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FPV to get V8 boost next year

Boss no more: FPV is developing a new V8 for introduction next year.

Ford's go-fast specialists confirm new V8 on the way

9 Mar 2009

FORD Performance Vehicles (FPV) will have a more powerful V8 engine next year, but it will still be locally assembled.

With Euro IV emission controls set to come in on July 1 next year, FPV will finally retire the existing 5.4-litre Boss V8.

What is not clear is whether the 2010 engine will be an advanced version of the current unit, which an FPV insider previously told GoAuto had exhausted its development capability, or a significantly new engine.

Two engines being developed by Ford US could form the base of the new FPV powerplant.

One is a dual-overhead-cam direct-injection V8 and the other is a 6.2-litre single-overhead-cam V8 that could be converted locally to a dual overhead cam set-up.

Either engine could be available in XR8 Ford models, which will also need a new or updated V8 to meet the mid-2010 emission standards.

 center image Left: FPV general manager Rod Barrett. Below: The FPV GT and GT-E.

It is not yet clear if these two Ford US engines would be available in time for the mid-year FPV deadline.

Either engine may require additional performance components to meet the sorts of power and torque figures being sought by FPV.

It should be noted that recently released Jaguar 5.0-litre direct-injection V8, available in naturally aspirated or supercharged form, is an upgraded version of the existing AJ engine and is different to the new Ford 5.0 V8.

FPV general manager Rod Barrett remains tight-lipped about the all-important powerplant, but did confirm the replacement engine was under development at the company’s Campbellfield headquarters.

“We are pressing on, we have got engines here at the moment and we are currently developing our new engine which will be Euro IV on July 1,” he said.

“This (existing) engine will go and there will be a new engine for us.”

Mr Barrett said the engine would be unique.

“I think you will be surprised when you see the engine come out,” he said.

“The engine will be hand-built over at FPV as it is now. That doesn’t mean the componentry can’t come in from somewhere else as it does now, but it will still be assembled at the engine plant.”

The big question among Ford fans is not so much about the identity of the new engine, but if it will be able to match the performance of the HSV V8 engines.

GoAuto asked Mr Barrett if the new V8 would rectify the perceived weakness of the Ford V8 compared to the HSV equivalent.

He said: “Yes. I’m excited about our new V8.”

When asked whether the engine would allow for more development – more power and torque – Mr Barrett said: “To stay competitive we have to keep developing the engine.”

It would also allow for fuel economy gains, Mr Barrett said.

“We got seven per cent out of F6 and five per cent out of the V8 when we went to FG so we will continue to look at fuel economy as we go,” he said.

While FPV does also have a strong six-cylinder, the V8 is the most important engine with sales split 62/38 per cent in favour of the eight.

“We are still very much a V8 car company,” Mr Barrett said.

Even so, the F6 six-cylinder represents a significant chunk of FPV share.

Last year, FPV was faced with a situation where the locally-made six-cylinder engine would be discontinued, leaving it to scramble to try to find a replacement engine.

While there was speculation the company would try to source a twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 from the US and attempt to improve it produce FPV-acceptable performance, GoAuto understands that no plan was in place to adapt the engine and the company faced a long period of no six-cylinder model, with an immediate loss of significant sales.

Mr Barrett said FPV had never confirmed it was going to take the US V6, and he admitted the announcement that Ford Australia had back-flipped and decided to continue producing the Geelong-made I6 engine was a massive boost for his company. “We were ecstatic when we heard the I6 engine would continue because it gave us so much scope for the future,” he said.

“It would have been tough for us to source a six that would replace the I6. That’s why the decision relieved a whole lot of pressure from where we were going with the six-cylinder variants. The best thing for FPV was the I6 coming back.”

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