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ED Falcon – 1993-1994
Battling the Holden Commodore (which had taken back the crown of bestselling Australian car) was the reason for the release of the mildly face lifted ED Falcon in August 1993. Ford knew its almost-all-new EF model was still some 12 months off and didn’t want to lose ground to the VR Commodore which had been launched in July 1993. So we finished up with a ‘new’ Falcon which actually had far fewer changes than had occurred midway through the previous EB’s life. Probably the biggest news with the ED was the return of the Futura name. Ford says it researched close to 200 different names before returning to the old favourite Futura, which hadn’t been used since 1975. One thing which did change with the ED was the appearance of the XR high performance vehicles from Tickford. These gained a distinctive quad, round headlight front-end in striking body coloured paint.
The return of the Futura name after an absence of 18 years created excitement amongst Ford enthusiasts. Aimed at the private, rather than company, buyer the Futura came with ABS brakes, cruise control, turbine-style wheel covers on steel wheels, full instrumentation and an eight speaker sound system. The Futura was offered as both a sedan and a station wagon. The latter only coming with automatic transmission, the former with a choice of manual or automatic. The Futura was Ford’s response to the Commodore Acclaim. Missing from the ED line up was the Falcon S. Ford had decided to differentiate its Tickford modified range from the rest of the Falcons and not build the S version itself. According to Ford the Futura was seen as a replacement for the S.
Visually the ED Falcon was little changed from the EB, it has an inverted-D front grille. Inside, there are minor changes to the trim. Six-cylinder cars with automatic transmission used higher gearing to reduce fuel consumption.
Special Classic versions of the Falcon Gli and Futura were released in October 1993 to mark the 33rd anniversary of the release of the Falcon in 1960. The Classics had no-cost air conditioning, five-spoke alloy wheels of the type first seen on the EB Falcon S, and P205/65R15.tyres. Station wagons came with a roof rack, again at no extra cost.
The Fairmont Ghia continued to be the luxury version in the ED range. Missing from the ED series was the wagon model of the Fairmont Ghia.
Tickford Vehicle Engineering’s factory is adjacent to Ford Australia’s plant at Broadmeadows Victoria. Cars are built at the main plant then shuffled to TVE for modification. The inside of the Tickford Falcons are sporty body-hugging seats with bright trim fabrics, all part of the XR performance packages. Tickford also have a wagon option. TheXR6 station wagon has the same performance enhancing extras as the sedan, but with the advantage of a huge load carrying capacity.
Introduced a few weeks after the rest of the ED TVE range was the Falcon XR8 Sprint. A limited production model, sold with five-speed manual or automatic transmission, it had ROH wheels specific to this model, Michelin XGTV Pilot SX tyres and black (rather than red) inserts in the bumpers and body mouldings. The Sprint’s engine is based on the EB GT’s with 192kW at 5000rpm and 405Nm of torque at 4000rpm.
Though it still used substantially the same body which was released way back in1978 with the XD, the Falcon ute had received many changes over the years. None were as striking as the XR6 ute with its 161 kW engine, low-ratio diff, quad head lights and alloy wheels. Ford described it as the sports car which could carry a couple of 200-litre drums!