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GT Cobra proves its rarity


Officially unveiled as one of the stars of the Blue Oval stand at the Australian International Motor Show, the 400 Cobra GTs and 100 Ute stablemates have all found homes.

“I had 400 sedans and 100 Utes that were allocated to dealers and every dealer took their allocation,” says FPV general manager Rod Barrett. “I don't have figures on the retail numbers but from what I have heard they have gone quicker than free beer.”

Barrett says there is no possibility that any more than the strictly limited 500-car production run will ever be built. “Then they wouldn't be a limited-run special, would they?”

The limited-edition GT Cobra harks back to a generation of Cobra muscle cars sparked by the famous XC hardtop 1-2 finish at Bathurst in 1977.

That victory led to the release of the limited-edition Cobra XC hardtop the following year.

“The Cobra name invokes passion among motoring enthusiasts,” says Barrett. “The new FPV GT Cobra combines the original XC Cobra's bold styling with the latest in FPV engineering and total performance."

“While the vehicle's exterior features the same blue racing stripes and coiled snake emblem that Cobra is famous for, the vehicle will be powered by FPV's latest high-performance Boss 5.4-litre quad-cam 32 valve V8 engine, which now produces 302kW.”

Like the original XC hardtop, the GT Cobra is designed to lift the excitement quotient for a model that is essentially heading for the exit.

The new Ford Falcons (codenamed Orion) are due to be launched in April next year but until then, FPV needs to keep sales of the current GT ticking over.

Both the GT and the Ute Cobra will be powered by a specifically tuned Boss 302 V8 fitted with FPV stainless steel-fabricated exhaust manifolds and a high-flow dual-exhaust system.

FPV programs manager Paul Cook says the revision of the Boss targeted an increase in peak power and torque in the mid- to upper-rev range; without penalising exhaust emissions and urban fuel economy.

“The increased performance, including improvements to the volumetric efficiency of the engine above 3750rpm, has been achieved by a new inlet and exhaust camshaft profile to increase inlet valve lift and duration,” Cook says.

Engine calibration has been extensively revised while improvements have also been made to improve accelerator response.

It is no accident that the 302kW output (with 540Nm of torque) was the capacity in cubic inches of Ford's small-block V8 engine and is also exactly double the 151kW output of the 1978 Cobra's 4.9-litre V8 engine.

The GT Cobra has a limited slip differential and is available with either a close ratio six-speed manual transmission; with a high torque clutch or the ZF six-speed automatic transmission with Sequential Sports Shift.

FPV's R Spec handling package is fitted as standard to the GT Cobra; as are Cobra-logoed leather seats and specific 19-inch alloys.

The white exterior features blue striping across the bonnet, roof and rear deck lid and is completed by the unique Cobra badge on each front fender. The GT Cobra will also include RSpec badging.

The official pricing for the GT Cobra sedan is $65,110, just a tick under $3000 more than the basic GT. The Ute is $61,200.

The original Bathurst Spec XC Cobra Hardtops bring up to $150,000 on the open market, while a 'standard' XC Cobra from the limited 400-car run will sell for between $80,000 and $90,000.

FPV's second show hero was one of the worst-kept secrets in Australian motoring; the fully-worked turbo-charged performance Territory.

Badged as the FPV F6 X, the full-blown Territory is the first non-Falcon model to get the Ford Performance Vehicles treatment.

“FPV has always had the goal to extend the brand beyond Falcon-based product,” Barrett says. “The F6 X is designed for the family that enjoys performance-vehicle motoring and appreciates a true sports luxury feel.”

Built off Ford's Territory turbo, the F6 X is powered by the 4.0-litre in-line F6 270 Turbo from the FPV Typhoon models with the same 270kW and 550Nm output.

Drive is through a ZF six-speed automatic transmission and a full-time AWD system.

Standard equipment on the F6 X includes; dynamic stability control, traction control with side curtain airbags and dual-stage driver and front passenger airbags.

To match its performance the F6 X's brake package has been enhanced with Brembo six-piston front calipers and a new FPV calibration for the ABS and DSC systems.

Specific damper and spring rate tuning has given the F6 X a firmer sports feel and greater body control when pushed along.

Unique F6 X exterior styling cues include a front mesh grille insert, rear spoiler, alloy running boards, bonnet air scoop and unique 18-inch five-spoke alloys. The FPV F6 X is due to go on sale early next year.

 

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