I would knock the XR6 especially the turbo. Whilst I love my cougars the XR6 turbo would eat them for breakfast. Definately outdrives any modern 4 door car ford sells in north america at the moment including the mustang.
Same here... that's what cued me to look for the steering wheel and finally find it in the 'factory location'.
And I actually knew about the Ute.... the U.S. Ford "Ranchero" was for a time based on our Falcon chassis; before returning to the 'mid-size' Fairlane/Torino/LTD II base. Keeping it on the Falcon plan would have been a great idea here; although I know of a few people that actually pulled two-horse trailers behind the later, larger models.
I'd prefer to use at least a 1/2-ton pickup for that (and I do); and the idea of a light, smaller open-bed style vehicle to haul loads of <1/4 US ton is one that (IMHO) should someday return. Keep the RWD platform -steal it back from the Ford Mustang- and power it with, say a 'base' 4L V-6 for a good combination of "grunt" and fuel economy.
You guys in OZ have it figured out; I don't understand why Detroit hasn't.