Ford Falcon XF
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1
The XF represented the last of the fourth generation cars, and featured softer, more rounded styling with revsions to the grille and bumpers, and new tail lamps. The XF had big shoes to fill, the XE
having taken Ford to the top of the sales charts, however Ford needed the XF to be something special with the General's VK Commodore
quickly closing the margin.
The Ford enginners gave the XF a softer styling treatment, and even a new dash which presented a far more modern look than the outgoing XE
. Very popular, the XF would remain in production for 3 and a half years, from October 1984
through to February 1988
. During its run, Ford made numerous improvements, and for the first time offered a 5 speed manual gearbox to most models.
The design was almost entirely new forward of the front pillars, and the rear had the obligatory tail lamp revision. Other less noticeable inclusions were the padded head rests, adjustable steering
column on all models except the GL, and a fold down panel in the centre of the rear seat to allow long items to extend through from the boot.
went one further, fitted with beautifully elegant alloy wheels
, a body coloured grille, cruise control and one of the most impressive ever electronic dash displays. Having a long production run meant revisions were the order of the day, and the XF was available in Family Edition and S-Pack.
The Family Edition featured a centafold front bench seat and two-tone paint scheme, while the S-Pack featured firmer suspension
, was lowered 10mm and fitted with alloy wheels
shod with performance tyres. The fuel injected six cylinder engine, introduced in the previous model to replace the V8 received new management systems, and midway through the production run were modified further to allow the use of unleaded fuel.
The 25th Anniversary XF
saw the release of the special 25th Anniversary Falcon, featuring a choice of three colour schemes and unique badging and interior. 2000 were sold. Ford did have something to celebrate. In 1986
there was a very minor XF Falcon facelift. A Ghia wagon - affected by the luxury car tax to the extent that a few standard items had to be removed from the specification just before it was announced - a manual five speed version of both 4.1 litre engines available for the first time, power steering and four wheel disc brakes
standard for all passenger models, plus a touch of colour-coding for front and rear ends.
Perhaps a little boring, but it was all part of the honest, straightforward image projected by the Falcon since the “Blackwood” first made its appearance as the XD
. At the time, Ford claimed the strategy with the revised XF was to build on the Falcon's strengths and expand its attributes. Mechanically, there had been few actual changes to the big Fords, but what was done help to refine what was, in reality, a pretty basic car. The availability of the five speed gearbox, for example, allowed the lowering of the final drive for better in-gear response while actually allowing a slightly higher-geared top. Wagons received a lot of NVH attention which included the fitment of a new, tuned driveshaft on five speed models, plus a quieter fuel pump to eliminate the whine of previous models, and a new exhaust
system with a third muffler. The effect was to greatly reduce the familiar station wagon "boom".
The Ghia wagon, which hit the showrooms late in 1986
, was fitted with the full top-line regalia, except for the premium sound system which, unfortunately, became a dealer fitment item as a result of the Keating luxury tax. The Ghia came with EFI engine, automatic transmission
, central locking, electric windows, electric mirrors, digital instrument panel and alloy wheels
. Previously listed factory options (such as the aforementioned premium sound system and trip computer) were now dealer-fitment items. Prices for the updated Falcons started at A$15,739 for the 3.3 litre GL four speed sedan (four speed became the standard transmission late in 1986
). With previous XF models that may not have been fitted with four wheel discs or standard power steering, that represented an increase of around 6.5%. Other models were generally up by around 3.5%, except in cases where the standard equipment level changed.
The XF was finally replaced by the 5th generation Falcon, the EA
, in February 1988
, however the utes and vans would continue in production and, in April 1991
, an S version was made available complete with sports wheels and wider side body stripe. Power steering
and a five speed manual gearbox was fitted as standard on all versions, and all this happened over 3 years after the last XF sedan had rolled off the production line!