Make / Model Search

Car reviews - FPV - F6 - Tornado utility

Our Opinion

We like
Linear, ultra-smooth six-cylinder turbo performance. Sedan-like ride, handling and grip. Supportive seats. Precise but light six-speed transmission
Room for improvement
Lack of traction control to tame the beast

4 May 2005

AT $51,950, the FPV F6 Tornado is the lowest-cost entry point at which you can slip behind the wheel of a Ford Performance Vehicle. For a humble ute, it’s worth every penny.

Like its sedan sibling, the big news with the Tornado is its engine, which was developed at FPV’s Campbellfield facilities, across the road from Ford’s Broadmeadows manufacturing plant in Melbourne. The F6 Tornado uses the already outstanding turbo six from the Falcon XR6 but gains some extra tweaking to deliver substantially more power.

Another benefit in the Tornado is that the lighter six assists chassis balance because, unlike the V8, there is less mass over the front wheels.

The F6 delivers 270kW at 5250rpm and 550Nm of torque from just 2000rpm, yet remains constant up to 4250rpm. By comparison, the XR6 turbo develops 240kW and 450Nm.

So where exactly does this extra power and torque come from?

FPV engineers have used a 50 per cent larger air-to-air intercooler and dual air intake system to lift power and improve breathing. The impressive thing is that 80 per cent of the torque comes in from 1500rpm and 98 per cent from just 1750rpm, delivering an outstanding surge of power from very low speeds.

The Garrett GT35/40 turbocharger’s peak boost pressure is 0.64 bar, up 50 per cent over the XR6.

The pure power and torque figures are impressive. But even more important is the fact that the Tornado offers good low-down flexibility. It can be driven around town in sixth, if you must, without complaint.

But it’s the cut-and-thrust of windy country driving where the turbo excels. Over a variety of roads around Melbourne, the engine’s flexibility allowed the car to be left in either third or fourth, using the immense torque available for press-on motoring.

Another surprises is that it handles, rides and steers like the sedan. Grip levels are good, in the dry at least, and the steering’s turn-in and feedback befits FPV’s claim of delivering true driver’s cars.

The Tornado’s suspension gains the improvements of the MkII updates. It uses the stiffer XR6 front end while at the back the stiffer rear springs from the GT are used. At no time though does this turn the two-seater into a harsh-riding, axle-hoping bread-and-butter ute. The car’s composure, particularly mid-corner through a bumpy hairpin, is impressive for a live-sprung rear axle.

Unlike the Typhoon, the Tornado does not sport traction control, which could not be configured for the ute’s live rear setup. However the standard limited slip differential is a welcome safety feature.

As expected, you cannot lift performance without attention to the brakes and FPV has done a good job at delivering solid stoppers resistant to fade.

The standard brakes are twin-grooved 325mm ventilated front discs and 303mm solid rear discs with twin-pot front callipers and single-pot rear callipers.

They proved more than adequate at hauling the big beast up quickly and without drama.

The optional Brembo package, if you can stomach the extra $5950, is a worthy addition for increasing safety margins above the standard fare.

Inside small, but significant styling cues remind you that you’re driving something special.

The Supercab ute is designed for two but occupants do not miss out on any of the kit featured in the Typhoon. There are comfy sports seats with suede-like bolsters, exclusive Technik fabric trim, silver stitching and FPV logos embroidered in the headrests.

The dashboard has the exclusive FPV chrome starter button mounted high next to the gauges. Three’s also an individually numbered build plaque to impress the neighbours.

Standard kit runs to dual airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, 100-watt six-disc six-speaker CD stereo, power windows and mirrors. Like the F6 Typhoon, the Tornado also gains the new twin pod sports instrument gauges mounted on top of the dash, displaying oil pressure and turbo boost pressure. A hard tonneau cover with FPV rear spoiler is available for $1695.

For our money, the F6 Tornado proves that performance is not just a matter of outright cubic capacity. The F6 certainly has straight-line performance in spades, but perhaps more importantly is accompanied by a refined, well-tuned chassis that makes mountain driving truly memorable.

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new F6

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here