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Ford Falcon XF

Ford Falcon was enjoying a surge in popularity during the 80s and it was partly due to the release of the XF Falcon.  In the 70s consumers we turning to smaller cars such as the Commodore because of the fuel crisis, but as the crisis eased in the 80s people turned back to the larger cars and Ford was in the perfect position to capitalise.

The XF Falcon was competing with the VK / VL Commodore at the time, and was winning much of the market share.  Holden also withdrew from the ute and panel van market leaving Ford with an Australian market monopoly in that class of vehicle.

The XF Falcon released between 1984 and 1988 was the last of the fourth generation of Falcons and the more rounded design gave some clue to the future of design before the more radical EA was release as a replacement in 1988.  The XF also had a new interior with more space than the XE and included a tape stereo system, digital clock and trip metre standard.

Under the bonnet the Falcon had either a 3.3 litre or 4.1 litre engine 6-cylinder engine (the V8 engine was removed from the market in 1981 as the result of the fuel crisis).  The engine did provide the same power as previous V8 engines.  The 3.3 litre engine provided 90 kW or power, while the 4.1 EFI engine produced up to 120 kW of power. 

The federal government brought in new legislation in January 1986 requiring all new vehicles to run on unleaded fuel.  Ford refined its engine to handle unleaded petrol, but the new engine lost some power as a result with the new 3.3 litre engine provided 88 kW of power while the 4.1 litre EFI engine provided slightly better performance with 121 kW of power. 

The 4.1 litre engine reached speeds of 187 kilometres per hour, while the 4.1 litre unleaded engine’s top speed was 175 kilometres per hour.  Acceleration was also affected by the unleaded upgrade with the preceding motor accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 9.5 seconds, and the unleaded version accelerating from 0 to 100 kilometres per hour in 12.5 seconds.

Apart from the engine refinement the XF was upgraded again in October of the same year with the XF 1/2.  It was no surprise that the engine receive no upgrade having been reconfigured earlier in the year.  There were changed to the look of the vehicle with a new front end and grill.  The transmission was also upgraded with the 1986 Falcon offering a five speed manual.

The XF series was released in GL sedan / wagon / ute / van, S pack which is an optional upgrade with a refined finish both inside and out, Fairmont sedan / wagon, and top of the line Fairmont Ghia.     

The XF was also a model set to change the Australian family car market with development of a high performance all wheel drive (AWD) vehicle with a twin-turbo engine producing 268 kW of power.   Development of the AWD failed because of the release of the EA in 1988.  At that time of the release of the EA, Holden were claiming back some of the market with the release of the VT Commodore.