FPV GT 2006 Review
That may be shocking in a good way, or a bad way, but whichever way, there is no mistaking the car in the traffic. And there was no better case in point than the Ford Performance Vehicles GT in its aptly named shade of Toxic.
People laughed and pointed, some joked with friends — and there were those who appeared to like the electric, Kermit-green colour. But we had thick skin and tinted windows and when the right foot hit the throttle it suddenly didn't matter what people thought.
The GT starts from $62,210 for the manual. The car we tested came to $68,000 with the slick new six-speed automatic for $1250, stripes for $595, an extra $2795 for leather, a $950 performance steering wheel and $200 floor mats.
The GT comes with a 5.4-litre quad cam 32-valve V8 under the bonnet that produces 290kW of power at 5500 revs and 520Nm of torque at 4500 revs.
In "D", the six-speed auto is smooth with quick changes and is rarely left hunting.
Flick it to the left and up comes PERF (performance) on the LCD display. The performance mode is a more aggressive automatic mode. Gear changes are held longer on the upshift, the intuitive system avoids nasty shifts in cornering and gears are held under braking.
Move the lever forward or back and the transmission goes into manual mode.
Push forward for a down-shift, pull back for an upshift. The result is simple (and fast) no-clutch gear changes.
In the city the lack of the usually heavy V8 clutch made peak hour a lot more comfortable for the left leg.
The BF's auto allows drivers to hold gears at redline without changing in manual.
It does, however, have an in-built feature that allows for the need to punch quickly while cruising. An aggressive stamp on the accelerator will have the box searching for the meat of the torque curve to provide maximum urge.
With traction control as a standard feature, grip in the wet is a lot more substantial than the previous model, making it easier to get the power on to the black stuff.
It will still spin the wheels but the driver is not battling quite as much to keep it in a straight line. If you want to play, the traction control is switchable.
What a disappointment it was to find the gentle rocking-at-idle of the previous model no longer exists.
While it may seem a small thing, it was one of those delights that make V8s such a visceral experience. This feature has apparently been tuned out to meet new emission regulations. Despite the re-tuning, the GT has not lost the rumbling V8 note that turns into a wailing monster with little prompting.
While the GT feels heavy on a tight road, it has a crisp turn-in and not too much body roll.
On the open road it is a comfortable cruiser.
Tyre noise was more intrusive than expected. And, as time went on, the tyre noise became more apparent rather than fading into the background.
The big Brembo calipers and ventilated discs mean the GT stops time and time again, without hint of fading.
On the outside, there is no mistaking the GT's pedigree from front to rear.
The fog lamps with satin chrome surrounds, sculptured side skirts, three-pillar spoiler, V8 Supercar-inspired tri-slot front splitter and the new rear fascia with the beefy twin exhausts make sure there is no mistaking the GT is a GT from any angle.
Care has to be taken, however, when entering or exiting driveways and moving over speed humps because of the tendency of the spoiler to scrub.
Inside, the GT's reflective-style silver stitching on the trim looks cheap but the hugging four-way electrically adjustable driver's seat is comfortable and supportive.
For $950, the sports steering wheel is more comfortable than the standard XR8-style offering but still unnecessarily chunky.
The on-board computer showed an average of 19.4 litres of fuel used every 100km but that was mainly city driving. The optional stripe package should be standard on the GT, as it is on the GT-P, because it makes the car look more like the animal it can be.
Range and Specs
|(base)||5.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$17,400 – 24,200||2006 FPV GT 2006 (base) Pricing and Specs|
Lowest price, based on third party pricing data