9 May 2006
Hot on the heels of the F6 Typhoon sedan comes a sports utility
from Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV). Called the F6 Tornado, the new
Falcon ute is aimed fair and square those who might be considering the
HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) utilities.
Intended for the serious driving enthusiast, the FPV F6 Tornado
is based on the turbocharged Ford six-cylinder engine. Power has
been boosted to a very handy 270 kilowatts, with torque peaking at
a mind-blowing 550 Newton metres. The torque is higher than on any
production vehicle every built in Australia. The F6's torque comes
in very early in the rev range and sits not far below its peak at
virtually all engines speeds used in day-to-day driving.
Transmission is through a Tremac six-speed manual gearbox and
the same modifications to the twin-plate clutch of the Typhoon
sedan have been carried over to the Tornado.
These are hot cars in the true sense of the word. Engine
response is very rapid, with a minimum of turbo lag. The engine
note is excellent, perhaps not quite as deep down and exciting as
that of one of the Ford V8s, but not far from it either.
Steering has been nicely sharpened up and the feel through the
small thick-rimmed wheel is just the sort of thing the keen driver
will really appreciate. The uprated brake system has a real bite
and FPV can give you a Brembo-based braking system for an
additional $5950 if you want to really push the Tornado ute to its
limit. Though the Brembos are probably only needed for track days.
Road holding is generally very high, though there's the
occasional shake in the tail that you might expect from a ute with
relatively stiff springing. There's also a noticeable loss in ride
comfort compared with the excellent levels in the Typhoon. Thatís
partly because FPV believes that even a sports ute should be able
to carry a reasonable load. The Tornado can tote 600 kilograms.
Incidentally, the FPV ute actually weighs more than the sedan.
Firstly because of the aforementioned tough build of the vehicle,
but also because itís longer in the wheelbase than the Typhoon.
The cabin retains the same comfortable spaciousness as the rest
of the ute range. Itís good to have space behind the seats to
carry tools, briefcases and so on as we never like leaving items
like that in the load tray. The seats and trim have a nice sporty
look and feel and certainly locate the body well during hard
driving. There's an individually numbered build plate on the
centre console that really looks the part. We could, however, live
without the push-button starter, preferring the traditional
FPV's new Tornado ute is priced at just $51,990 plus on-road
costs. Australian performance cars, whether they are from Ford
Performance Vehicles or arch rival HSV continue to offer amazingly
good value for money. These are some of the fastest two-seater
cars ever sold in Australia and have the advantage of Ďbootí
space that makes the typical sports car look like a real joke!
Marque Publishing Company