FPV GT RSpec is a velvet fist in an iron glove.

Start two Start One RSpec profileThere’s something innately, joyously painful about the Ford Performance Vehicles GT RSpec RSpec consolesedan. The basso profundo rumble from the exhaust; the visceral almost gutteral growl at the front highpointed by the occasional scream from the Harrop supercharger…and it’s that last point that is the pain…it’s only occasionally that the full potential of the blown 5.0L alloy V8 can be utilised…and that only semi legally.
A Wheel Thing spent a week with the black and blood orange striped demon and came away both wishful and disappointed. Wishful in that Australian roads and Australian drivers both need a serious upgrade in user friendliness, disappointed in the FG Falcon based car needs a serious upgrade. Full stop. The comfortable yet oddly mixed materials on the seats, a mix of grey velour and low rent leather; a squeaky driver’s seat and driver’s window…on a car with twelve thousand kilometres looks and sounds cheaper than the $77k asking price promises. The dash andRSpec GT emblem RSpec interior driverconsole, as mentioned in the RSpec ute review are tired to look at although still mostly user friendly and reasonably ergonomic. The seats didn’t scream sport and luxury but should have. One can buy a Focus RS for virtually half the price and be greeted by a more sports oriented look and feel. The interior door handles have around an inch and a half of total travel yet only bite in the final third…pointless. The entertainment system and satnav is pretty easy to use and sound is clear, with plenty of bottom end depth.
The exterior, although less overt than FPV’s main competitor in regards to body kit, is an eyeball catching (and not always the appropriate eyes) dark orange striped overlay on a midnight black background, (essentially a copy of the ’69 Mustang C stripe) in the case of the test car (175 of 350 in this combination). Red lion supporters deplored it, mixed emotions from blue oval fans and a mix of ignorance or WTF was that from others. The rear wheel arch suffers from the Falcon’s traditional RSpec nosesmall wheel/large hole syndrome, even with 275/35/19 inch Dunlop tyres…it just doesn’t look fully….full. The wheels don’t do a good job of hiding the Brembo brakes either and that’s not a bad thing. Six pot calipers at the front and singles at the rear, there’s plenty of pedal feel and the smooth, progressive application is a RSpec rear seatsdelight.
And it’s not just eyeballs but eardrums that were alerted. The deep throb of the V8 when not under load changes to a snarl when the appropriately nicknamed loud pedal is given its order to go. The supercharger whine increases as it spools up while the speedo goes from idle to sublight to warp speed in less than five seconds. There’s a momentary hesitation as the rear tyres scrabble for grip as upwards of 570 of Mr Newton’s torques from the quad-cam alloy blocked “Miami” engine get forcefed through the six speed auto. The boost gauge swings to half way before returning to its customary prone position for normal driving whilst the driver’s eyeballs slowly make their way to the front of the head. Economy, unsurprisingly, is another flaw; A Wheel RSpec dashThing’s best figure was 14.1L/100….
On the road there’s subterranean thunder behind the driver while underneath the fat rubber holds the road with a vice like grip. There’s a measure of indecisiveness about the track, with theRSpec GT emblem boot front end seeming to follow the road’s surface rather than the direction the driver has set. In corners there’s maximum grip and no understeer while speedbumps cause no concern, surprisingly, with the chassis treating them with righteous contempt. With thicker than standard rollbars, a revised suspension geometry and damper /spring setup, it’s never a harsh ride. At speed, the transmission and engine work as one when the go pedal is pushed, slipping down a gear or two with no hesitation and the speedo seemingly blurs until the foot is lifted.
But it’s that damnable trait that really and ultimately stops the RSpec from being totally enjoyable. Unless being used at a club day on a circuit, the sheer oomph and fun factor it has is sorely tempered by that worst of all fears, the blue flashing RSpec 335light in the rear vision mirror. And more’s the pity.

http://fpv.com.au/gtrspecRSpec rear seats

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