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Fairlane wants to spoil Holden's party

Sporting taste: The G220 is aimed at an emerging group of luxury car buyers who want sports performance.

Ford reveals more details of its new BA Fairlane luxury car

14 Apr 2003

FORD has revealed more details and photography of the new long-wheelbase Fairlane prestige and luxury range in what is an obvious tactic to distract attention away from Holden's launch of the new WK Statesman and Caprice.

WK is being revealed to the press this week but with an embargo that means reports won't start appearing anywhere until next week.

So watch this site next week for the first drive and details of Holden's new range.

BA Fairlane and LTD aren't being launched until July 1, but that hasn't stopped Ford releasing a comprehensive equipment list for the range that we've detailed below.

There won't be any pricing revealed until closer to launch, but expect it to go up around a couple of per cent, just like BA.

Ford Australia president Geoff Polites isn't holding back on Fairlane, claiming "it will redefine the term prestige car".

Mr Polites' bullishness is born out of the amount of engineering improvement the new Fairlane inherits from its short wheelbase donor car, the BA Falcon.

But just as significantly the new Fairlane has been turned from a chrome-laden ugly duckling into something far more acceptable to a mass audience - just as the Falcon was before it.

This is the most significant mid-life LWB revision Ford Australia has ever undertaken, because it addresses the rear of the car as well as the front.

Mr Polites and the rest of the crew at Ford are no doubt hoping the multitude of revisions visible to the naked eye as well as under the skin will revitalise the sales of a once proud nameplate.

The current WH Statesman and Caprice have trampled all over the AU Fairlane and LTD lineup in sales terms and in comparison testing as well. The LWBs have also garnered Holden significant extra revenue as exports, primarily to the Middle East.

The new Fairlane lineup comprises three models - the base Fairlane Ghia with the Barra 182 4.0-litre six-cylinder engine, the Fairlane G220 V8 revealed at the Melbourne motor show and the top-spec LTD, also standard with the Barra 220 three-valve 5.4-litre V8.

The sporty G220 is the model being pushed the hardest, Ford looking to lock onto an emerging group of buyers who want the space and luxury of a big car combined with strong driving dynamics.

To that end the G220 gets a more sporting set-up of the new Control Blade IRS and carry-over double wishbone front suspension, as well as a slightly heavier steering rate and 17-inch Dunlop tyres, while the other two cars make do with 16-inch rubber.

"This is a luxury car designed to take customers out of the back seat and put them firmly behind the wheel," said Mr Polites.

The sporting theme continues through the Fairlane's exterior styling, which has strong overtones of the BA Falcon at the front, but is taller and more ornate at the rear. The front-end of the BA is much wider than the AU, while courtesy of Control Blade the wheelbase extends 13mm to 2919mm.

Inside, the presentation will be fundamentally familiar to short wheelbase Fairmont Ghia drivers, while the G220 gets sporty "Redline" leather seats and brushed aluminium finish, and the Ghia and LTD have the more traditional warm charcoal leather and woodgrain.

The base features list will also be familiar to Ghia buyers, although one new safety item is collapsible pedals. Original scheduled for launch as part of the BA upgrade, testing has delayed their standard installation across the Falcon range until May.

While much of the emphasis is on sports, Ford also guarantees that the new car will be significantly quieter than the AU thanks to the 50 per cent stiffer bodyshell inheritted from BA.

Fairlane model-by-model

Fairlane Ghia
Barra 182 engine
Sequential Sports Shift four-speed automatic transmission
Luxury set-up Control Blade IRS
16-inch alloy wheels
Bright headlight bezels with bright surround
Chrome mesh grille
Auxiliary Lamps
Reverse Sensing System
Premium Interior Command Centre
Premium audio with 6-disc in-dash CD
Dual zone climate control
Trip computer
Leather seats
Six-way driver (with memory) and passenger seat (without memory)
Power adjustable pedals and mirrors (with memory)
Woodgrain trim
Leather wrapped steering wheel
Leather wrap sequential sports shift
Cruise control with steering wheel mounted switches
Front and rear power windows
60/40 split fold-down rear seat back
Bright badge inserts on front scuff plates
Intelligent Safety System
Collapsible pedals
Anti-Lock Brakes
Electronic Brakeforce Distribution
Traction Control
Passenger and driver airbags
Side Airbags
Remote keyless entry with panic alarm
Mobile phone presenter (with wiring) Fairlane G220
(Additions compared to Ghia)
Barra 220 5.4-litre V8 engine
Sports set-up Control Blade IRS
17-inch Elegance alloy wheels
Ebony headlight bezels with bright surround and unique lens
Redline leather seats with warm charcoal perforated leather inserts
Brushed aluminium style trim
Perforated leather wrapped steering wheel with brushed aluminium style insert
Perforated leather wrapped sequential sports shift with satin inserts LTD
(additions compared to Ghia)
Barra 220 5.4-litre V8 engine
Leather seats with LTD emblem
10 way driver (with memory) and passenger seat (without memory)
Leather wrapped Sequential Sports Shift with LTD emblem
Electrochromic rear view vision mirror
Embroidered floor mats with LTD emblem

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