“Passion” was the word of the night at the opening of Ford’s ‘Outside the Oval’ exhibition in Melbourne.
The exhibition, featuring design pieces and artworks by Ford Australia designers and engineers, is a charitable event (running this weekend only) to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
At centre-stage, and the honey pot for blue oval fans, was the first public reveal of the reborn Falcon XR8 complete with a supercharged 5.0 litre 335kW Boss V8 under the bonnet.
Local boss Bob Graziano spoke of the “passion” in Ford Australia for its design and engineering work, demonstrated, he said, in the returned XR8 and in the ‘Outside the Oval’ exhibition.
But he also recognised the support by Ford employees, and Ford Motor Company, for juvenile diabetes research.
“Last year Ford Australia raised more than $25,000 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, while Ford globally raised a staggering $3 million to fund critical diabetes research,” Mr Graziano said.
He was joined by the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing, the Hon David Hodgett, who opened the exhibition.
Mr Hodgett commented on Ford Australia’s design and engineering expertise and its key place in Ford’s global product development.
Australia’s largest automotive R&D employer
Also yesterday, US Ford Motor Company’s new CEO Mark Fields outlined his ambition for Ford to grow global sales to 9.4 million units before 2020. That represents an increase on current global sales of 55 percent.
Here, while manufacturing is to cease, Ford’s globally-linked Campbellfield design facility, one of only four world-wide, will continue to have a major role in the engineering and design of Ford products in the Asia Pacific region, under Ford’s global “One Ford” plan.
The You Yangs Ford Proving Ground is also to be retained.
When it exits from manufacturing in 2017, the blue oval brand will remain as the largest automotive R&D employer in Australia, with an annual R&D budget of more than AUD$300million.
In all, Ford Australia employs more than 1100 engineers and designers between the two facilities.
While also behind the heavily refreshed Falcon range, the numbers of Everest mules running around Ford’s You Yangs Proving Ground would indicate a heavy involvement by Ford Australia in the development of that key global-market SUV.
You can see the ‘Outside the Oval’ exhibition this weekend at ‘1000 Pound Gallery’, 361 Little Lonsdale Street.
Many of the pieces, in a range of mediums, are for sale, with 35 percent of the proceeds going to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
New Falcons Now On The Roads
Outside the exhibition, the display of three more Falcons in the street indicated that production of the new car is well underway.
Fortuitously, on the trip back home along the Bass Highway, right outside GM Holden’s Lang Lang Proving Ground and nearly 100km from Melbourne, we were passed by a new Falcon, possibly a G6E.
The hockey-stick tail-lights and the accentuated long bonnet gives it a very nice balance.
(‘1BK 70D’, we know you’re out there. Next time...)
If you see any of the new Falcons out and about, shoot your photos through to TMR and we’ll add ‘em to our gallery.
The new Falcon goes on sale in Q4 this year.
Falcon XR8 - Fast Facts
- 335kW/570Nm Supercharged Boss 5.0 litre 32-valve V8
- 6spd manual, or 6spd auto
- Leather interior, monogrammed seats and sills
- Eight-inch touchscreen, Ford’s Emergency Assistance and SYNC2 systems, DAB+ digital radio and WiFi hotspot.
- FPV GT RSPEC suspension, Brembo brakes (four-piston callipers)
- Limited slip differential
- Quad-tipped exhaust system
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels (8.0-inches wide front, 9.0-inches rear)
- XR8 manual $52,490
- XR8 6-spd auto $54,690
Pricing (excludes on-road costs)
2015 Ford FG X Falcon Sedan
- Falcon 4.0L Petrol or 2.0L EcoBoost (auto) - $35,900
- Falcon XR6 4.0L Petrol (manual) - $35,590
- Falcon XR6 4.0L Petrol (auto) - $37,790
- Falcon XR6 Turbo 4.0L Petrol (manual) - $42,990
- Falcon XR6 Turbo 4.0L Petrol (auto) - $45,190
- Falcon G6E 4.0L Petrol or 2.0L EcoBoost (auto) - $40,110
- Falcon G6E Turbo 4.0L Petrol (auto) - $46,550
- Falcon XR8 5.0L Petrol (manual) - $52,490
- Falcon XR8 5.0L Petrol (auto) - $54,690
Note: EcoBoost four-cylinder engine is a no-cost option on Falcon and Falcon G6E
Options - Falcon XR8
- Prestige Paint - $385
- Matching Alloy Spare - standard
- Leather Seat Trim - standard
- Tow Pack (1600kg rated) - $550