2011 FPV GT and GS Launch Review

Tony O'Kane | 18 Comments

FPV GT AND GS REVIEW

2011 fpv gs gt gt p gt e launch review australia 04

For the first time in its history, FPV doesn't have a naturally-aspirated powerplant in its entire line-up.

The old 5.4-litre Boss V8 has been retired in favour of the all-new supercharged 'Miami' V8, based on the Mustang's Coyote 5.0 litre V8. It's this engine which now powers the GS, GT, GT E and GT-P.

It's also the most powerful motor in the company's history, with all GT variants enjoying a hairy-chested 335kW output. Even the 'lowly' GS boasts a 315kW output – the same as the old 5.4-powered GT.

In a departure from its usual policy, FPV has also released its own 0-100km/h times for each model. The manual GT dispatching the mark in a claimed time of just 4.9 seconds; the GS hitting triple digits in 5.2 seconds.

To mark the arrival of its new powertrain, FPV invited Australia's motoring media to Melbourne to get their first taste of the new supercharged bent-eight.

The range officially goes on sale on October 25, but you may want to head down to your local FPV dealer a little earlier. If our first drive experience is anything to go by, FPV's new family of V8s will sell like hotcakes.

Externally, there's not a lot that differentiates the 2011 cars from the superseded model.

There's a new “hockey stick” stripe package on the GT and GT-P as well as a distinctive quad exhaust package and new 19-inch alloy wheels, but the sheetmetal, bumpers and interior carry over.

That's not a bad thing. The FG-based FPV sedans still look modern, distinctive and sporty.

Drivers will instead feel the most difference from behind the steering wheel. Punch the starter button and a familiar V8 rumble is evident, but give the throttle a firm prod and the unmistakeable whine of a supercharger buzzes through the firewall.

2011 fpv gs gt gt p gt e launch review australia 01

There's also a satisfying exhaust crackle on the overrun, giving the new V8 a very pleasing aural signature.

Where the old 5.4 was a little lethargic down low, the supercharged 5.0 is keen and alert. Thanks to the Harrop supercharger, peak torque arrives at 2200rpm and is on tap all the way to 5400rpm.

The power curve is exceptionally linear too, and throttle response is near-instant.

That translates into a substantial shove in the back under acceleration, and the surge in power continues right up until 5500rpm, just shy of the 6000rpm redline.

While we couldn't replicate FPV's claimed 0-100km/h figures during the launch, the GT certainly felt as fast – if not faster – than FPV's own F6.

The Boss 335 and Boss 315 are both extraordinarily tractable engines at low rpm. The GT, GT-P and GT-E develop a substantial 570Nm of torque, with the GS producing 545Nm.

In normal suburban driving the manual-equipped cars can make use of much taller gears than the old 5.4, and the optional six-speed automatic is very smooth and refined.

2011 fpv gs gt gt p gt e launch review australia 05

Clutch effort is beautifully light thanks to a new twin-plate clutch, which happens to be shared with such hi-po machinery as the Dodge Viper and Corvette ZR-1.

The shifter of the Tremec TR 6060 manual transmission has a slightly rubbery feel, but the gate is clearly defined and the throw not too long.

In our opinion the manual is preferable to the automatic, if only for the auto's propensity to 'drag' the engine up to speed on downshifts.

The six-speed ZF-sourced auto is definitely the better transmission for straight-line acceleration though.

The rest of the driveline has come in for some detail changes; the most noticeable is a recalibration of the traction control and ESP software.

With 20 extra kilowatts and a monstrous torque curve, the GT pours buckets of grunt into the rear wheels, and with tyre sizes and compounds remaining the same as the last GT (245/35R19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx), the 2011 model breaks traction all too willingly.

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When it intervenes, the traction control doesn't shut the party down entirely, but it does hamper acceleration. Finding the sweet spot for both throttle and clutch will clearly take some practice.

Suspension hardware hasn't come in for many changes, with only minor revisions to account for the all-alloy 5.0 V8's lower overall weight (it's some 40kg lighter than the old 5.4). Suspension specs are shared between GS and GT.

However, because of the reduction in engine mass, both the GT and GS feel less nose-heavy and a little more nimble as a result.

That said, there is still a lot of mass up front and a lot of car behind it. But while neither model feels quite at home being muscled through tight hairpins, Ford's double wishbone suspension provides good road feel with well-controlled balance. The handling of the V8 models is now about on par with the F6.

Brake performance in the GT, GT-P and GT-E is excellent thanks to the big Brembo brake package, with a strong pedal and no evidence of fade on a spirited downhill blast.

Unfortunately, the GS makes do with the old XR8's sliding calipers, which have less bite and don't inspire as much confidence as the Brembos of its bigger brothers.

Thankfully a Brembo brake package is available as an option on the GS, however it costs a sizable $4000.

Our First Drive Verdict

By FPV's own reckoning, the search for a new engine for its V8 range has cost in the region of $35 million. In our opinion, it's money well spent.

The new engines, whether in 315kW trim or with a full-blooded 335kW, are brilliant. From the sound that's emitted from the tailpipes to the superb linearity of its power delivery, the new Boss engine ticks all the right boxes.

The GS may be the low-output variant, but with 315kW and 545Nm it's not too far from HSV's own entry-level sports sedan, the 317kW Clubsport R8.

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More importantly, the GS only costs $56,990 in sedan form, making it a bona-fide bargain compared to the $69,600 R8.

It's a similar story with the GT, which retails for $71,290 and comprehensively bests the $82,900 HSV GTS for power, torque and price.

Even the up-spec GT-P retails for slightly less at $80,990. And, even better, the automatic transmission is a no-cost option across the range.

Not only are FPV's new range of V8-powered sedans and utes superb value, but they're superb cars overall.

A full road test will allow us to fully assess the new engine's capabilities, but for any performance car fan, you'd be mad not to consider one of these sporting Fords. With this V8 stable, FPV has given Ford fans something to really crow about.

In fact, if your allegiances are with the Holden camp, well, we certainly wouldn't blame you if you switched sides...

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Filed under: Featured, review, reviews, FPV, gt-p, fpv gt, GS, FPV GS, rwd, sedan, performance, ford, fpv gt-p, fpv gt e, gt e, family, large, enthusiast, 4door, 8cyl

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  • 288gto
    288gto says,
    4 years ago
    Would look heaps better without those stupid decals!!!
    • Shaun Camilleri says,
      4 years ago
      4 likes
      yeah the are a bit high on the doors... still it looks alot less tacky than the HSV E3
  • Damo67 says,
    4 years ago
    I hope they have made it a true keyless start (geez even a Vitara has that) instead of the bloody push button with a key.......... annoying and pointless!
  • Damo67 says,
    4 years ago
    I hope they have made it a true keyless start (geez even a Vitara has that) instead of the bloody push button with a key.......... annoying and pointless!
  • Robert Silveri says,
    4 years ago
    5 likes
    1970 Boss 302 Mustang stripes make a comeback - love it.....!

  • charles says,
    4 years ago
    Those stripes are seriously bad, why do these cars always look so cheap?
  • JMM584
    Josh says,
    4 years ago
    Why do Ford and Holden both insist on putting vulgar vinyl decals all over their "performance" models?

    I guess the redneck community prefers stickers.. makes the car go faster!
    • Adam Lane says,
      4 years ago
      1 like
      Ah yes, the old 'anyone-who-drives-an-FPV-or-HSV-must-be-a-bogan' argument. How tiresome. Quite apart from the fact that a Jim Beam swilling chap can't afford a new $70,000 FPV anyway, this is what is great about Aussie muscle cars, they're lairy and aggressive and full of attitude. They don't pretend to be an Audi or a BMW. What they are are well balanced, RWD sports sedans with a bloody great V8 up the front. They're just good fun.
      Anyone can buy a grey BMW or Audi, but it takes a sense of humor and a sense of fun to buy an FPV or HSV. In that way, they are representative of the people who make them. I'd rather have a drink with an FPV or HSV owner than a VW Golf owner anyday, because you know it's going to be fun, it's going to be a laugh.
      And for the price you're paying compared to their German counterparts, it's damn good value. Not to mention the fact that the Coyote is defintely going to give M5 a run for their money. Sort of like how the Sherman gave the Panzer a run for it's money back in 1945...
  • super matthew
    Super Mattthew says,
    4 years ago
    2 likes
    You guys have no appreciation for nostalgia and heritage.
  • 288gto
    288gto says,
    4 years ago
    nostalgia doesnt make it any better!
    the decals look great on the old Mustang, but they look tacky awkard on the FPV.
  • DM says,
    4 years ago
    Best FPV is the GTE. Looks far better without teh decals
  • says,
    4 years ago
    1 like
    Just took one for a drive (FPV GS). gets to 180kmh like its nothing. sounds nice is an understatement, the seats are nice. but all reviews are stating they are fast, i was actually expecting it to be quicker, the actually put u in the seat throttle was there sort of but meh left me feeling like it wasnt fast enough, great feel and great into a corner but also feels like its very wide, not sure if its the driving position im not used too or what.

    I am a Holden man so its a little biased but for a ford its ok. If these things are supposedly faster then the GTSs etc then im not buying either.13 second quarter miles are soooo 2005! tooo slooooow!!!!
  • says,
    4 years ago
    p.s for those wondering how i got one and had the freedom to hit the high speeds etc, My bro is a ford man and purchased one a few days ago throwing me the keys...
  • Corporal_clegg says,
    4 years ago
    1 like
    Word is that these vehicles are making astonishing amount of power on dynos - well over 300kw at the wheels. The reason they still 'only' do 13s 0-400m times has to do with aggressive torque management by the ECU in the lower gears. This can easily be switched off by an aftermarket tuner. I am an HSV man but these new FPVs are certainly to be respected.
    • shayne says,
      2 years ago
      good on ya mate for being honest i own 2011fpv gt 335 and i love every minute driving it all best
      • bradyn says,
        2 years ago
        i hate you sad but i do own a xy falcon with in kw terms has about 450 so im sound with that smile
  • GT 335 FPV Coyote says,
    2 years ago
    1 like
    Simon Shayne Adam are right, truth be known this Blown GT is a stand out. Having grown up building GT Mock-ups when I was younger and not able to afford a real one - I can honestly say this GT is something else.. and yes Ive driven genuine PH 3, 2 and others. (but this is way quicker). I dont knock the HSV stuff, they are good kit too, its just that some grew up under the oval flag,. The grunt from this thing is brutal but like most modern cars they are a little quiet for the ol'school types - mind you a ball bearing to block off the Bi-Modal vacuum line works a treat, costs a dollar or 2 at most and boosts the volume. When you throw in a SCT Tuner or similar for under 2K and get well over 500 Horse, its hard to ignore a SUB 13's capable car..all with air, steer etc etc... I can settle now after having had over 40 cars, FPV and Ford have delivered a new age monster that sounds awesome (crackle on over run, Blower whine etc) with the authenticity a GT owner looks for. If the V8 dies tomorrow with the introduction of some electrical/eco friendly - politically correct piece of junk, some of us will put our new/ol-school V8s on blocks for the next generation to look back on as archaic !..
  • Ray Adams says,
    2 years ago
    What a place the U.S. would be if we could get this here. The Falcon makes much more sense to me than either a Boss 302 Mustang or a Taurus SHO. Give me a Boss 315 (but keep the stripes)!

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