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.
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.