the door handles and adds tactility. Even the lower areas of the doors have a fabric/cloth finish.

As with all the new FG Falcons, the sense of space in the interior is impressive. These cars are the roomiest on the market at the moment, and it should be said that both front and rear seats are a pleasant combination of sports and luxury in the G6E Turbo. 

You get side bolsters in this model, but not to the detriment of getting in and out of the vehicle. The rear seats feel more reclined than previously, which makes you feel as though you sit deeper into the vehicle.

Climate control is standard on all Falcon models, but the G6E Turbo gets dual zone to avoid any temperature disputes.

The boot is larger than before (mainly due to the adoption of a space saver spare, though a full sized spare wheel is offered), but of all the interior changes the cockpit is the most telling.

Along with a larger and higher resolution 7-inch TFT colour screen that is mounted at the top of the centre console, the new controls and dashboard design give the interior a luxurious ambiance. 

There's also an amusing animation on the colour screen every time you turn the car on involving a pictograph of a walking man.

The 6-speed automatic gearbox returns for active duty once again in the FG Falcon, and the gear shifter looks fairly similar but is positioned much higher, which improves ergonomics. 

I can envisage the new 2008 Falcon being a lot more comfortable on longer journeys for the driver as most controls are now easier to reach.

We tested out the 'premium' sound system complete with subwoofer and  6-disc CD changer and it had pretty good clarity. There's even graphic equalisation for drivers who believe that treble, midrange and bass don't cut the acoustic mustard. 

This brings us to the HMI, which can be seen as a BMW iDrive or Audi MMI system of sorts, only far simpler to use. 

Stuart Taylor was one of the Ford boffins who worked on the Human Machine Interface or HMI, and describes it as "the interaction the driver has the with the car and environment."

As well as telling you to fasten your seatbelt or warning you that the fuel tank is almost empty, Mr Taylor says the new HMI is emotional as well as functional. No, it won't cry when you tell it that you're adopting a Vietnamese orphan, but Mr Taylor reckons it provides drivers with an emotional connection to the car.

"Cars, like consumer electronics, are becoming more complex," added Taylor, but said that the end user should have something that's easy to use and inviting.

While the heater controls are now horizontal buttons which were a bit strange at first, the only dial on the centre console is a 'rotary controller' as Ford's electricians call it. 

Simply put, this rotary controller navigates the cars systems - audio, car settings, telephone etc - and has OK, back, and menu buttons that make exploring the available options relatively easy.

You can change a plethora of car settings such as whether the indicators blink three time with slight nudge of stalk, or how long headlights stay on after you lock the car.

It also controls the stereo and though some drivers may lament the loss of dials to tune the radio, I found that simple operations like adjusting the bass and treble were quite easy. 

The menus are bold and easy to read, and though the system is more sophisticated than what the Holden Commodore offers it's also more intuitive.

Ford's new G6E Turbo model also gets an iPod integration system as standard. There's a small pouch in the central storage bin for an iPod and an official connector socket underneath (in addition to an auxiliary input for all MP3 player types). 

Your iPod playlist is displayed on the main screen and can even be controlled through steering wheel, and new phone functions have been added too; the G6E Turbo also gets Bluetooth functionality as standard.

Like the non-turbo G6E (the 'E' part stands for European), some of the other standard features on the G6E Turbo include electro chromatic (self-dimming) rear view mirror, dual zone climate control, reverse parking sensors and a reversing camera, six airbags, stability control, ABS, and 8-way power adjustable drivers seat.

Ford has also integrated an all-new satellite navigation system for the FG Falcon, but this is an optional extra for the G6E Turbo model.

What Ford has done with the new G6E Turbo is create a technological tour de force. It is a bit sad that the Futura and Fairmont models have been replaced, but these new models will target a new, more sophisticated audience. Or so Ford hopes.

Though there were many questions asked about a V8 version of the G6 - the only V8 Falcon is now the XR8 and FPV models - this luxury 6-cylinder turbocharged cruiser is all about refinement and technology.

The Falcon G6E Turbo packs a high-tech engine and gearbox that will provide enough grunt to make a Porsche drivers take notice, it's got Bluetooth this and iPod that, human machine interfaces, a plush leather interior, soft carpets and more than enough room for several golf bags.

It's also one of the models that we're most looking forward to road testing here at the Motoring Channel and rest assured we'll bring you the good, the bad, and ugly when the car goes on sale in May.

Related articles:
Ford FG Falcon Launch (2008)
Ford FG Falcon Range (2008)
Ford Focus RS (2009)
Ford Mondeo (Road Test)
Holden Commodore vs Ford Falcon (Road Test)
- FPV F6 X (2008)
- Ford Fiesta XR4 (Road Test)
- Ford Kuga Concept (2007)
Ford Focus Diesel (Road Test)
- Ford Focus XR5 Turbo (Road Test)
Next-Gen Ford Falcon in Detroit (2008)

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