We turn the spotlight on the car world's newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers. But there's only one question that really needs answering -- would you buy one?
What is it?
Ford has a bunch of powertrain alternatives in its Falcon these days — including a new 2.0-litre turbo four called the EcoBoost. There are naturally aspirated and force fed 4.0-litre petrol sixes and the EcoLPi gas burning 4.0-litre six though it doesn't really burn gas, it consumes LPG in a liquid state.
The EcoLpi range starts at $39,735 for the base XT model. We drove the next model up G6 at $43,335. Is it worth the extra dosh? Not really.
What are competitors?
Holden's new LPG Commodore as of now and possibly the Toyota Hybrid Camry which is a smaller car — with the same mind-set.
What's under the bonnet?
Plenty of poke comes from the 4.0-litre straight six that's been extensively modified to run liquid phase gas — a system that runs very much like the normal Falcon petrol injection system. The EcoLPi scores different pistons, higher compression, altered transmission, fuel line upgrade and other techo stuff.
How does it go?
Really well, significantly better than the petrol six offering strong off the line and mid-range response, quiet and smooth running, no hiccups or backfiring thank you very much.
Is it economical?
Goes through about 12.3-litres of LPG/100km but running costs are low due to the price of LPG, currently around the 80 cent mark or about half what you pay for petrol. The Federal Government is looming with progressive exise on the fuel — just to make it less attractive. Boot space is compromised.
Is it green?
Somewhat better than petrol but you use more so.....
Is it safe?
Falcon FG is a five star car augmented on the MkII model with reverse sensors and more air bags as well as other detail changes.
Is it comfortable?
It's an excellent car to cover long distances, supple, smooth, quiet, powerful and it won't break the bank at the bowser.
What's it like to drive?
Still a big barge but roomy and comfortable. The brakes feel a bit mushy , the steering is fairly direct and the ride is compliant. Ideal family hack dynamics.
Is it value for money?
The G6 is getting up there closing on 45 grand so we'd be happy with the XT even though spec' is less. Four grand is nothing to sneeze at.
Would we buy one?
Yes, in front of the Commodore every day and certainly in front of the Falcon Ecoboost which would be about the same in fuel useage as the standard six.
FORD FALCON FG MKII EcoLPI
Price: from $39,735
Warranty: 3 year, 100,000km
Safety: Five star, ANCAP
Engine: 6 Cylinder, 4.0 Litre, LPG, 198kW/409Nm
Transmission: Sports Automatic, Rear Wheel Drive
Body: 4 Door Sedan
Thirst: 12.3 / 100Km, CO2 199g/km