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Tickford pumps out the power

Stroke it: Ford's T-Series range will gain an exclusive new stroked 5.7-litre Windsor V8 from as early as October.

Tickford aims to tackle HSV with a couple of potent new engines

23 Apr 2001

BLUE OVAL fans rejoice: a supercharged 4.6-litre V8 is not the only hot new powerplant on the horizon for Ford Australia.

Automotive e-news has learned from sources within Tickford that Ford's performance partner is developing a turbocharged version of its venerable 4.0-litre straight six - and it is expected to appear alongside an all-new 5.4-litre modular V8 in the heavily facelifted AV Falcon range due by about September next year.

The Saab-type low-pressure turbo application is said to increase peak power output to around 230kW, despite minimal changes to the engine elsewhere.

The project had been rumoured to include a twin-cam, 24-valve cylinder-head, but it is believed Tickford will stick with the trusty Intech six's SOHC layout in an effort to keep costs down.

Exactly where a turbo-six Falcon would be positioned within the Ford range is unknown.

Ford's Rick Nayler confirmed the AV facelift is about 18 months away and virtually ruled out another facelift before then, leaving the slow selling AUII Falcon with a model life spanning yet another facelift over at Holden, which will release a VXII Commodore by as early as August this year.

"It's true there's a change due in the third quarter next year which does coincide with the (VY) Commodore, but between now and then we're looking at a whole range of things to spur the Falcon along," Mr Nayler said.

"There'll be nothing dramatic - there's no time - resources are fairly and squarely focussed on the new car." Over at FTE, however, it's been confirmed Ford will bless its three-car T-Series range with an exclusive new stroked 5.7-litre Windsor V8 from as early as October.

"The timing's still a little up in the air but it will happen sometime in the third quarter of this year," Mr Nayler said.

Aftermarket Ford tuner Rod Herrod, the man behind the 5.7-litre X-Plod show car, is known to produce a stroked Windsor powerplant for Falcon customers, but it's more likely the HSV-matching 255kW engine is the work of Tickford.

This engine should give the comparatively lighter TE, TS and TL50 Tickford cars a slight performance edge over their opposite numbers at HSV.

The employment by T-Series cars of a stroked 5.7 litre V8 would seem to clear the way for the XR8 sedan and utility to all but match their Holden SS competitors use the current FTE cars' worked 220kW Windsor.

Such speculation seems wide of the mark, however, due to price hike that would be necessitated by building the SVO-packed engine in such volume.

"The 220's a pretty expensive engine because we don't have the luxury of what GM do and just take them out of a box," said Nayler.

"We've got to do a lot of other stuff so it doesn't make a lot of financial sense.

But we are looking to try and dress XR up a little more with some additional body stuff. We're looking at what's possible mechanically, but there's a lot of financial constraints around engine work." As with the turbo-six, Nayler also ruled out any knowledge of an IRS-equipped Falcon utility spotted driving around suburban Melbourne recently.

Of course, since Ford's ute is based on the same long-wheelbase platform as its wagon, it is likely the next generation AV Falcon range will include IRS versions of both the ute and wagon.

Witnesses say the IRS system is different to the double wishbone rear suspension employed by AU sedans.

Finally, Nayler hedged his bets when asked whether the use by the new 2005 E169 Falcon of a smaller 5.0 litre version of the modular quad-cam Ford V8 would be seen as a backward step, particularly when Holden's recently announced Victorian engine plant will produce the Gen III V8 in capacities of up to 6.0 litres for Commodore.

"Maybe not. It depends on what it produces - the final engine strategy is not yet decided but there is a 5.0 litre V8 coming that's part of a modular engine family which also includes a 4.6 and 5.4." Asked about the possibility of the new Falcon employing a SOHC 18-valve 3.8 litre V6 with variable valve timing to compete with Holden's locally built DOHC 24-valve V6, Nayler was less forthcoming.

"There is a 3.8 litre V6 in the pipeline, but I don't know much about it," he said.

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