Around 1,500 modifications were made with the launch
of the XM. More chrome was added, heavier front end suspension
and a new Super Pursuit engine (6 cyl., 200
cubic inch) was added.
Most importantly for Australian buyers, the Falcon XM was
promoted as a stronger more rugged iteration.
The Falcon's suspension
, always a weak point on the earlier
models, now carried stronger ball joints and bigger axle shafts,
and even tougher engine mounts were fitted.
New front upper wishbones and coil-over shock units
were incorporated, and the designers even went as far as relocating the rear spring-hangers.
In a major break from being a derivative of the contemporary
US model, the XM's tail lamps were raised to boot level height
for greater visibility.
As an indication of things to
come, some ‘sportiness’ was introduced with
a dummy air scoop on the bonnet, and best of all there was
the introduction of the now highly prized two door hardtop.
While the windscreen rake was the same as on the sedan,
the coupe's styling accentuated just how sleek the the Falcon's design was.
Few knew the coupe was actually heavier than the sedan, and was constructed mainly from
imported body parts - it may not have been any faster, but it
introduced a level of sophistication to the Australian motoring
landscape never before seen.
Thankfully too, the XM did away with the dreadful and
outdated vacuum operated windscreen wipers, these being
replaced by a two speed electric motor unit.
Even the seats were made stronger, and afforded a
better quality of upholstery.
The Falcon really had come of age.