Rod Barrett led the driving crew on a deep dip into the heart of Australia with a pair of FPV test cars fitted with the upcoming Coyote V8 engine. He is not talking detail on the new GT, which comes to showrooms in the final quarter of this year, even though the test cars are obviously fitted with the four-pipe exhaust system coming on the updated and upgraded FPV flagship.
Barrett put 10 days of driving into two cars, taking a loop run up to Darwin and back from FPV headquarters in Melbourne before a final sign- off on the new car. "One was a new GT mule and the other one was our, let's just call it our 'new V8'," Barrett laughs.
"The run was for mileage accumulation. We need to put at least 30,000 kilometres on one car and a significant amount more on the other car with the 'new V8'. "I was going to Darwin anyway for the V8 Supercar round. So we mapped a course north. The engineers flew up and did some hot tests and then we came back through Mount Isa."
Barrett says the long drive was a major education on the engineering work that goes into a new FPV model. The only unplanned stoppage was to change a tyre. "It's good for me. There is a five-page form for me to fill out every night," he says.
"I drive it not like an engineer, but like a punter. So it was good. "It was like a working holiday. I had 10 days behind the wheel and up to 980 kilometres in a day."
Not surprisingly, Barrett describes the coming Coyote-powered FPV as ‘a phenomenal car’, without going into any details on performance or the vital emissions changes to meet legal changes in Australia. He says the Coyote change is the biggest in at least seven years, since FPV first put its current 5.4-litre V8 into the Falcon.
"The whole car changes because of that powerplant. There are lots of new things, like the next exhaust," Barrett says. "I'm now looking forward to the release. For all the cars with the 'new V8' we're aiming for the motor show in Sydney and Bathurst, that sort of timing."