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MULTIMEDIA

The FPV GT-F – This Is The End (Part 1)

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So this is it. This is the last Falcon GT and the final FPV. The GT-F ends a 47-year reign that began back with the XR but at least the GT is going out on a high. It’s not the GT-HO reloaded to take out the HSV GTS but the GT-F 351 is still the fastest, most powerful GT ever.

With FPV a dead duck, development funds for the GT-F must have been as easy to come by as an Ebola vaccine, engineering upgrades restricted to a new engine control unit. But with electronics being as important as the hardware, a new brain has helped enliven the supercharged V8. The Bosch 9.0 engine management system allows for a more sophisticated engine tune and has helped extract 351kW from the supercharged 5.0-litre with no other hardware changes.

The GT-F is a visual standout from every angle, inside and out

The GT-F is a visual standout from every angle, inside and out

Measured to DIN standard, the GT-F makes 351kW at a wailing 6,000rpm while there’s 570Nm of torque from 2,500- 5,500rpm when the eight is skulling 98 octane. Word is the ECU allows for some ‘overboost’ when ambient conditions permit, spiking the peaks by some 15 per cent. So when the gods of overboost are smiling, the output rises to somewhere in the vicinity of 400kW and 650Nm. Independent Dyno runs in Oz seem to verify this too.

The GT-F gets the six-piston front Brembos (four-piston at the rear), which it needs given the Falcon’s tendency to run out of brakes when pushed hard

The GT-F gets the six-piston front Brembos (four-piston at the rear), which it needs given the Falcon’s tendency to run out of brakes when pushed hard

To harness the extra grunt, FPV has bolted on its R Spec suspension kit previously used on the, er, GT R Spec funnily enough. We’ve never had the pleasure of this set-up before, and wow, what a difference it makes to the character of the GT. It’s stiffer in the springing, and the damper rates are tuned to match. The bushes are starched and the mounting points are reinforced too. Out back, there’s a beefier roll bar, the control arms are located more securely and the toe setting is honed to improve the GT-F’s turn in. For the hardcore, there’s the ability to adjust the rear camber too. And there are wider 275/30R19 Dunlops. Rounding off the upgrade are 355mm drilled rotors and six-pot Brembos up front, with 330mm discs on the rear.

The GT-F is powered by a supercharged 5.0-litre V8

The GT-F is powered by a supercharged 5.0-litre V8

The suspension seems overly firm at first, the GT’s great urban ride sacrificed but it all comes together when you up the pace. We thought the GT-F would become a surface to air missile upon encountering its first bump at speed (too soon to insert any airline quips here) but it’s somehow able to claw back some of the regular GT’s suppleness and compliancy over testing ripples and lumps. The stiffer set-up has removed that initial sponge from the GT’s turn in that would see it lean into the bend before settling into its cornering groove. The GT-F is primed for action, the steering response and turn in are transformed, the big GT reacting more instantly to inputs. The front end now has big teeth that bite hard into the turn, while the feedback has also been intensified. Revisions to the rear plant the GT more firmly with a load of mid corner grip while the back end is less likely to twitch under power loading.

 

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