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The ultimate AU Falcon

Revealed in 2000, Ford’s R5 concept led onto an actual concept for the next generation Falcon and is arguably the ultimate AU.

Ahead of its time, the R5 was an elevated four-wheel-drive dual cab ute concept revealed at the Sydney Motorsport Show based on the AU.

“The basic brief for the R5 was very simple. We wanted to create a vehicle that built upon the recreational features of the highly successful AU Falcon ute,” said Ford Australia president Geoff Polites at the time.

“The ability to carry five people with a host of gear would create all sorts of travel and activity options for our customers. Our designers have taken the Falcon ute to another level.”

Based on a stretched Falcon ute platform using a lengthened body from the B-pillar and a shortened tib mounted behind the cabin.

Using a subtle Ghost Gum Silver hue ensures the exterior details are highlighted such as the sculptured front bar, wheel arch flares, integrated side skirts large 18-inch wheels and a ride height elevated 75mm compared to a regular Falcon ute.

A mesh grill, high performance quad beam headlights, low mounted driving lights and a one-tonne electric winch featured inside the front bar, as an integrated sports bar completed the appearance at the rear.

Smart features included a 240v power socket located in the rear bumper and a 50-litre on-board fresh water storage tank.

Interior-wise it sat five adults comfortably, trimmed in Eucalypt Suede with charcoal nylon mesh inserts as brushed aluminium was used throughout the dash, gearshift and door trims.

Entertainment comes from a prestige sound system as automatic climate control, satellite navigation and mobile communications equipment ensure all the creature comforts were inside.

A 220kw, 5.0-litre V8 was installed mated to a five-speed manual transmission sending power to all four wheels.

Twin-pot calipers are paired with large ABS disc brakes as traction control ensured the latest safety options were all part of the package.

Of course, this concept was later produced as the RTV during the BA run of the Falcon.