The XL was introduced with some new styling changes, most
notably to the grille, altering from a concave to a convex
shape with recessed headlights and bumper mounted indicators.
The tail lamps were revised and the rear roof line was
changed to reflect Ford's "Thunderbird" style theme, which in turn created a wider rear pillar and larger rear window.
But the most serious changes were made under the skin, with significant
mechanical upgrades - a new gearbox, clutch, starter,
air and oil filters - and an attempt to sort out the weak
front suspension (this attempt was hardly successful).
The modifications included fitting ball-joint front suspension, along with a stabiliser bar and improved braking. But perhaps most significant was the fact that the Australian facelifted Falcon went to market before the US iterations.
By now Ford was very much committed to making the Falcon a success, and by releasing the XL when they did, they were able to steal the march on the Generals new EJ model, beating them to launch by just a few days.
However the EJ Holden was rather more than a mere "facelift", which prompted Ford to boast that the XL Falcon had 734 new parts.
The carburetors were modified to provide better fuel consumption, quieter engine operation and a higher top speed. Ford also claimed the higher second gear fitted to the manual gearbox gave better "flexibility" in traffic.
The XL would go on to out-sell the XK by over 7000 units, and Harry Firth and Bob Jane would go on to win the 1962 Armstrong 500
(the pre-cursor to the Bathurst 1000). Also introduced with the XL was the upmarket "Futura" model, along with a new marketing slogan, "Trim, Taut, Terrific".
Even the wagon would go upmarket, the Squire model being introduced, it fitted with Americana style fake wood (fiberglass) panels along each side. Strangely this would not prove to be the success, and the Squire would only carry over to the XM model before being dropped prior to the release of the XP.