Bragging rights are a part of muscle car ownership, but not everyone likes bold stripes and decals. With the GT E, FPV has gone down the same road as the BMW M5 – all the performance you could ever want, but in a package that’s subtle and stylish.
The locally-developed supercharged 5.0-litre V8 engine is a beauty – one of the best stories for our local automotive industry in 2010 – and combined with the excellent styling job and sharp price ($82,540), the FPV GT E is a very desirable package.
FPV GT E Overview
This is FPV with subtlety – a high performance V8 sedan which would not embarrass you if parked in your spot at the office. For its target audience, the FPV GT E is very well thought-out.
Subtle in appearance but with that superb 5.0-litre supercharged V8 lurking under the bonnet.
Our test car was painted in a stylish metallic brown called ‘Havana’ and teamed with the excellent FPV GT E body kit and 19-inch, ten-spoke alloy wheels, it had brilliant street cred. Even those in the office - who sometimes have jokes at our expense regarding ‘street racer’ test cars with large spoilers and loud decals - were impressed.
FPV GT E Engine
Ford Australia’s first supercharged V8 and its most powerful road car ever – some impressive points right off the bat for the FPV GT E (and GT). Ford fans can thank a $40-million investment by British-based Prodrive (owners of FPV) for delivering those milestones.
The ‘donor’ engine is the lightweight, compact ‘Coyote’ 5.0-litre V8 introduced earlier this year in the North American Ford Mustang. It’s an all-alloy engine, with double-overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder, which complies with EuroIV standards.
The team at FPV take the Coyote components and hand-build each engine, fitting the locally-developed supercharger components and exhaust system.
And the result (in FPV GT E guise) delivers 335kW/570Nm, driving the rear wheels via a six-speed ZF automatic transmission. That’s ‘supercar’ specifications in any language.
And the extra good news is the supercharged V8 weighs-in 47kgs lighter than the previous 5.4-litre V8 which has flow-on benefits for suspension tune, ride and handling.
FPV GT E The Interior
Appropriately for a vehicle with a price tag north of $80K, there’s a strong smell of high-grade leather from the interior when you open the door of the FPV GT E. While FPV GTP and GT models get sports seats, the GT E scores the FPV luxury seats – trimmed in Soho leather, nicely supportive and a long way distant from the seats in standard Falcons.
Team those seats with the thick, leather-wrapped sports steering wheel, leather-trimmed gear lever plus the FPV instruments and the result for the FPV GT E is a truly world-class, well executed luxury/high performance interior which frankly took us a bit by surprise when we first took delivery of our test car.
Of course the rear seat and boot offer massive space (this is a falcon after all) which brings everyday practicality to this high-performance V8 sedan.
Good as the FPV GT E is, in this league (+$80,000) we reckon FPV could have done just a bit more in replacing some of the standard Falcon switchgear etc.
FPV GT E Exterior & Styling
So you take the good-looking FG Falcon, fit lowered sports suspension, side skirts, massive 19-inch, ten-spoke alloys, low front splitter with massive cool air intake and fog lights, add a bootlid spoiler – and, wait, there’s no decals or wings? Nope, not on the FPV GT E.
And in our opinion, it’s the subtlety that makes the FPV GT E a winner. FPV knew there was demand from customers for an ‘executive’ version of the GT (without decals and wings) and the execution of the GT E body styling is spot-on for those buyers (FPV says some will be purchased by company fleets).
Just the right amount of extra chrome and FPV badges round-off a first-class styling job.
FPV GT E On The Road
That 5.0-litre supercharged V8 engine dominates everything with the FPV GT E – its 335kW/570Nm lurking under your right foot, ready to be unleashed via the superb ZF six-speeder. Not that the GT E is a wild, bucking beast – far from it, as suspension changes, massive 19-inch rubber, Brembo brakes and electronics keep things very nicely tied-down.
We did two runs over our mountain roads test route in damp conditions. For the first run, we kept the transmission in ‘D’ and let it do all the work. For the most part, the FPV GT E delivered a very impressive showing with just a couple of tight corners where we wished the gearbox would hurry to select another cog.
The second run, using the sequential manual changes was certainly more enjoyable for performance drivers.
However in both runs there was no doubting the competence of the FPV GT E chassis which delivered sharp turn-in, nice mid-corner balance and a satisfying squat under hard acceleration.
Around town, the FPV GT E was very tractable with not one bit of hesitation or complaint about running in the daily peak-hour grind. Naturally that wonderful supercharged V8 delivered oodles of acceleration for freeway merging and overtaking.
Over Melbourne’s tram and train track crossing, ride was noticeably firmer than a standard Falcon but we’d reckon not as harsh as some high performance European sedans.
At all times, refinement levels were very high with just a bit of (not unpleasant) intrusion of induction noise under harsh acceleration.
Bottom line really – our FPV and HSV products rank amongst the world’s best high performance vehicles (as further evidenced after our week in the FPV GT E).
FPV GT E Challenges
It’s hard to fault the total FPV GT E package of performance, technology, styling and price, but to be very picky, probably in this league, the interior could do with a tad more luxury.
FPV GT E Verdict
Well, we were surprised. Sure we knew FPV’s credentials for building high performance sedans and we expected the supercharged V8 to be breathtaking – and it was – but we did not expect the total FPV GT E package to be so good. The result is an immensely desirable and reasonably priced muscle car to make dads happy as it doubles as a family sedan.
By any measure, the FPV GT E is a home-grown high performance sedan we’d be happy to have in our garage permanently.
FPV GT E The Competition
HSV’s Senator Signature stacks-up the only real rival for the FPV GT E. It’s a bit more expensive and doesn’t quite match Ford’s supercharged V8 for output.