Ford Falcon XE
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1
The XE celebrated a defining point for Ford Australia
as they finally passed GMH
in the sales wars, and with
a product that they least expected, the Falcon.
With its revised front end design, utilising a wrapover
bonnet that presaged the demise of the traditional grille
in the future, the car was a mild re-style of its predecessor.
Helping Ford take out top spot were the value packed
versions of the XE, such as the "Falcon Eclipse",
which featured a two tone paint scheme, styled sports wheels
shod with ER78 steel belted radial ply tyres, these being further
dressed up with addition of a chrome ornament ring and attractive centre cap.
Mechanically things changed and the leaf springs disappeared
forever, replaced by a four link system and coil springs (at least for the sedans).
Gone too, in November, 1982, was the V8.
After an unbroken
run of 16 years in the Falcon, it had been decided that
in the fuel efficient times, the big V was just too politically
For those fond of the BBQ, Ford engineers enlarged the size
of the boot to ensure the standard sized esky could fit,
something many had found as a terrible oversight with the XD.
The XE was also the first Falcon to offer a 5 speed manual
gearbox, although this was only available on the 3.3 litre six.
The irony was that the Falcon's sales success was due
to buyers rediscovering their love for big cars. Many
consider this the first real mistake the company had made
since the introduction of the XK Falcon back in 1960.
Perhaps in an attempt to show the buying public the durability
and flexibility of the 4.1 litre engine, Ford set no fewer
than 17 national speed records in June 1982. Average hourly
speeds were set at a staggering 176 km/h during the 24 hour endurance run.
It is a shame then that most remember the XE as the model that
ended the run of the Ford V8. In truth, the XE was in many ways a
much better car than the XD, particularly with regards to the suspension
fitted to the sedans. The Ford engineers had worked
hard at reducing noise, vibration and general NVH and, in February 1983,
electronic fuel injection
was offered as an option on the 4.1 litre six.