• Falconforums at the FG X media launch -XR8

    Ok, now about the FGx XR8 or should I say

    FGx XR8.

    I expected it to be good but it was far more than that.
    We had camped overnight in the winery district and in the morning there were a gaggle of XR8s, XR6Ts and G6ETs sitting there waiting to be played with.
    My co-driver Nick (Falcon Coupe from AFF) did a runner and grabbed one of the new gold XR8s in manual before any of the journos had a chance.
    Off we went on a magical mystery tour of the mountain roads south of Woodonga. After a few interesting incedents got to the first driver swap point (last) and it was my turn.

    Well what can I say, I have owned 4 manual performance falcons in the last decade and the XR8 felt like all of them, familiar, comfortable and predictable everything that makes Falcon such a driver's car.
    Of course it had HUGE amounts of torque and sounds good from the inside and GREAT when you have a window open.
    We left the main road for the mountains and I decided to investigate just how much better the XR8 was than my GT-P and modded F6.


    I managed to go through most corners at double the "recommended" speed, some a bit more. I pushed and pushed it harder and harder until I noticed a bit of panic starting in the left seat but did not manage to push it into either understeer or oversteer. Rounding corners at the speed on the yellow sign was easy regardless of road surface and even higher speeds right up to the actual speed limit would possible without crossing the centre line on most corners. The XR8 also exhibits the characteristic of engine drag which allows moving the CoV away from the CoG (something the T6 does not) so I could enter corners much faster with the turning moment further to the rear.


    This is one of my hobby horses. There is no point in going fast if you cannot stop. I have been a bit disappointed with the brakes on my FG2 XRT, so must so that ungraded them slightly, but the XR8 brakes are brilliant and on a par with those on my old GT-P. The guys at Ford really have their act together with the braking.


    Yep it does that. And it does it VERY predictably and responsively. The urge is there exactly when you need it and will respond instantly to the throttle position. There is no lag nor roll on. It does what you tell it to do without any fuss.

    So off we went to Winton for a bit of fun. Bricktop had made a motokana track for us to misbehave on, well actually push the car to see how far it would go before saying "enough". It was not a fast track and I only got to about 60km/h but it really did show just how well the RSpec and DSC really stabilise the vehicle. It behaved magnificently and the only way you could muff it was to purposely over steer while holding the throttle flat or just be a "camry driver" with no idea what was actually going on. Most did the run cleanly but some looped or ate cones (or both). Bottom line; to screw up you have to be pissed, stupid, incompetent or all of the previous.

    Then we went to the "Traffic light Grand Prix simulator", I mean launch control demonstration. This car was an auto as opposed to the above which was a manual. Well how mutant proof is this system you ask? You engage traction control, put the car in D (for drag), hold your left foot on the brake, then press the accelerator flat to the floor. The tacho rolls up to about 2500 and you slip your left foot off the pedal.
    WOOSH. 4 and a bit seconds later 100km/h so no HSV bogan with anything less than a $100k GTS has a hope of seeing which way you went.
    Our track was only about 300m and ended in a brake test chicane so we did not get any 400m figures but as there were 10 guys doing this over and over again I can tell you that neither the launch control nor the brakes got upset at the constant flogging. Oh and at the 300m we were all in the mid 160s as far as speed was concerned.
    I have been told that the 0-400 is 12.6 which I suspect is not bad for a bog standard car

    Now it comes to the summary:

    The XR8 is the most capable Falcon (as opposed to FPV) ever made by a long shot. It is effectively a GT-Rspec with out the badge, stripes or color schemes with the one mechanical difference that is does to have the track camber setting option.
    It comes with the Sync2 widget which is bloody amazing. Ford went on about how they had spent a lot of time and effort making it "Australian" which I took with a grain of salt until I got annoyed with it and said "Fuck you" to which it replied "Is that right?" Yep 110% Australian...
    Interestingly I overheard quite a number of the "professional" journos berate it for not having passing car detectors or auto up windows or soy latte dispensers (ok I made that one up) but the XR8 is a DRIVERS CAR not a Camry so if you think that a car is to travel as a fridge is to cooking then do not buy a XR8. On the other hand if for you driving is the reason for travel rather than the method the XR8 for $50k and a bit is the bargain of the decade.

    Seriously, for $52k ($54k for auto) this is what you get:
    The GT 335Kw engine, EXACTLY the same as every GT, GT-P, GT-E, GT-RSpec in fact every miami except the GT-F and GS
    4 spot Brembos the same as the GT
    GT RSpec suspension and DSC (except for track camber setting)
    RSpec Mags without the color scheme as in 8x19 front 9x19 rear
    A new interior that looks GREAT with the black roof lining
    Sync2 which operates all the gadgets including your phone

    If you are a Falcon enthusiast (and if you are not why are you here) then not buying one of these would be like giving away a winning lotto ticket. You WILL regret it.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Falconforums at the FG X media launch started by HSE2 View original post
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. andrewforbes's Avatar
      andrewforbes -
      Love the write up mate, sounds like u had fun. The xr8 is a hell of a car, got to ride in one at falconfanatics day. Just awesome, if I had the money I'd have one in a heart beat. Had a ride in a hsv 317 the other week, good but left me feeling like it was all noise n no real go whereas the xr8 left a huge impression on me, it just throws u back in the seat violently, I have no doubt it could do a little over 11 second 1/4's. I really, really really wish I could buy one, I can't tell ya how much I really want one. I will enter every competition that has one as a prize in the hope I win.
    1. Falc'man's Avatar
      Falc'man -
      The 11 second thing is an error. Nothing a tune and breathing changes won't fix.

      In standard form there is simply nothing on the market that produces this much power for the money. Daylight is second, XR6T third.
    1. TS50's Avatar
      TS50 -
      nice write up
      really makes me want to get behind the wheel
    1. HSE2's Avatar
      HSE2 -
      I just want one!
    1. TICK4D-TAS's Avatar
      TICK4D-TAS -
      Nice write up, I hope they sell like hot cakes!