Ford has finally taken the covers off its long awaited Falcon sedan, the first all-new version of the popular family hauler since 1998. This is the car that competes with Holden’s VE Commodore sedan in the Australian market, a car most readers would recognize as the Pontiac G8, and like its GM rival the Falcon is also available with a range of powerful six and eight-cylinder engines and RWD layout.

The new model also picks up a new naming code, in this case FG, and is joined by several luxury and sporty variants including a high-output turbo model. Designers focused on giving the sedan sportier characteristics and more luxury than the previous generation BF model, while at the same time infuse Ford’s European ‘kinetic’ theme. There are now three families of vehicles in the Falcon range – Falcon XT, luxury G Series (incorporating G6, G6E and G6E Turbo) and sporty XR (incorporating XR6, XR6 Turbo and XR8).

Ford Australia’s venerable 4.0L inline six-cylinder petrol engine carries over but gets a range of upgrades to improve refinement and emissions and lift power and torque across the range. A new cylinder head, new intake manifold and revised engine calibration sees peak power for the six-cylinder rise to 198kW at 6,000rpm and torque increase to 409Nm at 3,250rpm. For the turbo model, engineers increased boost pressure from 6 to 10psi, which sees output figures leap to 270kW at 5,250rpm and 533Nm of torque from 2,000 to 4,750rpm. A new V8 engine has also been added to the lineup. Dubbed the ‘Boss 290,’ it produces 290kW at 5,750rpm and 520Nm peak torque at 4,750rpm.

The 2008 FG Falcon range also introduces two new transmissions, a new six-speed manual and five-speed auto (replacing the previous four-speed auto). ZF’s brilliant six-speed auto remains standard on premium models but is also offered as an option on base cars.

Ford’s in-house tuner FPV has also developed its own high-performance range including a new GT sedan, F6 sedan and Super Pursuit Ute. These models offer more power than the regular factory cars and also come with a range of performance accessories including sporty bodykits and Brembo brakes.