AU series 1: TE50 specifications.



As the entry-level model in the T-Series range, the TE50 was a inspiring "blend of performance and luxury, based on a Fairmont yet featuring XR seats trimmed in warm charcoal suede, with XR sports IRS, premium brakes and discreet styling changes." (words taken from Tickford's own spec sheets on the TE50)  This included new front and rear bumpers with chrome mesh inserts, a matching chrome mesh grille, body-coloured headlight surrounds, subtle side skirts, a "T" badge on the bonnet and "TE50" on the boot lid.  Inside a TE50 could be identified by "T" badging on each door trim, unique white background instruments, and strange looking "Urban Geometric" dash insert pattern.  A premium NVH package also made it's way into the mix to quieten things down a bit.

With numbers limited to 104 units by buyer demand, the AU 1 TE50 deserves the title as one of the rarest Falcons ever built.  With specifications in excess of both the EB & EL GT's - this first serious attempt at taking HSV head on deserved better.  But time stood still for no-one, and while the TE50 featured a reliable - if not awe inspiring - 200kW of power, the comparable VT HSV's featured more than 250kW.  To be nearly $10K cheaper meant nothing in a market that was prepared to pay for the image - another sore point with Ford customers.  The TE50 was more of a gentleman's racer with it's oh-so-subtle side skirts and interesting use of pattern where there should have been carbon fibre!  - Or at the very least painted in body colour to match the exterior.  For crying out loud - there was even a 'delete' option on the rear spoiler - which surprisingly didn't look too bad!!!

But where the TE50 really lifted it's skirts was in the handling and steering department - where it put HSV firmly to shame.  Unfortunately this only further emphasized it's need for more power - feeling all the while like it could have easily handled at least 100kW more without losing control of the situation.  Helping this point was Ford's choice of it's amazingly smooth electronically controlled four speed auto with "adapt-a-shift" and steering wheel mounted shift control.  A manual was available as well (not available in TS50 - doh!) which also shifted in a much smoother and easier to find manner than Holden's imported six speed.  Making sure you stopped as quickly as you went was Tickford's standard inclusion of the premium brake package (deleted in AU2 TE50) - a thankful addition over the AU1's standard brakes which went on strike after a only couple of hard stops from high speed - and only one stop if you were going fast enough!

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With rarity on your side, big brakes, a stronger Tickford pedigree and the Fairmont's climate control as well as plenty of other creature comforts - the TE50 wins out over an same year XR8 in the second hand stake - every time!  And if you're prepared to spend some of those savings over a HSV on the engine - you can have your power back too.  Overall, a successful mating between the Fairmont & XR8 but definitely needing more power when compared to the opposition.  Overly conservative styling can be easily helped using parts and ideas from the AU2 TE50 and XR's if you feel that way inclined.


Engine (6 & V8)
Front Suspension.
Rear Suspension.
Sound System.


Appearance / Identification.

Wheels & Tyres.
What you got over an XR8.

What you got (over an XR8):
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Original TE50 show car as released at the 1999 Melbourne Motor Show - note fitment of non-standard TS50 18" wheels.

Full Specification listing:
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Info By Doug Bevan, site by Anthony Robinson.
Copyright © 2000 by Doug & Any . All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Nov 2002 .