Reviews

Driven: Ford FPV GT E

Aussie supersaloon is the toughest rival for the Vauxhall VXR8 - but sadly, there are no plans to bring the Ford FPV GT E to the UK

Evo rating
  • Fast, looks good, V8 soundtrack
  • Lacks dynamic polish - and not coming to the UK

What is it? 

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Don’t get too excited – there are no plans to bring any of Ford Performance Vehicles’ (FPV)’s models to Europe from their Aussie homeland. But we couldn’t resist bringing you a report on the latest and – if evolution works – greatest take on their illustrious ‘GT’ nameplate. 

This is the top-line luxury spec FPV GT E - think of it as an Aussie brute in a tailored suit.  Amidst declining sales there has been talk of ditching the rear-wheel drive platform for the next generation Falcon, so FPV’s £26 million-plus driveline development spend needs to deliver if the iconic muscle saloon is to escape extinction.

Technical highlights?

Developed with FPV technical partners Prodrive, the GT’s party piece lies beneath its swollen bonnet bulge.  Part of Ford’s latest-gen 'Coyote' 5.0 litre V8 family (along with the new Mustang), the GT adds a locally developed front-drive, rear entry supercharger (complete with ECU-controlled internal bypass system) to produce 449bhp @ 5750rpm and 421lb ft across a plateau that spreads from 2200-5500rpm.  The GT E is solely available with the renowned ZF six-speed auto.  Cheaper GT and GT-P have a manual option.

What's it like to drive?

At 1852kg it is largely an exercise in controlling mass.  The secondary ride is exemplary with no fidget through the wheel and the damping maintains good body control over larger bumps.  Show it a challenging sequence of corners and the initial steering input doesn’t weight up as you might hope, while the front-end displays some lateral roll and a preference for slight understeer.  Overriding these nuances is the need to constantly manage traction.  The motor’s a true powerhouse with a torque swell so broad it could choke a C63.  Realistically it is more than the 245-section Dunlop Sport Maxx’s at the back can handle, ensuring the stability control is kept busy.  Thankfully the Brembo six-piston front/four-piston rear brakes provide lovely progressive pedal feel and confident, consistent hard-stop ability.  

How does it compare?

Its natural rival, the HSV GTS – or Vauxhall VXR8 GTS in the UK - lags in outright power but has a handling advantage thanks to Magnetic Ride Control dampers. With GT E, FPV are spanning the range between sporting and luxurious, traditionally the German’s preserve.  Though its performance is near to par these days, its interior ambience loses out against the AMG/M Division high rollers.  However, when you factor in price (approx £54,000 at current exchange rates) the GT E’s performance/value equation becomes compelling.

Anything else I need to know? 

Though Falcon had its poorest sales year ever in 2010, the new FPV range has enjoyed an increase in sales of 62% in the first quarter of 2011. Unlike the Holden/Vauxhall export tie-up, Ford sadly has no plans to export FPV products to the UK, but here’s hoping there is life to the rear-wheel drive V8 performance Ford yet. 

   

Specifications

EngineV8 petrol, 5000cc, supercharged
Max power449bhp @ 5750rpm
Max torque421lb ft @ 2200-5500rpm
0-604.9 seconds (claimed 0-62mph)
Top speedTBC
On saleNow

Recommended

Visit/ford/202877/2021-ford-bronco-revealed-an-american-icon-reborn
Ford

2021 Ford Bronco revealed – an American icon reborn

14 Jul 2020
Visit/ford/202722/ford-gt-developer-multimatic-launches-special-vehicle-operations-group
Ford

Ford GT developer Multimatic launches Special Vehicle Operations group

10 Jun 2020
Visit/ford/202556/ken-blocks-hoonifox-1980s-mustang-blends-dtm-with-miami-vice
Ford

Ken Block’s Hoonifox – 1980s Mustang blends DTM with Miami Vice

30 Apr 2020
Visit/ford/202430/ford-cortina-mk1-by-retro-ford-review
Ford

Ford Cortina Mk1 by Retro Ford review

26 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m3-saloon/20529/all-new-bmw-m3-competition-revealed-an-icon-reborn
BMW M3 saloon

All-new BMW M3 Competition revealed – an icon reborn

This is the all-new BMW M3 Competition saloon which will join the M4 Competition coupe in BMW M’s new M3/4 family
23 Sep 2020
Visit/honda/civic-type-r/203112/honda-civic-type-r-gt-2020-review-still-king-of-the-hot-hatch-crop
Honda Civic Type-R hatchback

Honda Civic Type R GT 2020 review – still king of the hot hatch crop?

Subtle tweaks have made the Type R an even more formidable hot hatch, but we’re keen to try one again soon to understand fully the changes to the susp…
22 Sep 2020
Visit/bmw/m4/22869/all-new-bmw-m4-competition-revealed-next-generation-super-coupe-debuts
BMW M4

All-new BMW M4 Competition revealed – next generation super coupe debuts

The new BMW M4 Competition applies its war paint, but there’s no manual coming to the UK
23 Sep 2020
Visit/hyundai/202950/updated-hyundai-i30-n-revealed-with-optional-dual-clutch-box
Hyundai i30 N

Updated Hyundai i30 N revealed with optional dual-clutch ‘box

It was the hot hatch that upset the status quo, and now the i30 N is back with more power and tech
24 Sep 2020