When a little more horsepower’s needed

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There would certainly be a time in any man’s life when just a little more horsepower would be meaningful, whether that be in power tools, the bedroom or out on the road. Power tools don’t get discussed in motoring pages and the bedroom’s your own affair, but out on the road Ford’s there to help. 

The new BF series Falcon has arrived and, with it, has come a range of trade-friendly, extra horsepowered utility vehicles — such as the XR6 turbo-charged version. For the technologically-minded, Ford’s engineering team has boosted power to 245kW at 5250rpm, while torque has been signifi cantly increased to 480Nm at just 2000rpm.

It’s been done through revising camshafts, incorporating dual knock sensors and building dual, independent variable cam timing (VCT) into the Barra 245T engine. Now add to that the inclusion of the all-new ZF 6HP26 six-speed automatic which is a no-cost option on the XR6T ute. 

This sophisticated transmission deserves a small book of its own. Despite the fact that the conventional fourspeed has been upgraded, I personally cannot see why the necessity is there for it at all, given that the sixspeed is so much more versatile and cooler to have. 

Now you can also take into account that the new BF Falcon range, and that includes the XR6T — offers better fuel effi ciency. In the BF XT sedan, the difference is a 5.2% increase in effi ciency over the BA Mk II. 

We’re not suggesting that it will necessarily be the same for the ute, but it’s pretty obvious that the BF ute will show some improvements. But if you’re buying the XR Turbo, performance may not necessarily be foremost in your mind. And the BF line has thrown some design elements into the workhorse arm of the range. 

The tail section shows off new tail lights, while the front gives a new bumper unit and racy fog lights a la a V8 supercar image. And specifi cally because this is an XR model, the turbo ute gets 17-inch alloys over the regular 16s. Inside, new fabric makes for a cooler interior look, and the integrated centre console has been treated with a new liquid metallic finish to serve as a counterpoint to the leather wrapped wheel. 

There’s also a button on the dash that’s new — traction control. Trust me, you want to leave this on for the most part. And while we’re on the subject of car control equipment, you also have ABS with electronic brake force distribution and a performance brake package. 

Will it haul? Will it what! With that much power, there’s not much that fazes the new Falcon turbo ute. And for those who have issues with cab space, granted that this is a two-seater — there’s actually quite a bit of covered stowage area between the seats and rear cabin walls. 

In summary, the new XR6T is quieter, more effi cient and more refi ned, and offers a little more horsepower. And at $49,990 we reckon it’s a bargain.