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Flexible XR

An 11 second Ford XR6T that's used for everything!

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

Click on pics to view larger images

At a glance...

  • Internally stock engine
  • Up to 327kW at the wheels
  • 11.43 second ET
  • Fun on the racetrack
  • Still used every day
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The world of modified cars seemingly goes hand-in-hand with cars of limited practicality. Build something quick and, chances are, you’ll sacrifice reliability, drivability, comfort, ground clearance – the list goes on. But Phil X’s Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo is different. You might find it running Phil’s kids to school, commuting to work, being used for work purposes, screaming on a chassis dyno, tackling Queensland race circuits or staging for a run down the quarter mile. Limited usefulness? Not here!

Click for larger image

Phil bought his late ’03 build XR6T second-hand in mid ‘04. At this time, it was never intended for modification (it was to serve primarily as a family car) but when you get involved in and the local XR6/XR8 club, well, you kinda get swept along. In those early days of dabbling, Phil went for high-flow exhaust and piggy-back computer from Redcliffe Dyno and Performance (RDP). Performance was, as you’d expect, considerably improved – there was around 260kW at the wheels on 9 psi boost.

Not long after, Phil got acquainted with Alistair and the team at F.I.S.T. Performance and Audio. At F.I.S.T., the engine was equipped with 440cc Bosch 968 injectors and retuned to deliver around 280kW at the wheels with boost bumped up to 11-12 psi.

Click for larger image

The newfound 60 percent power gain over stock gave Phil plenty to enjoy but, hooked by the temptation to get into weekend motorsport, it wasn’t long before the engine was again booked in for a power-up. Phil gave the go-ahead for one of F.I.S.T.’s 300kW ATW XR6 Turbo upgrades. This involved replacing the existing exhaust with a dual 2 ½ inch job, and fitting a PWR front-mount intercooler with new plumbing, a K&N panel filter and second airbox intake passage, a replacement wastegate actuator and a Bosch high-flow in-tank fuel pump. The only necessary internal engine mod is the fitment of Performance Springs valve springs.

While all this was going on, Phil encountered some problems with the auto trans (believed to be caused by an aftermarket modification to the torque converter). The trans has recently been rebuilt to performance specs including a shift kit and 2800 rpm stall converter. The diff remains stock and trouble-free.

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With the engine management system custom tuned using CAPA Edit, Phil’s XR has put out a maximum of 327kW at the wheels while running 15 psi boost and 100 octane fuel. Output drops 10kW ATW using normal BP Ultimate pump fuel.

So how quick is this beastly Ford? Well, according to Alistair of F.I.S.T., it’s the quickest ‘unopened’ XR6 Turbo in Queensland having run a best time of 11.43 seconds down the quarter mile at 119.5 mph. Note that this is in full street trim aside from Mickey Thompson rubber. We went for a brief drive and can vouch that Phil’s Ford really is that quick.

At the time of our photo shoot, the under-cooked standard XR6T brakes had been improved with DBA 4000-series discs combining with EBC Green Stuff pads. Phil says these made a considerable improvement but when some recent circuit work put some ‘hot spots’ on the discs it was the perfect time to look at upsizing. There are now BA Ford GT-spec PBR brakes which, interestingly, haven’t given the same sort of improvement experienced in the first brake upgrade.

Click for larger image

Part of the appeal of Phil’s XR6T is its near-standard appearance. Sure, there’s the snarl of the high-flow exhaust and a set of polished 19 inch rims teamed with 245/35 and 275/30 rubber, but you’d never pick its 11 second performance. Under-bonnet presentation hasn’t slipped Phil’s mind, as evident by the custom airbrushing on the airbox, valve cover, ECU cover and fuse cover. Kipart can be thanked for the brushing while the falcon and lightning theme is credited to Phil. An airbrushed bonnet is also in store.

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At present, the car is still used for everyday duties (two or three tanks of fuel are consumed each week!) but Phil ventures to the drag strip or circuit whenever he gets the chance. And it appears he’s hooked. Phil is now at a cross-roads – he could leave the car as is but, more than likely, he'll beef up the bottom-end, further increase power and run a faster ET (which will probably require a roll cage). If these plans go ahead, it’s possible Phil will then need to start looking for another everyday car – and that’s where a new FPV Typhoon enters the scene. Completely stock, of course...

Well, almost.


F.I.S.T. Performance and Audio +61 7 3271 3223

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