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!
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 xr6turbo.com 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.
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.
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.
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.
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