8

10

Model

GT F

Price

$77,990

The Numbers

5.0L supercharged V8, 351kW (404kW on overboost), 570Nm, 0-100km/h in 4.6secs

The Topgear Verdict

The muscular ‘351’ GT-F is a nostalgic tribute to a long line of Ford street fighters.

First drive: 2014 FPV GT F

We’ve just launched the final GT Falcon from 0 to 160km/h and it was everything we wanted it to be.

The muscular ‘351’ GT F is a nostalgic tribute to a long line of Ford street fighters. A big part of its appeal is the fact that it makes 351kW.

But it doesn’t.

Most of the time, except in first gear, or when the ambient temperature is high, the GT F pumps out 404kW.

What? A car that produces more than the people selling the car say it will?

What madness is this?

It makes 404kW due to something called transient overboost, which is another way of saying the supercharged engine goes bananas and produces an extra 15 per cent of power for 15 to 20 seconds.

Because it can’t do it all the time, in all conditions, Ford chooses not to count the extra power in its official power figure.

TopGear has previously written about this mysterious source of extra power, but this is the first time Ford has gone on record and admitted its existence.

The good news for some FPV owners is that the transient overboost function is not limited to the 351 GT F, but is present on every single Australian-developed supercharged 5.0-litre V8 FPV has sold since it was introduced in 2010.

The soon to be reintroduced XR8, which will be launched in November, will also feature the 5.0-litre supercharged V8 with the transient overboost feature.

FPV insiders suggest the 351 GT F can blast from 0-100km/h in 4.6 seconds. This is around 0.2 seconds faster than the GT R-SPEC, which was the fastest GT to that point thanks to its wider rear tyres.

Development testing suggested a 0-400m sprint time of 12-something seconds for the final GT F, which is damn fast.

TopGear was given a little taste of the GT F, including a couple of fast starts and a few laps at 160km/h on the banked oval at Ford Australia’s You Yangs proving ground south west of Melbourne.

We also went for a handling circuit ride with one of Ford’s crazy-fast development drivers, who was able to show that, in the right hands, the final GT is able to go blindingly fast around corners as well as in a straight line.

The GT F gains all of the suspension upgrades of the R-SPEC car, which includes nine-inch wide rear tyres (instead of eight-inch) and a full range of suspension upgrades to dramatically improve the handling of the big Ford.

It also gets six-piston front Brembos and four piston calipers at the rear.

The engine upgrades were done without any mechanical changes, instead relying on clever software tweaks to gain the extra grunt.

Ford developed a special exterior design, complete with a single wide stripe that runs over the bonnet, roof and boot and it also blacked out the door handles, wing mirrors, parts around the headlights and the rear spoiler.

There are a range of changes on the inside, the seats have special stitching and 351 embroidered in the headrests, there are unique black plastic trim bits and a special instrument cluster. Nerds will love the digital gauges on the centre screen, showing things like boost pressure and even G-forces. Ford suggests these gauges are for the passengers rather than the driver, who should be paying attention to the road instead.

FPV customers love badges with big numbers on them, so there are 351 badges for the boot and on the front quarter panels next to the front wheels.

We suggest owners order some spare badges because there is a good chance they’ll go missing at some stage.

Ford will make 500 GT F 351 sedans for Australia and another 50 for the Kiwis. Almost all of these have already been sold despite a considerable price of $77,900.

It will also produce 120 Pursuit utes (20 for the Kiwis), which have most of the 351 GT F features, but run a 315kW engine from the GS instead. These cost $52,990.

It only gets the less mental engine because the leaf-sprung ute already has trouble getting power to the ground with the 315kW version of the Miami V8 and engineers suggested fitting the ute with the 351kW (or 404kW) engine would have been pure madness.

Check out Top Gear Australia magazine for a more detailed test drive of the last ever GT Falcon.

Driven: June 10, 2014