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FPV fears ruining GT-HO legend

While current sales figures are down on 2009, Barrett is confident the engine upgrade will put the FPV brand back on track.

The general manager of the performance car maker doesn't want to be remembered as the bloke who ruined the GT-HO legend.  Speaking during the company's launch of the new supercharged V8 Falcon-based range - to go on sale in late October after its Australian International Motor Show appearance in Sydney - Barrett clearly wants to do something like a GT-HO.

But understandably he has concerns about ruining the legend of the car and its legendary status.  "I will stand by my declaration that I have always wanted to build one but I'm up against a considerable weight of opinion that says we shouldn't," he says.

A special project car still seems likely - with ample scope for running more boost pressure on the V8 but minus the famed badge - and Barrett is hoping to do something that will be looked back upon in 30 years time with similar fondness.

"GT-HO is not just a car, it's a legend and I don't want to be the one who stuffs it up," he says.  More forays into the SUV and small car segments have also been put on ice with the arrival of the Focus RS and customers can expect FPV to concentrate for now on its primary niche - faster Falcons.

"I firmly believe we will return to being the GT car company.  "We've gone away from that - we've built the brand but I think in the next 6 to 12 months we'll get people back," he says.

While current sales figures are down on 2009, Barrett is confident the engine upgrade will put the FPV brand back on track.  "We haven't built any V8s since the end of May, there was no production at all in July… it's been geared around this launch.

"Next year we'll get back over 2000 units and close the gap on our main competitor - I'd like to see us surpass them toward the end of next year, in terms of Commodore versus Falcon sales," he says.

Exports any further than the New Zealand market are unlikely but Prodrive Asia-Pacific managing director Bryan Mears believes the engine has a range of applications beyond FPV.

"In terms of development of the Coyote engine, and the way that we have developed it - I believe that is unique within the Ford and Prodrive world and I will certainly be looking to make that engine available globally to Ford.

"I'm not privy to what their plans are, so they may have other things in view," he says. The Australian business has produced a terrific Australian engine and we will be pushing every opportunity to maximise the production of that engine.”