In an emotional sendoff for the FGX Falcon, Ford pitted the Australian supercar against a GT4 Mustang and a Le Mans Ford GT in a three-way shootout to see which was the fastest.
Last weekend was Australia’s Bathurst 1000, a motoring event filled with classic cars, exotic concepts, and of course, tons of racing. It was also an emotional weekend for Australian supercar enthusiasts as they bid farewell to one of their most beloved national icons: the Ford Falcon.
The Falcon never lasted out of the 70’s in America, but for whatever reason, Australia fell in love with the car and refused to let it die. Ford finally killed it off in 2016, but it lingered on in motorsports for a few more years before Ford announced that it too would be replaced by a supercar-spec Mustang for 2019.
To give their prized racer a worthy sendoff. Ford arranged a race between the FGX Falcon, a GT4-spec Mustang, and a Le Mans-spec GT.
On paper, this is quite the mismatch of performance figures. The FGX Falcon has a 5.0-L naturally aspirated V8 which puts down 645 hp on a 3,100 lb frame. It has a 6-speed racing sequential gearbox and can race from zero to sixty in 3.4 seconds. Top speed is 186 mph.
The GT4 Mustang is the weakest of the bunch, with a 5.0-L V8 that only puts out 385 hp (as required by the GT4 rules). It’s lighter, at just 2,866 lbs, but with such a vast power difference, the Mustang doesn’t have a hope of catching the Falcon in a fair fight.
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Ford’s Le Mans-spec GT is the best of the bunch, with a 3.6-L twin-turbo V6, a weight of around 2,900 lbs, and over 500 hp propelling it. Zero to sixty is done in just 3 seconds, while top speed is estimated to be around 200 mph.
Picking a winner from this list should be easy, but Ford decided to handicap the contestants somewhat to make this a fair race. After a brief warm up lap, the Mustang would begin first, then followed by the Falcon 10 seconds later, and finally the GT would be unleashed 5 seconds after that.
This meant that the first minute of the race was rather boring as the Falcon and GT caught up to the Mustang. But there was some drama near the end as the Falcon seemed to take the lead from the Mustang with the GT barreling from around the bend.
The last 50 feet of the race saw the GT quickly accelerate to close the gap between itself and the Falcon, with the FGX just barely getting over the finish line before it could be caught by the GT.
A dramatic ending and an appropriate farewell to Australia’s favorite Ford.
(With thanks to Motor1 for pointing to the video.)