New suspension for Ford Falcon Sprint

New suspension for Ford Falcon Sprint

Most of the hoopla around the new Ford Falcon Sprints has concentrated on what’s under the bonnet.

Fair enough, too, considering that with 325kW/576Nm and 345kW/575Nm, the XR6 and XR8 Sprint respectively have enough grunt to be considered two of the very fastest automobiles Australia has ever produced. And that’s without taking into account the overboost function.

However, recent hi-po Falcons have already felt to have more power than they can effectively use, so thankfully Ford’s local engineering team have given the underside a thorough overhaul to make the most of the added performance.

Ford’s press release claims the engineers have "worked magic" and shows a typically long list of improvements in every area, but to understand just how and why these changes have been made we called Justin Capicchiano, Sprint Program Manager.

New -suspension -for -Ford -Falcon -Sprint -rearMost people assumed Ford would simply roll out the ‘R-Spec’ suspension tune that debuted in the 2012 limited edition FPV GT of the same name and has since done service in the GT F and XR8. This is not the case, and the first point to notice is that the XR6 and XR8 Sprint each has its own bespoke suspension tune.

Key to the suspension revisions has been the adoption of Pirelli P Zero tyres, rather than the Dunlop SP Sport Maxxes traditionally worn by hi-po Falcons.

Both cars wear 245/35 ZR19 rubber at the front and 265/35 ZR19 rears; while that is technically 10mm narrower than the current XR8 rears Capicchiano says the actual contact patch is within half a millimetre. "We’ve done everything around the tyres," he says. "It’s a much newer tyre [and] overall grip level is higher."

For the XR8 spring rates have been reduced while new dampers from Sachs - with three valves rather than 12 to restrict oil flow - are significantly firmer in rebound damping to the benefit, according to Capicchiano, at least, of ride, body control and handling.

New -suspension -for -Ford -Falcon -Sprint -engine"Primary ride is a significant improvement [and] both cars now really turn in a lot more positively. The car is a lot more ‘pointable’, you can turn in under brakes, it feels like we’ve taken weight out of the car. [The] handling is a different ball game."

Capicchiano and his team went even further with the XR6 Sprint, though that’s partly due to working from a less-developed base in the form of the XR6 Turbo rather than the newer XR8.

The XR8 Sprint setup was finished first and initially applied to its six-cylinder sibling, however it quickly became clear that the differences in weight distribution and power delivery required a bespoke solution.

The XR6 Sprint gains new springs and dampers, with the rear in particular being stiffened substantially. A number of XR8 parts make the transition to the XR6 for the first time, including a stiffer transmission mount, damper top mounts and a 19mm rear anti-roll bar (up from 18mm in the stock XR6 Turbo).

Ford -Falcon -Sprint -frontWheel alignment has also been optimised and there are revised steering settings in order to provide more off-centre feedback. It’s not the same as the XR8, as the two cars use different steering racks.

The scale of the changes is impressive, and probably unexpected by many who, as mentioned earlier, assumed Ford would roll out the R-Spec suspension package once again.

Capicchiano says that his team "wanted to go a slightly different way" to the racier setup of the final FPVs. How successful they’ve been we’ll find out in a few weeks when we drive the Sprints, but it’s clear at least that the last Falcon has a very good chance of also being the best.

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  • It will be an awesome car with the upgrades if only they had the money to bring the interior into the 21st century
  • Just posted a comment elsewhere and thought I'd drop it in here as some others who read this, and not that, may appreciate it. Some commenter called the falcon a dinosaur and mumbled something about good riddance. This was my answer to him (very 'shortened' version as this site has word limits!): . Great analogy 'Wise' - well said, I love it. The dinosaurs ruled the earth for well over 100 million years. The 'thunder lizards' as they were known were the most powerful and majestic land animals ever to walk our fragile planet. Nothing could challenge them. They served their purpose and then one day - they were gone. A power greater said it was their time. It is the great scheme of things. While they ruled they were the best and most powerful - truly fantastic and every other creature - all competition - cowered at their feet. . Nothing lasts forever. Electric is coming and sooner than we realize everything will seem very, very old indeed. Not even the Japanese rice burners, grossly overpriced Euro boxes or the housewife's lumbering fuel guzzling trendy 'SUV's', as the silly Americans like to call them. None of these has had a reign like the illustrious Falcon. Ford Falcon - built in the one place in the same country for 56 YEARS - by a company established here in Aus and building its little heart out for 91 YEARS, supplying not only jobs and a lifeblood for Aussie families but useful, great and reliably tough cars to build the country. . Anyone fortunate enough to score themselves the very best, the pinnacle of that history, a 2016 Falcon XR Sprint, can feel they have the very best ever to be created of the magnificent dinosaurs that towered with unmatched stature over all the others for more than half a century in Aus! A dinosaur indeed, and the BEST of the breed.
  • Can't understand why they haven't confirmed important details for buyers yet - is it arrogance or thoughtlessness or ineptitude? Things like the internal strengthening for Turbo 6. Does it have the crank, conrods and connecting pin strengthening of the old F6? Why the HELL wouldn't they inform prospective buyers about this to help them make a decision before buying a $60K car without all the necessary info to buy it? Especially enthusiast required detail like those important specs. beggars belief. Please, someone confirm they haven't just brought the bottom end of the standard XR6 motor across to Sprint and whacked on an F6 giant turbo, injectors and even bigger intercooler than F6. What about the STRENGTH of the motor Ford??!! What the HELL is wrong with Ford these days? It is feeling like disregard and/or for enthusiast buyers by with-holding crucial info like this. To tell us would put them at ZERO disadvantage and be a GIANT comfort for buyers like me who want to know it has been PROPERLY ENGINEERED> I have no confirmation of this fact anywhere - only 'big turbo' marketing BS so far. Come on Ford, get bloody real and stop head F***king with us. I called Ford HQ and they refused to say anything more than the dolly girl on the front reception would tell me. Disgusting. Get your act together Ford and regain the professionalism and respect from enthusiasts you lost from the 70's. This is a VERY poor show for the loyal buyers.
  • This is awesome. Well done to the Justin and the Ford engineers for really going all out on this car. Falcon deserves the send-off, even if the less historied employees at Ford haven't the same enthusiasm.