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FPV fills gap with GT RSPEC

Limited edition: The FPV GT RSPEC will be available with paint and stripe packages reminiscent of Ford's iconic Mustang.

Limited-run FPV GT RSPEC arrives with track focus but no more power


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13 Aug 2012

FORD Performance Vehicles has released a track-focussed GT limited edition, introducing a launch control function for the first time, along with a host of suspension modifications, but no performance or brake upgrades.

Dubbed RSPEC (for Racetrack Specification) and priced from $76,990, production will be limited to 350 sedans boasting a paint and stripe package reminiscent of Ford’s iconic Mustang of the late 1960s.

In stark contrast to the new entry-level Holden Special Vehicles ClubSport models announced just last week, the RSPEC will sit at the upper end of FPV’s V8 range of FG-derived performance sedans, plugging the gap between the $70,790 GT on which it is based and the $82,090 GT-P/$82,490 GT-E luxury flagship versions.

It is powered by the locally built all-alloy ‘Miami’ Boss 335 5.0-litre supercharged V8 petrol engine introduced two years ago, which continues to deliver 335kW of power and 570Nm of torque to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual or six-speed ZF automatic gearbox.

The new launch control system – enabled from ignition – helps optimise torque delivery for “smooth, consistent launch on typical road surfaces”, according to Bernie Quinn, the chief engineer of FPV parent company Prodrive Australia.

To that end, stiffer transmission mounts have also been fitted to reduce powertrain and driveline movement under load, as well as improve ride quality.

The rear suspension gains higher spring rates, retuned dampers, reinforced lower control arms and a thicker anti-roll bar, while the front end also receives the modified dampers, as well as stiffer upper control arm bushes and upper strut mounts.

For improved cornering and traction capabilities, the RSPEC also adopts new nine-inch rear wheels shod with the 275/35 R19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx GT tyres first seen on the 125 GT Black cars of last year, along with a revised toe setting on the rear wheel alignment for better turn-in response.

“From the outset with the GT RSPEC, we wanted more agile handling with better traction, and so the suspension had to be considered holistically, unlike the aftermarket, where you might bolt on a set of wider tyres and hope for the best,” said Mr Quinn.

“The new car thus received a significant number of component changes to develop this totally integrated package.” Visual inspiration came from the 1969 Boss Mustang, with the RSPEC brandishing a variation of the American Pony Car’s ‘C’ stripe featuring a ‘335’ label within it.

The upper and lower grill surrounds, fog lamp bezels, mirror scalps, rear spoiler and exhaust tips also feature accented treatments.

‘Shadow’ leather sports seats complete with GT logo embroidery, and piano black trim around the console, dash and door spears, further identify this GT as an RSPEC.

Half of the run will be finished in the hero colour of black with red accents, while the other 175 cars will be painted white, red or blue, with black accents.

Automatic transmission is a no-cost option, while extra-cost options include a Brembo six-piston front and four-piston rear brake package in place of the standard GT four-piston front, single-piston rear Brembo callipers.

FPV managing director Bryan Mears said the RSPEC has been in the company’s ‘skunkworks’ since early 2010.

“On the track, the RSPEC’s capabilities are just awesome,” he said.

“We have put 18 months into the development of the FPV GT RSPEC and we are extremely proud of the results.

“Anyone who drives it on the track will be blown away by just how complete and capable this car is. It is the finest-handling GT in history.”

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