The allure of Ford’s high-performance FPV range is like a magnet and heads turned wherever we drove our electric blue Ford FPV GS. It was clear performance car fans know the story of the all-new, locally developed supercharged V8 engine and wanted to know more.
And it’s quite a story – FPV’s $40 million program to enhance the American ‘Coyote’ V8 from the Mustang, for fitment to the local lineup, has produced a standout engine that could deliver vital export sales.
In the meantime, the local FPV range has received a supercharged injection with new models enjoying the boosted V8
Ford FPV GS Overview
Priced from $51,990 for the ute or $56,990 for the sedan as tested, GS is the entry-level FPV product. But ‘entry-level’ is an unjust term for this highly equipped muscle car with its bold exterior looks and handsome interior.
It’s no shrinking violet and the sound of the supercharged V8 at work is one of the best audios we’ve heard this year.
For homegrown performance car fans, the FPV GS is a winner.
Ford FPV GS Engine
The engine bay is the major talking point for FPV. Each of the supercharged V8 powerplants is hand-built by FPV and the lightweight 5.0-litre matches the output of FPV’s previous 5.4-litre naturally aspirated V8.
For the GS, maximum power is 315kW and peak torque is rated at 545Nm. This is identified on the bonnet decals as ‘Boss 315’.
Packaging is important for total vehicle dynamics and the supercharged V8 is 47kgs lighter than the outgoing V8, which has flow on benefits for chassis tuning.
With the American-sourced Coyote V8 as a starting point, local development centered on the supercharger and related ancillaries. The result is a sophisticated, Euro IV-compliant, all-aluminium engine with double overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder.
Drive is to the rear wheels and our test car was fitted with Ford’s excellent ZF six-speed automatic transmission (the manual is also a six-speed).
At the rear, FPV’s bi-model quad-pipe exhaust system delivers a sound that’s music to the ears of performance car fans.
FORD FPV GS The Interior
Our FPV GS test vehicle was fitted with the optional leather interior (‘Active’ cloth is standard) and this certainly provided an up-market feel.
FPV GS also scores a leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with remote switches for the audio and cruise control, FPV instruments and the FPV starter button (you turn the regular key to the ‘on’ position then hit the starter to fire-up the supercharged V8 with an accompanying roar from the exhausts).
The steering wheel adjusts for rake and reach and we liked the low, sporty driving position of the FPV GS.
Audio is an in-dash CD system with Bluetooth and iPod integration.
FPV GS offers the spacious rear seat and cavernous boot capacity we love in Falcons.
Ford FPV GS Exterior & Styling
FPV GS is available in 11 exterior colours and a choice of three colours for the hallmark FPV body stripes.
Bumpers are body colour and the rear features a black panel, which houses the four tailpipes.
FPV GS runs on new 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels finished in silver (the previous limited edition GS models had graphite coloured wheels).
Sure it’s the entry-level model, but the FPV GS still delivers the attention-grabbing looks of FPV vehicles. We liked the total package – the way the 19-inch wheels fill the wheel arches, the beautifully crafted and finished front spoiler and the colour palette are all just as you’d expect from FPV.
Ford FPV GS On The Road
Over the years we’ve tackled our high-speed mountain roads test loop in countless examples of Aussie muscle cars and – as the FPV GS confirmed – we remain patriotically proud of their brilliant on-road dynamics. The FPV GS was superbly responsive with the supercharged V8 delivering lots of torque on demand, the chassis was nicely balanced and the steering providing nice feedback at all speeds.
The FPV GS is a big car, but it felt light and nimble, easily handling rapid changes of direction with poise and all the time accompanied by the whine of the supercharged V8 at work. In fact FPV was able to re-tune the suspension front and rear because of the lighter weight of the new engine.
In the city, the FPV GS was impressively refined and not troubled by the peak hour crawl.
Naturally when parking you do need to remember that high gutters are not friends of the low front spoiler (the same for all performance cars). That aside, the FPV GS is perfectly suited to the weekday commute/weekend fun that all high performance sedans are designed for.
And when we needed quick acceleration for freeway merging or overtaking, the combination of the supercharged V8 and slick ZF automatic transmission were handy allies.
Ford FPV GS Challenges
We only deduct scores from the FPV GS for the interior. Just a bit more FPV trim – perhaps a carbon-fibre look or brushed aluminium here or there would deliver extra sizzle to match the exterior.
Ford FPV GS Verdict
Sign us up – the FPV GS is a beauty. Combine that sharp price with the superb local engineering of the supercharged V8, handy driving dynamics plus genuine muscle car looks and there’s no denying the FPV GS is a winner.
And we hope FPV is successful in garnering some export sales for their supercharged V8 – it deserves the accolades.
Ford FPV GS The Competition
Naturally it’s HSV. The FPV GS commands attention for its sharp price, which will bring buyers into the local muscle car market.
But even die-hard Holden fans will be impressed by the FPV supercharged V8 – one of the best local automotive developments of the year.
Ford FPV GS Likes:
Brilliant engine; great drive; value
Ford FPV GS Dislikes:
Needs more interior features