First Fang: FPV GT-F

IRONY’S a bitch, ain’t it? I mean, here we have the best high-performance vehicle ever to use an Aussie Falcon platform. It’s good enough that it deserves to sell in huge numbers, be admired by the world and enjoyed frequently by those who own one.

Then along comes reality. See, the FPV GT F 351 is destined to sell in tiny numbers, will rarely be seen on the road and will be driven sparingly by those with the keys. Why? All because the GT F is the last of the line; the last FPV-badged model and the last high-end V8 Falcon-based model to be built before Ford Oz turns off the lights in 2016. It is, in the words of Ford Australia CEO and president Bob Graziano, an instant classic. And that’s its biggest problem.

But there’s not a lot else wrong with it. The blown Miami V8 still measures five litres, but with some ECU tweaks, there’s now a 351kW output at eight psi of boost. And, if conditions (mainly ambient temp) allow, the engine can hang on to those eight pounds all the way to the ignition cut to provide an overboost function that jacks power up “beyond 400kW”. How much is `beyond’? Nobody’s saying. Rest assured, this thing boogies.

The platform is more or less carry-over GT R-Spec which gets you stiffer bushes all round, revised rear springs, a thicker rear sway-bar and the fiddles to the rear suspension arms that allow for a nine-inch rear hoop. It makes the GT F the best handling FPV ever and belies the weighbridge ticket that is still on the portly side of well-fed.

Visually, the big deal is the stripe over the roof, bonnet and bootlid, a graphic that is echoed on the interior across the gauge cluster and even the new animated gauges high in the centre stack. Throw in some darkened details (door handles, mirrors and decals) 19-inch alloys, some 351-specific identification and a numbered build plaque and you’ve got yourself a GT F… more or less.

As a long-distance tourer, this thing would really take some beating, but the tauter platform and big Brembo brakes (six potters up front, four-pots out back) mean it’s one of the few full-sized Aussie cars that would respond positively to a beating at the track, too.  The driving position still suffers from a too-high seat and a too-low steering column, but the ride quality is pretty good and the F still steers accurately for such a big `un.

It really does deserve a rich life where it can confirm its status as the best ever. But sadly, it’s also the last ever and Aussie muscle-car collectors’ experience of this stuff is that it’s a gilt-edged investment. More so if it’s in perfect nick with no kays on board. That’s why there are pretty much none of the 500 to be built without deposits against their $77,990 ask. Some dealers sold out their allocation weeks ago. It’s also why the GT F is doomed to spend its life in darkened, triple-locked garages with just a trickle-charger for company. How can we be so sure? Because while the factory options list for many performance cars includes sticky tyres and track-day tuition, in the GT F’s case, the big factory-option news is a car-cover with a stripe to match the car’s.

THE SPECS: 4951cc supercharged V8, 351kW, 570Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.6sec (estimate), 1862kg, six-speed automatic transmission, 13.6L/100km (claimed), $77,900 (sold out)

 

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