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Ford Falcon XR8 review

By David Morley, 28 Nov 2014 Reviews

Ford Falcon XR8 review

First drive of Ford’s latest V8 hero

We know it’s the last, but is this the best XR8 ever?

By pretty much any measure, it is. It’s the fastest Falcon ever and, in fact, it’s as quick as the fastest FPVs ever made, too, apart from the 351kW GT-F which was about three tenths faster over the quarter-mile.

That’s a simple function of the fact that the XR8 gets the same 335kW force-fed 5.0-litre V8 as the other big-hitting Henrys of the last handful of years.

But the new XR8 gets not only the FPV driveline, but also the suspension tune from the R-Spec which was probably the best handling big Aussie Ford of all time, too.

So it’s a razor-sharp track tool, then?

Er, not exactly. It’s still a big, heavy car and its basic underpinnings are now more than a decade old. You can feel it, too, and it’s less than completely nimble. Predictable and surefooted, but somehow less than a track weapon.

So what’s it good for?

Its long suit is the same as every V8 Falcon that ever went before it…racking up big miles in a single day. It has super-long legs and in the automatic form we tested, the lump is turning just 1600rpm at 100km/h. The blower shuts up when you’re cruising and it’s comfortable and relaxed. Actually, it’d probably make a pretty good autobahn blaster. Oh, and it’ll do it five-up and towing a boat or caravan, too.

The fact that it’s the last of the breed…will that make it collectible?

Almost certainly. The last FPV was all sold out before they’d even hit dealerships and I can’t see how this, being the last ever V8 Falcon, will be any less desirable to people who want to grab a slice of today  to remind them in years to come just how good we had it.

That seems like a lot of money for a keepsake?

Not really. Given that you can still use it as intended, I reckon a snapshot of the golden era of local performance at less than $55K (under $53K for the manual) is pretty reasonable.

Add up the bits and pieces alone…this is an FPV at Falcon money. And it’s a snapshot you can drive interstate the back way; not just one to put on the mantelpiece.


Engine: 4951cc V8, DOHC, 24v, supercharger
Power: 335kW @ 5750-6000rpm
Torque: 570Nm @ 2200-5500rpm
Weight: 1862kg
0-100km/h: 5.17sec (tested)
0-400m: 13.28sec @ 179.13km/h (tested)
Price: $52,490 (manual), $54,590 (auto)