Due to go on sale in June 2008, following the release of the all-new FG Falcon sedan, the all-new Ford FG Falcon Ute range introduces a new model line-up and nomenclature - just like its sedan counterpart - incorporating the new Falcon R6 models.
"The all-new FG Falcon represents another step forward for automotive vehicle design in Australia," Ford Australia President Bill Osborne said.
"The FG Falcon Ute range offers no compromise performance and functionality, with the ideal mix of truck-like capability and car-like comfort, driveability and safety.
"Each model in the new Falcon Ute range represents a unique mix of workhorse and recreational elements, which ensures the job gets done during the workday week, as well as on weekends when its time to getaway.
"It is an exceptional passenger-derived ute package that delivers outstanding performance, fuel efficiency, refinement and safety to meet the needs of a wide variety of customers."
The all-new Falcon Ute is an integral part of the extensive engineering and development program that has produced the broader FG Falcon range, incorporating sedan and Ford Performance Vehicles line-ups.
Styleside Box (SSB)
The Falcon Ute Styleside Box has been redesigned and reshaped for FG Falcon, reducing the gap between the rear of the cab and the front of the box, and mirroring the contour of the corners of the cab for a more seamless appearance.
The top lip of the box has also been redesigned, with black aluminium rails running along its top edge. The new rails are powder coated for increased durability and provide the fastening points for the new, flush fit soft tonneau cover and tie down anchor points.
2008 Ford FG Falcon Ute XR8
Flush fit soft tonneau cover
A new flush fit soft tonneau cover is a key element that distinguishes the Ford FG Falcon Ute Styleside Box models from their predecessors.
Optional on Falcon Ute and standard on all other Styleside Box models, the new tonneau securely fastens to the aluminium top rails that join the bedliner and exterior sheet metal.
When fitted, the soft tonneau cover attaches to grooves on the outer side of the aluminium rails.
The tonneau can be peeled up from any side and easily snaps back down into the groove like a snap lock plastic bag, improving access to the load bed and making it physically easier and quicker to open and close the tonneau.
In addition to being much easier to use, the new tonneau also delivers a sleeker and more integrated look - the visible fasteners, or 'cotton reels', used to secure the soft tonneau cover previously have been removed, producing a cleaner side profile for the Ford FG Falcon Ute.
The body coloured plugs used in conjunction with previous hard tonneau covers are also no longer required.
The new flush fit soft tonneau has been designed to improve its ability to cover high loads, while remaining tied down and secure.
It features elasticised clips on the inside of the cover, which can be pulled down and hooked onto the aluminium side rails to allow the tonneau to sit in a higher position than its normal fitment point, thereby creating a higher load space.
The elasticised clips ensure that the tonneau is free to stretch across the load but still hold it firmly in place.
Adjustable load tie downs
On the inside of the new aluminium rails is an open C-shaped section into which adjustable load tie down hooks can be fitted.
The new tie down hooks can be repositioned at convenient points along the side rail, or removed entirely, and extra tie down hooks can be fitted if required.
The hooks provide a more user friendly approach to securing odd shaped loads, as well as increasing the overall functionality of the load space.
Cab Chassis configuration
The Ford FG Falcon Ute delivers added practicality with the ability to fit a configurable tray - a feature that cannot be matched by its passenger-derived ute competitor.
Falcon Ute, R6 and XR6 models are all available with the choice of either a Styleside Box or Cab Chassis configuration.
Benefits of a Cab Chassis design include:
Column shift auto
The 5R55S five-speed automatic transmission is also available as a column shift automatic on certain FG Falcon Ute models, replacing the four-speed column shift automatic used previously on BF Falcon MkII.
The column shift transmission allows the Falcon Ute to be offered with a three-seater configuration, with the extra seat replacing the centre console in the middle of the cabin.
Fixed centre seat
The fixed centre seat is fitted to all vehicles specified with the column shift automatic transmission, providing a seating position for a third passenger, including a new head restraint.
The centre seat has been repositioned on Ford FG Falcon Ute, moving 100mm rearward and 20mm higher for improved comfort and greater knee clearance around the instrument panel.
When not in use, the centre seat backrest can be folded down to provide a centre armrest for driver and passenger, with two cupholders set into the rear of the backrest.
At the same time, to improve rear visibility, the new centre seat headrest can be removed, rotated and stowed upside down when not in use.
Jack & tool package
The Ford FG Falcon Ute jack and tool package is located on the cabin floor, behind the passenger seat, in a custom mount - it is housed in a foam retainer, which is firmly attached to the cabin via a bolt and styled knob arrangement.
The new package supersedes the 'jack in a bag' previously fitted to Falcon Ute models, thereby removing the jack from general storage space for a neater overall design, with the package now designated to a fixed position.
Hotchkiss rear suspension
All FG Falcon Utes are fitted with a revised Hotchkiss rear suspension, which is a leaf spring-type suspension ideally suited to carrying heavy loads.
Its simple, rugged construction enables the vehicle's load to be spread over more of the chassis than is possible with a coil spring-type rear suspension, which transfers the load to a single point on either side of the vehicle.
The leaf spring design enables load-induced stress on the suspension and chassis to be more evenly distributed, as well as better managed and controlled.
Stiffened three-pin, leaf spring shackles, which control the position of the spring, are a key feature of the revised rear suspension, to deliver improved steering precision and handling balance.
Monotube shock absorbers
All Falcon Utes are also fitted with monotube shock absorbers on the front suspension, further enhancing the dynamics capability of the Ford FG Falcon Ute through better body control and handling.
Falcon R6 and Falcon XR Ute models with sports suspension are also fitted with monotube shock absorbers on the rear suspension, which improve the dynamics profile of each model across the areas of ride, steering and handling.
The standard Falcon Ute 2-tonne Styleside Box model and Falcon Ute, Falcon R6 Cab Chassis and R6 Styleside Box models with optional one-tonne suspension, all employ twin-tube shock absorbers on the rear suspension.
Certain Falcon Ute models - Falcon Ute and R6 Cab Chassis - are fitted with one-tonne suspension as standard equipment, while it is available as an option on other models in the Ford FG Falcon Ute range - Falcon Ute and R6 Styleside Box, as well as XR6 Cab Chassis.
This tough suspension set-up provides a vehicle payload of more than 1000 kg, with some of the Cab Chassis models providing a maximum payload of 1240 kg.
The new Ford FG Falcon Ute range maintains its competitive advantage by offering large maximum payload capacities on a number of key models, while still delivering car-like comfort, performance and handling, inside and out.
The Falcon Ute Cab Chassis model, along with the XR6 Cab Chassis when fitted with the optional one-tonne suspension, can both take a 1240 kg payload and have a maximum Gross Combined Mass (GCM) rating of 4890 kg
When an automatic transmission is optioned, all vehicles in the new Ford FG Falcon Ute range, including the XR6 Turbo model, have a class-leading, maximum braked towing capacity of up to 2300 kg, when fitted with a genuine Ford heavy duty towpack and load levelling kit.
Combined with an unmatched range of high-torque engines - a 4.0-litre I6 in naturally aspirated, dedicated LPG or turbocharged configuration, along with the Boss 290 V8 - the new Ford FG Falcon Ute range is the ideal tow vehicle, whether it is for work or a weekend away.
The standard towpack is rated for a carrying capacity of up to 1600 kg, while manual transmission models have a maximum towing capacity of up to 1200 kg.
A range of new tyres was developed especially for the FG Falcon range, bringing improvements in road noise, wet grip, dry grip and handling, steering compliance, ride, rolling resistance and steering linearity.
New tyres for the Ford FG Falcon Ute include:
Ford FG Falcon XR8 Ute
The XR8 shares its major equipment specifications with the XR6 Turbo, but is differentiated by its signature bonnet power bulge and the exciting Boss 290 5.4-litre four-valve V8 engine, which moves to the XR8 with the introduction of the FG Falcon.