$76,940 – $76,940
Good: Super fast acceleration; smooth transmission; comfortable seats; lot of space inside; excellent long distance tourer.
Not so Good: Understated exterior styling too Falcon like; engine sound can’t match that of a big V8; interior doesn’t feel overly special for the asking price.
Design and Engineering
Good : The FPV F6 E, a luxury version of the F6 (the E stands for Executive), was released in August 2009, just over a year after the first FG Series FPV’s went on sale. Of all the big performance sedans ever sold in this land, the F6 E could be the most understated of the lot. Whilst under the bonnet sits the same brute of an engine as the F6, a 4.0L inline 6 cylinder turbo producing peak power of 310kW and a mighty 565Nm of maximum torque, the exterior is not nearly as aggressive as its rival from HSV or the ‘standard’ FPV F6.
From August 2010, the engine now meets Euro 4 emissions standards that came in force Down Under the previous month.
Not so good : Is the styling too tame? The F6 E’s small boot lip spoiler is so understated that from the rear it is difficult to notice this is an $80,000 luxury sports sedan and not a standard Ford Falcon (especially if you opt for a silver coloured F6 E as the differentiating rear diffuser insert is painted silver no matter what the exterior colour). The front bumper also misses out on the contrasting grey coloured panel below the headlights (it’s painted the same colour as the rest of the body unlike the F6).
Interior and Styling
Good : Over the F6, the F6 E executes a more luxurious feel thanks to more comfortable front seats with classy stitched leather (they’re also electric powered), suede finished door pockets (rather than plastic) and panels of dark walnut trim. The usual FPV touches also apply: the bold red starter button, embossed FPV logos in the seats, FPV badges on the dash and a plaque stating the build number.
Usual donor Falcon pluses apply. These include a generously sized cabin with adequate storage compartments and a large boot (the rear seatback also split folds for when you need to carry longer loads). The instruments in the centre console are logically arranged, the LCD screen is positioned nice and high and the heating and ventilation controls are tailor made for Australia’s diverse weather conditions.
Not so good : Unlike most cars fitted with a start button, in the F6 E you have to first insert and turn the key before the starter button can be pressed – keyless start is much more logical if a model is fitted with a start/stop button. For the considerable asking price and the positioning of this model as a sports luxury sedan the satellite navigation system looks outdated (having to use a remote-control unit is frustrating and the graphics are old-school), the shiny silver finish of the centre console looks far too plastic (which admittedly it is), the walnut trim panels don’t look like real wood and the carpet in the boot screams cheap.
Good : Don’t let the understated styling fool you as the F6 E really is one super quick sports sedan! Performance from the 4.0L 6 cylinder turbo power-plant is startling. Unlike the traditional V8 with its linear power curve, this engine can easily be spinning it’s tyres under 3,000 revs as the turbo boost kicks in (alarmingly at times!). 310kW of torque and a beasty 565Nm of torque are big figures but it’s the acceleration from 80km/h to 120km/h that had us most excited.
The engine is matched to a high quality six-speed ZF automatic transmission.
Not so good : For a car that’s part sports and part luxury we wish it sounded tougher at low revs. Converted muscle car fans will surely miss the big bass of a tuned V8 engine. And for a luxury sedan the power delivery can feel a bit extreme as it doesn’t take much of a push past half way of the accelerator pedal for the tyres to be chirping away which is not an understated way to travel. However we should admit the F6 E can easily be driven in a perfectly sensible manner, it just takes a little (or a lot) of self discipline with all that power so readily available.
Ride and Handling
Good : Feels at home on the highway – actually over most road surfaces the ride is very comfortable and far better than a couple of more expensive European luxury sports sedans. The steering is light but still accurate and communicative, helping to create the feeling that you in a size smaller vehicle than such a big car. As standard FPV has fitted the Premium Brembo brake package to the F6 E which is an expensive cost option for the ‘regular’ F6.
Not so good : Whilst the engine is much more sport than luxury orientated, the opposite could almost be said for the handling. When pushing through a high speed corner, bodyroll is a little more evident than ideal and the suspension can become unsettled over coarse and undulating terrain (again in relation to the very high amounts of power on offer).
Buying and Owning
Good : Ticks the safety box with a 5 star ANCAP crash rating. 6 airbags as standard (front, side and curtain) as well as stability control, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist. The cruise control system works well and the official fuel economy figure of 12.1 litres per 100kms is lower than the competing HSV Senator.
DataDots security should help you sleep easily at night (thieves hate this technology) and standard parking sensors will minimise the chance of scraping the big bumpers when reversing into a tight spot.
Not so good : The F6 E is almost $12,000 more than the F6 sedan and at almost $80,000 plus on road costs etc it’s also a lot, lot more expensive than the luxurious but far less quick Falcon G6 E. However, over an F6 the F6 E does come standard with the Premium Brembo brake package as well as electric front seats, leather trim and a couple of other goodies.