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Ford's last Falcon 351 GT packs 'secret' 420kW

Power play: Ford's GT F brochure might says 351kW, but the overboost can deliver up to 420kW in the right conditions for a short time.

Supercharged FPV GT F can blow right through 351kW to more than 410kW, says Ford

10 Jun 2014

FORD Performance Vehicle's last-hurrah Falcon GT F has a secret – it is promoted as having 351kW but its supercharged 5.0-litre Boss V8 can produce between 410kW and 420kW on maximum overboost, if the conditions are right.

Company engineers say the car – the last of the iconic GT line from the Australian Ford factory – is designed to produce 351kW under all conditions, including Australia's high heat.

But the newly calibrated powertrain control unit will allow the Harrop supercharger to churn harder and faster in overboost when atmospheric, altitude and engine conditions are right, lifting engine power to as much as 420kW and torque from the standard 570Nm to about 650Nm for a limited time.

You won't read this in the official brochure, as Ford can't guarantee it under all conditions.

The man in charge of the V8 engine development, Prodrive engineering director Bernie Quinn, said at today's GT F media launch that the GT F could produce 351kW under all atmospheric conditions, as long as powertrain temperatures and so on were within safe parameters for durability.

“On a 40-degree day in Darwin, it will still do 351kW,” he said. “But on a nice crisp cold day, at low altitude, it will exceed that.” While no performance figures have been published, Falcon/Territory chief program engineer Peter de Leur said the GT F should be about 0.2 seconds faster from zero to 100km/h than the standard 335kW FPV GT, making it capable of a 4.5-second sprint.

The six-speed automatic is a fraction faster than the manual, but both get launch control as standard. On the automatic, the engine revs to about 2000rpm before the slingshot launch is triggered by taking the left foot off the brake and planting the right boot.

Mr de Leur said Ford had kept the claims on power and performance moderate as the company preferred to under-promise and over-deliver.

He said Ford Australia had “put the best of everything” from the company's engineering and design war chest into the GT F to make it the best it could.

“This car is for the FPV fans – that is why we built this car,” he said.

Ford enlisted ZF transmission engineers from Germany to help recalibrate the six-speed automatic transmission, altering the change points – both on up-shift and down-shift – to maximise performance potential while maintaining Ford's durability standards.

Mr Quinn said a range of software upgrades on components such as the Bosch traction control system had allowed the engineers to ramp up the supercharger performance by recalibrating the powertrain control system software.

He revealed that the engine – created in Melbourne from Ford's 'Coyote' V8 under a program dubbed 'Miami' – had been designed from the outset to cope with the extra power, but it was only now that all the software programs through the powertrain and chassis had come together to allow the power lift.

The Ford engineers who crafted the GT F have now moved onto other programs, with Ford Australia working on at least six models at present.

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