Cain vs. Abel. Rangers vs. Devils. Ford vs. GM/Holden. Falcon vs. Commodore. These are all rivalries that have permeated humankind for seemingly an eternity. But the latter is about to come to an end.
Commemorating this fact is Australia’s Drive, which has created somewhat of a swan song for both the Holden Commodore and the Ford Falcon. The Aussie publication took the most powerful variant of both models — the Ford Falcon XR8 and the Commodore SS-V Redline — and sent them into the ring one last time. We say one last time because, even though the Commodore will be sticking around in its rear-wheel drive guise a tad longer than the Falcon, this Ford Falcon XR8 is the final high-performance Falcon to be sold, so it only makes sense to give both icons one last chance in the ring.
So, Drive puts both cars through their paces, testing road feel, acceleration and overall fit and finish. The Ford Falcon goes first, its supercharged 5.0-liter V8 rapidly burbling the sedan down the street. It reaches 60 mph quicker than the Commodore SS-V Redline, and (arguably) sounds better doing it. But battles aren’t won on sound, even if they are very satisfying to the ears. Though the Commodore’s naturally-aspirated 6.0-liter V8 pushes it down the road quickly, the Falcon is faster.
But the Commodore has a very capable FE3 suspension, providing better on-road feel than the suspenders on the Falcon. In other words, what the Commodore lacks in grunt, it makes up for in driving dynamics.
The battle for the best cockpit is fairly cut-and-dry, as the Commodore blows the Ford Falcon away in that department. As Drive points out, the Ford feels like a fleet car, where the Holden feels like a truly refined machine. But we should note that the noticeable discrepancy in interiors is a result of GM-Holden putting the Commodore through a refresh, thereby creating the current-generation Commodore VF. The Falcon’s cabin, meanwhile, hasn’t had many updates for a few years.
We won’t spoil the results of the shootout, but each of the two Aussie road kings makes its case. One has massive power as if it was Australia in 1978, when the two cars really began their storied rivalry. The other, a refined machine, nearly matching its rival’s power but coming in short in favor of a better overall driving experience. No matter the winner, both cars are icons for Australia.
Read the whole write-up on the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore here, and check out the included video review.