Ford Australia has done to its latest Falcon what Ford USA did a few years ago to the similarly-sized Taurus: toned down the curves and squared-off the styling for a more conservative look.

The Down Under Ford outpost recently revealed advance pictures of the new BA-series Falcon ahead of its September launch.

Ford Australia design director Simon Butterworth said the BA Falcon boasted a design that was both elegant and powerful.

“A major contributor to that look is the proportion of the vehicle – or the relationship of wheels to body, the height from the ground and front and rear overhangs.

“A minor increase in the wheelbase and track has assisted us in achieving excellent stance and visual road presence.”

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Butterworth said the BA Falcon embodied a strong Ford DNA identity, instantly connecting the car with other Ford products from around the world, but Australian industry commentators reckoned most buyers would have difficulty picking the new Ford from its arch-rival, the Holden Commodore, which has enjoyed a huge sales lead for several years.

The Ford’s controversial sharp-edged styling and outdated six-cylinder engines and rear suspension have counted against it compared with the Holden which has a contemporary US-designed V6 engine and standard independent rear end.

New BA Falcon features include the absence of exterior balance weights on the restyled wheels and round quad headlight reflectors behind squared-off glass.

The car will feature a number of firsts for the Australian automotive industry, including adjustable driver’s pedals (an increasingly popular option on American Ford models), electronic “drive-by-wire” throttle controls, and new “control blade” independent rear suspension though the station wagon and pickup versions will keep the old leaf-spring layout.

Ford is also expected to update the in-line six-cylinder engines and introduce a new US-sourced 5.4-litre V8.

After pictures of the new car were released, Ford Australia’s website recorded three to four times its normal daily traffic levels and the company planned to increase server capacity to cope.