DIE-HARD Ford fans, here's one to tear at the heart strings, and possibly the wallet strings too.
Before the Aussie-built Falcon is resigned to history this October, limited edition Sprint versions of the turbocharged XR6 and XR8 models have been revealed offering more power and special exterior and interior design goodies, but accompanied by a decent price hike.
The XR8 Sprint's supercharged 5.0-litre V8 offers 345kW @ 5750rpm and 575Nm from 2220rpm - up 10kW and 5Nm respectively over your normal XR8.
However it's the XR6 Turbo that's really been boosted (pun intended). In Sprint guise it offers 325kW @ 6000rpm and 576 Nm @ 2750rpm - that's 55kW and 43Nm over a stock XR6 Turbo. Its motor features the turbo and injectors from an FPV F6, there's a larger intercooler, new engine and transmission calibration and a larger air intake.
Ford says it has developed a transient overboost function for both cars, meaning if conditions allow (specifically intake air temperature) the engines offer extra performance for up to 10 seconds. In the XR8 Sprint that means up to 400kW and 650Nm, and the XR6 Sprint up to 325kW and 576Nm. Good pub bragging ammo that.
So while we're comparing standard with Sprint, there's the small matter of the price jump to match the performance gains. Let's call it your Sprint premium. The Falcon XR6 Sprint is auto transmission only and costs $54,990 (it's $45,690 for a normal XR6 Turbo auto), while the XR8 Sprint can be had with a manual 'box for $59,990 (up from $53,490) or $62,190 (up from $55,690) for the auto.
You are buying into exclusivity however. Just 1400 Falcon Sprints will be built: 550 XR6 Sprints and 850 XR8 Sprints for Australia, with the Kiwis scoring the remaining 150. Each will have a numbered build plate on the engine.
Visually, Sprint buyers get 19-inch black wheels, upgraded Brembo brakes with gold painted callipers, black headlamp bezels, subtle black boot lid lip spoiler and new front fog lamp surrounds. XR8 Sprints also score a black painted roof and black wing mirrors.
Interiors are also special editioned, with leather/lux suede Sprint-embossed seats, chromatic mirror, dual zone climate and enhanced audio. But Ford fanatics will get really roused for the unique gauge cluster with Sprint logo, and the XR8 manual shifter's Sprint label. Expect knock-offs of those on eBay before long.
"We're excited to be able to offer our Falcon enthusiasts a car that truly represents the performance DNA of Ford," said Graeme Whickman, Ford president and CEO.
"The Falcon chassis is recognised for its refined ride and fantastic balance but our dedicated product development engineers have taken the opportunity to further hone the Falcon's dynamic package - ride, body control and performance of the six cylinder turbo and V8."
Deliveries of the new Sprint models begin this May.