Mike Stevens | Jan 20, 2010

FORD AUSTRALIA IS set to drop both its four-speed and five-speed automatic transmissions in the coming year - a move which could also signal the end for the ageing Falcon Wagon.

A new six-speed transmission will debut in the new diesel Territory and four-cylinder EcoBoost Falcon around the middle of next year.

Rather than using the current ZF six-speed transmission, the new six-speed is expected to be sourced from Ford's global parts catalogue.

While the five-speed auto used in the FG Falcon is built in France, the four-speed automatic was developed by Australian company Drive Systems International - recently purchased by Chinese carmaker Geely.

Ford's four-speed automatic was first introduced in 1989 with the EA Falcon II. Following a succession of overhauls and upgrades over the years, it is currently pressed into duty in the rear-wheel-drive Territory and the outgoing Falcon Wagon.


Speaking from Detroit, Ford Australia CEO Marin Burela was coy when asked if adopting the new six-speed would impact on pricing of its models, pointing instead to the fuel economy benefits a six-speed transmission offers.

A specific date has not been offered for the four-speed automatic's demise, but it is expected to make its exit when Ford introduces a liquid injection LPG system for the Falcon sometime around October.

The LPG-powered Falcon will be the first car sold in Australia to feature liquid injection LPG technology. HSV announced last year that it is developing its own LPG/LPI system, but has yet to confirm a launch date.

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