Ford Falcon XE

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Ford Falcon XE

1982 - 1984
6 cyl.
3.3 & 4.1 litre 6 cyl.
3/4 spd. man / 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
Number Built:
1 star
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 incorrect.

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.

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Also see:

Falcon XE Specifications
Ford Falcon Commercials
Falcon/Fairlane Identification Guide
Reader Reviews page 1 of 1
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Posted Recently
A lot was made of that silver XE Fairmont being the last Cleveland V8 Ford built in Australia,but this is far from the case. ZK Fairlanes and FD LTD V8's were still being produced well after that. Ford F-serious and Bronco's assembled in Australia had this motor fitted as an option ,above the 4.1 six until about mid-1985,when the imported 5.0 EFI V8 took over.
Stephen rorhan
Posted Recently
My father bought a white xe xpack 3.3 litre manual brand new, i remember the brown stripes on lower half of doors, and brown stripes that went across the dash, had spack dash clock, boot release, fog lights, spack wheels and dress rims. That car was beautifull on the open rd, 2400rpm at 100ks very quiet and smooth, far better than the vc commodore he test drove at the time heaps quieter, the only dissapointment was towing the half cabin boat, had to drop down to 2nd gear to get up joels bridge on the other side of hawkbury river
Posted Recently
These were great long distance cars, way better than the asthmatic vc commonbore i had. Mine was an 83 s pack with 120,000km on it in 89 when i got it.i ended up selling it & bought a very nice black '82 fd ltd thatghad a brand new strong 351, the original 302 block, with 4maB crank. Too much to put here. But i loved the xe.
Posted Recently
The rarest of the V8 XE's were the 43 GL 4.9 manual and autos for Police only. These were never offered to the public. Were are they now i wonder.....
Posted Recently
The XE had a weird and restricted engine and transmission choice.The 5.8 V8 could only be ordered as a manual,the 4.9 V8 only as an auto.The 5.8 was only available in the ESP,or police pack GL,the 4.9 in the ESP,Fairmont Ghia or Fairmont.No utes or vans were offered in V8. The earlier XD was far simpler-you could order any V8 with any transmission in any model. To withdraw the V8 from production in 2012 would be understandable-but in 1982 it was rather foolish.
Posted Recently
Other than the early v8 fitted models,the XE was just a boring,plastiky taxi hack. No utes,vans or Falcon GL sedan or wagon was offered in V8. The early Fairmont XE offered the 4.9V8 as its biggest engine option,the Fairmont Ghia XE offered the 4.9 and 5.8V8 until Nov82. Ford made a massive mistake shelving the 8's. When a Clevo powered Falc from the 70s or early 80s rumbles by,they sound like no other car.
Trent Thomas
Posted Recently
these days they are highly collectible, the ESP 5.8 is the pinical of the xd-xe-xf series, for an original ESP 5.8 with either man or auto transmission the price can be as high as 30,000. It was a sad time that the v8 was discontinued after the xe as i think it would have looked right at home in the xf.
John Gibson
Posted Recently
The rot set in in 1982. No more V8's,no more Cortina's,the Escort had been gone a year-meaning no more interesting Fords-at least for the rest of the 80's. The XE/ZK range were great cars spoilt by the V8's axing. I had an XE Fairmont 302 auto built in 3/82 and it was a smooth cruiser that sounded great,though i never warmed to the square plasticky look. They look crooked now,but if you understand the 80's,you'll realise they looked great for their day.
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