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FPV launches entry V8

Ford Performance Vehicles is introducing an ‘entry’ level V8, to be known as the GS. However, buyers should be quick as 50 have already been snapped up ahead of this week's showroom launch. FPV will build just 250 sedans and 75 utes, priced at $54,950 for the four-door and $49,950 for the ute.

Images of the GS were leaked on a dealer website several weeks ago, forcing FPV into damage control. But FPV boss, Rod Barrett, was all smiles as he rolled out his new baby.

He says the GS is designed to bridge the price gap between the XR8 and the FPV GT. "There is a huge price difference between the two, in excess of $20,000," he says.

However to differentiate it from the XR8, the GS gets more equipment so it can wear the FPV badge. "We feel that in this economic climate we wanted to offer people a chance to get into the FPV family without going all the way to a GT," Barrett says. "We believe this car offers the pricepoint, content and power that does that."

The GS runs a recalibrated 5.4-litre V8 GT engine from the FG that produces 302kW at 6000 revs and 551Nm at 4750 revs. The detuned engine shares its twin throttle bodies and intake system from the GT, headers, dual exhausts and a recalibrated engine control unit with the GT.

Buyers have a choice of a standard six-speed manual transmission or six-speed sequential automatic. Barrett says the 302 is a perfect entry point into FPV, which steps up to the turbocharged F6 at 310kW and the full GT-spec V8 at 316kW.

The special edition GS gets GT-spec suspension, brakes and dual exhausts, unique GS striping, 19-inch graphite alloys on the sedan, charcoal cloth interior, GT instrumentation, gearknob, starter button and badging, a premium stereo with iPod and Bluetooth and dual zone climate control.

Externally there are GS and 302 graphics on the car. Each car will also get exclusive build plates. Barrett says the GS was well received by prospective buyers. "This is the best focus group that we've ever done for a car," he says.

However, despite its popularlity Barrett says it is unlikely the GS will become a permanent part of the FPV lineup. However, he says he will consider another special GS series when the new FPV Falcons are launched on July 1 next year. It will all depend on discussions being held now between Ford and FPV on a V8 engine strategy across both companies.