Ford's tyre-burning performance division is known as Ford Performance Vehicles, or FPV for short. They're based in Melbourne, and partially owned by racecar builder Prodrive. Naturally, they produce some proper Aussie muscle cars, and the FPV badge has adorned some of Australia's nastiest motorised hooligans since 2003. Of course, there have been quite a few angry Fords built prior to 2003. But most of those were built in cooperation with the British car firm Tickford that Prodrive acquired in 2003 to form FPV. Since then, FPV has been responsible for some tyre-melting Utes, turbocharged 4x4s, and a range of fire-breathing Falcons that kept many Holden engineers up until the early hours of the morning.
What FPV did best was inject some Aussie muscle into Ford's more pedestrian vehicles. The first model was the 2003 FPV F6 Typhoon BA MkII. A Falcon-based hooligan that had a big turbo strapped to a DOHC 4-litre inline-6, 270kW poured from the F6's special 18-inch wheels, and 550Nm of torque kept them spinning as long as you wanted. A Tremec 6-speed manual was the only transmission option, but 4-piston Brembo brakes were also available.
For those who preferred the immediate power delivery of a V8, a BA FPV GT offered a 290kW 5.4-litre V8. This frantic Falcon could roast the rear tyres at a second’s notice. No waiting for a turbo to spool up here – just add some stick and the tyres would instantly smoke. This U.S.-sourced Ford V8 would be available in all FPV GT variants up until 2010.
The 2005 FPV F6 Typhoon BF got the 4-piston Brembo brakes as standard, with 6-piston clamps added to the option sheet. The 2005 to 2006 cars have the same power output as before, but a ZF 6-speed automatic was made available. Other BF variations included the 290kW V8-powered FPV GT & FPV GT-P sedans. Ute versions included the V8-powered FPV Pursuit & Super Pursuit, and the turbo-6 F6 Tornado.
Following the Falcon redesign, the FG FPV F6 saw its turbo-6 creating 310kW of power with 565Nm of torque. Other enhancements included a new suspension and new steering system, and the ZF 6-speed was upgraded to allow for the installation of Launch Control. There was also a new body style and interior, with exciting FPV-only stripes, wings, and wheels. Ford's hooligan range was starting to flex its muscle, and Holden's HPV department started feeling the pinch.
Another of FPV's angry creations was the 270kW FPV F6X. Based on the Ford Territory, this venomous 4x4 came with plenty of room for the family and plenty of power as well. Brembo brakes kept the turbo-6 power in check, and a heavily revised 310kW F6 motor was eventually added.
By 2010, the FPV Falcon GT had replaced the 315kW 5.4L V8 with the new 5.0-litre supercharged V8 capable of producing a staggering 335kW with 570Nm of twist. Three V8 versions were offered: GT, GT-P, and the luxury-themed GT-E (sans the racing stripes). Even without the big blower, Ford's new Coyote 5-litre was a technical marvel, having the ability to change individual camshaft timing to suit driving conditions. Called Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing, or Ti-VCT, this new system allowed the FPV motor to deliver maximum power almost instantly, without wasting fuel when you're just cruising around town.
Along the way, many powerful, brightly coloured special editions were available, including the R-Spec, Cobra R-Spec, and FPV Falcon GT 40th Anniversary. Of course, you could also get a Falcon F6E or V8-powered Falcon GT-E that offered all the FPV performance without the attention-grabbing trim.
When shopping for a Ford FPV model, be sure that the current owner has paperwork for all the work that has been done to the car. A full service history is worth its weight in gold, as these cars are extremely easy to abuse.
What FPV managed to do was appeal to everyone. The Subaru WRX Turbo junky and the V8 hooligan – however you liked your power delivered, FPV was there. The Falcon F6 models used Ford's sturdy 4-litre inline-6, with a massive intercooled turbo strapped to the top. The fast-spooling turbo produced around 270kW in the BA-BF FPV models and up-to 310kW in FG versions.
V8-lovers will find a trusty 5.4-litre V8 beneath the bonnet of all FPV GT models up to the 2010 model year. These were good for as much as 380kW, and the 5.0L that replaced it produced 315kW without forced induction and 335kW with a supercharger.
Fuel economy on FPV models varies significantly by model.
Each FPV model is different, and the equipment is based on the model. Some are lightweight track models while “E” (Executive) models typically feature all the luxury kit that Ford has to offer.
The only real competition for the Ford FPV division is Holden HPV.