The Ford G6E Turbo is quite possibly the one of the best value sports sedans sold in Australia. The 50th Anniversary makes it an even more compelling buy.
I got the chance to sus out this car recently and I admit I’d never driven a turbo charged Ford before. I’d driven plenty of Falcons though and even though I thought first and foremost that they have looks only a mother could love – particularly the AU when not in TE form one thing could not be denied – the famous 4.0-litre in-line 6 engine. Every Falcon I’ve driven or been in has had very useable grunt from its 6 cylinder – even the old ones. Now, the BA Falcon had about 180kW in atmo form. When they added a turbo (God bless em) that figure rose to around 230kW for the XR6 Turbo and 270kW for the FPV F6. Both cars were instant hits and the Turbo was permanently part of the Ford line up.
So what happens when the new FG (and best looking Falcon in years) arrives? More power obviously!
The XR6T ends up with the same power as the old F6 – 270kW and the F6 has a whopping 310kW. Wowsers. The thing is – a lot of people with around $50k plus to spend on a Ford don’t necessarily want the XR6. It looks okay sure and it has a monster motor but the level of goodies you get inside and the standard interior isn’t very special. Enter the G6E. Now you get luxuries anyone would love like leather, full electrics, reversing camera etc. Add that bloody turbo and now we’re talking.
This G6E Turbo I tried impressed me. I reckon it’s the best-looking Falcon that Ford currently make. It has really nice understated grills and spoilers that don’t scream “pull me over” but still make for a car that looks tough and somewhat classy. The 50th Anniversary edition wheels are awesome too. I love multi spoke rims and the 19s look great in a gunmetal colour.
So far so good. I slide myself into the leather seat and adjust to my driving position using the provided electrics. Must say, I’ve always been a sucker for electric seats. Seems to posh really. I have a good look around the cabin and it looks familiar Ford Falcon but there’s nice touches to the interior (trims, leather coverings, switch gear) to make it feel more expensive and it works. I’m happy. But all this means nothing to me frankly at the moment because I can’t stop wondering what this engine is going to be like. I remember driving the AU falcon and I was staggered at the way that thing went. Surely a bang for your buck bargain and all the power you’d really want. This thing is basically 100kW up on that car. I turn the key and the car starts drama free with that little familiar twist in the chassis.
This car has the new 6-speed ZF auto with sports shift. I casually set it in drive and hesitantly squeeze the throttle. As I gently take off, it occurs to me that a) I’m not in a supercar and b) regular blokes buy these things. Of course it’s not going to try to murder me. Well so I thought. This car is a little like the Godfather – smiling at you, looking all nice dressed up its leather attire and then you cross it and it strikes.
As I cruise up the road with my (initial) relaxed composure and I put my foot down. The ZF thinks for a sec and then puts that crazy engine right into its thick torque curve and it literally scares the living shit out of me. I lift rather quickly than I thought I would actually as I’m suddenly covering ground at a rapid rate. I swear out loud and then have a look at the badge on the wheel. Ford. Right. This is nuts for $55k! I can do that AND have sat nav and climate control. Bloody hell.
This car’s owner told me that this car was quick but I had no idea. As I come around a corner and sink the boot in, the traction control strives to keep the car from stepping. It’s then that I remember being told “make sure the wheel is straight when you floor it”. Right – understand now. So I pull onto a straight and think “okay, wheel is straight”. I give it the beans again only to find the G6ET struggling to put the power down in first, second and third. This is nuts. The 19s are gorgeous but really not wide enough at the rear to cope with that 270kW. The acceleration is really great and very, very addictive. Even just crusing around, I found myself just giving it a little squirt all the time. This car also rides really well. The XR6 is stiffer but the FG Falcon has such a nice chassis that it does handle even though it’s a big car. The weight is still there though. Just wish it had wider rears.
Steering is nicely weighted with decent feel and the gearbox is great too. The 6-speed is an improvement over the last fiver. The shifts are quick and smooth and it doesn’t take 100 years to downshift when you decide you wanna have a play. Be ready though cos when that 6 comes on boost you’ll know about it. A nice feature on the shifter if you still want your beast in auto is the sport mode. Flicking the lever out to manual position but not moving it unleashes performance. The box selects a lower gear for more power and holds revs better. Nice thing actually. The brakes are standard affair – if the bremos from the F6 were present you’d be set.
So. Here we have two cars. You can cruise long distance in a very capable GT style automobile with heaps od creature comforts that make this the perfect daily drive. Then again, you can have a blast if you want to. It really makes a convincing argument. Honestly, it’s a little bonkers the way this thing comes on boost but I honestly and truly wanna drive it again. I loved it.