Cars Worth Noting -- 2003 Ford Falcon XR6
2003 Ford Falcon XR6
“Where’s the driver?” asked the teenage kid car wash employee when I rolled down the left side window to pay him.
Trying not to make him feel too awkward, I tapped my fingers on the steering wheel which led him to interrogate me while widening his gaze at the car with the incorrectly-placed driver.
Stock responses from fellow drivers were either doubletakes, questions shouted out at the stoplights or jaws’ dropping. The international flavor/set-up of the car is a welcome shake-up to the monotony of everyday driving.
Under the bonnet is a Garrett turbocharger breathing some extra spunk into the inline six-cylinder. The result is around 300 hp and a fabulous launch sensation from this Australian production car brought to the U.S. just for demos.
While I found the Falcon’s shift knob to be a bit chunky, there was little else to complain about. The overall look/presentation of the car was simple and very useable. The nose and side moldings help offer an aggressive look while the interior of the car is understated and functional.
First gear is a delight and sends you nicely back in your seat, I found the travel in the gearbox from first to second to be the slightest bit awkward, maybe costing a tenth. When you reach third, if you have the widows down, the turbo/engine sound creates a smile-inducing “whoosh.”
The feel of the car, under power, is just simply fun. The implementation of the turbo to this particular vehicle bumps the fun factor way up and allows for a visceral experience from 1st to 5th gear, hands down.
Now, if I can just find a GTO to race.