1989 Series II EA Falcon Sedan

As a result of an A$700 million development the Ford EA Falcon[14] introduced in 1988, bore a passing resemblance to the European Ford Scorpio.[15] However under the skin, it remained an entirely Australian design, and is credited as the first Falcon model to employ wind tunnel testing.[15] The EA was also only produced in sedan and station wagon body styles, with the previous-model (XF) utility and panel van continuing in production.[15]

Engine choices comprised three straight-six engines: the short-lived, CFI 3.2-litre, a 3.9-litre, as well as a 3.9-litre multi-point. A five-speed T50D fully synchronised manual and Borg-Warner M51 three-speed automatic transmission were offered, however the latter was replaced by a four-speed BTR 85SXLE in the Series II range then updated to the BTR 95LE in the EB update in 1991.

The EA Falcon was available in four trim levels: the base model was named GL and was equipped with the 3.2-litre straight-six, although most GLs were sold with the 3.9 CFI. The 3.9-litre CFI engine was available in the sporty Falcon S and in the luxurious Fairmont; the MPI version was standard only in the top of the range Fairmont Ghia.

The EA Falcon, released under the codename EA26 (E for the large size, A for Australia, 26 for the (usually in sequence) global project number), would retain the traditional Falcon hallmarks of width and rear-wheel drive. This proved to be the correct move as sales of the Falcon began to climb after the fuel crisis aftermath, while those of the rival Commodore slipped. It became clear that Australian buying patterns had not truly changed and what the public wanted was a full-size (albeit smaller) family car.

In addition, Ford’s dominance of the taxi market in Australia meant that a car that could comfortably seat three along the back seat—and even the front, with a bench seat installed—was necessary. It also ensured that Ford could retain, at least until Holden released the new Statesman/Caprice in 1990, the market for official cars for governmental use.

While initially popular, the EA’s build quality was uncompetitive with uneven panel shutlines, computer problems, poor paint quality and front suspension alignment problems.[15][16]

Launched in October 1989, the Series II brought with it a four-speed automatic transmission, body-coloured B-pillars, and the 3.2-litre engine was dropped.[15] Despite the Series II models having significantly fewer problems than the Series I, Series II prices are also affected by curtailed resale values. The same problem also affects the NA Fairlane and DA series LTD,[17] and even the ute and panel van variants, which persisted with the older XF architecture.