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Thousand Horse XR6T

1000hp (746kW) in a Ford XR6 Turbo!

Words by Michael Knowling, Pix by Julian Edgar

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At a glance...

  • Approximately 1000hp (746kW)
  • Triple plate clutch and Mal Wood gearbox
  • Alcon six/four pot brakes
  • Pushes the limits of streetable XR6 Turbo performance
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Brian Lord is a pioneer in the field of Ford XR6 Turbo modification. He was the first person to put his hand up for a Nizpro Stage 3 upgrade and more recently, he decided to go all-out and build a genuine 1000hp (746kW) street motor. Yep, 1000 ponies in an Australian family size sedan with all the trimmings. And Brian says an extra 250+ horsepower (187kW) is available with slightly wilder camshafts and a bigger turbo – as proven using a virtually identical engine on the Nizpro engine dyno.

We’re talking enough power to end all conversations.

Brian has owned turbocharged cars since 1982 as well as an assortment of naturally aspirated performance cars.

“I guess I had enough experience with both types of cars to know that the XR6 Turbo was something special when it was released in 2002,” he says.

Not surprisingly, Brian purchased this XR6T manual in May ’03 and within six months he’d contracted Nizpro in Melbourne for their first Stage 3 upgrade.

“At the time I read everything I could on XR6 Turbo modification – including the article XR6 Through the Roof! – and Nizpro appealed to me because they were prepared to go further with modifications and rebuild the engine if necessary,” Brian says.

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The Stage 3 upgrade incorporates a performance built engine, a Nizpro intake plenum and intercooler, rocker cover garnish, upgrade injectors and fuel pump, a free-flow exhaust, all-new air intake and, at the time, an interceptor module. Current Stage 3 kits use an edited version of the standard ECU program.

“I was very impressed with the performance of the car – especially since not many other people had gone as far – and we recorded about 350kW at the wheels.

But witnessing the specially built Nizpro XR6T engine blast out 1268hp (946kW) on the in-house engine dyno kinda turns your perception of what’s ‘enough power’ on its head. Brian had to have something along similar lines and set a challenge for Nizpro – achieving 1000hp (746kW) with genuine streetability.

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The platform is an engine that’s built to the same internal specs as the Nizpro 1268hp monster. The block is slightly overbored, equipped with locally made forged pistons (providing a 8.3:1 static compression ratio) and super strong aftermarket rods. A billet crankshaft is one of only two produced – the other is used in the 1268hp engine. The DOHC has received only a clean up and subtle porting job and carries Nizpro valve springs, relatively mild camshafts and standard valves.

From the exhaust ports you’ll find nothing originating from the Ford factory. A Nizpro tubular exhaust manifold (draped in OE style heat shield material) feeds the turbine of a secret-spec turbocharger that is based on the Garrett GT series. A Tial external wastegate is used to control turbo speed and vents into a huge 4 inch diameter exhaust with dual custom mufflers. The clutch master cylinder has been relocated to avoid heat related problems caused by the nearby turbocharger hardware.

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The turbo receives a cool, filtered supply of intake air courtesy of a 5 inch mandrel pipe that’s equipped with a large pod type filter. Air is then pushed through a slightly thicker version of the Nizpro replacement front-mount intercooler. A TurboSmart atmospherically venting blow-off valve can be seen on the pipe exiting the intercooler. The intercooler plumbing is also routed to accommodate a relocated throttle body. This is attached to a Nizpro replacement intake plenum – the standard intake runners remain.

Fuelling a 1000hp engine is no small task so you’ll find a set of six 1200cc injectors aimed down the engine’s throat. A Walbro lift pump supplies a large volume surge tank which is connected to a pair of Bosch Motorsport pumps. Fatter fuel lines are also fitted throughout.

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Brian says the engine was initially configured to run MoTeC programmable management piggy-backed with the factory ECU. However, ongoing problems relating to idle quality prompted a recent change to an edited factory program. This has not sacrificed power but has provided a dramatic improvement in idle quality and refinement. Current output is an easy 560kW at the back wheels and up to 596kW has been seen – Brian says this equates almost to 1000hp (746kW) at the flywheel. Note that the engine can spin to 7500 rpm – the standard limit is 5800...

But building a mega-power engine is one thing – piecing together a suitable driveline is another.

Brian currently relies on a custom Mal Wood six-speed which teams up with an OS Gikken triple-plate clutch. The standard five-speed ‘box is w-a-y out of its depth at this output – Brian says he was one of the first in Australia to turn the standard gearbox into scrap metal. Now there’s a claim to fame! Three diffs have also been consumed and Brian is now waiting to whack in a pair of heavy-duty billet axles. The standard shafts are currently the weakest link in the driveline.

The rear wheel arches are home to Racing Hart 19 inch alloys wearing huge 285/35 Pirelli high-performance rubber. Note that the rolling diameter of this combo is substantially greater than standard – the current 4.1:1 diff ratio effectively provides a 3.9:1 ratio. The big-as-would-fit tyres require lipped guards and adjusted camber to achieve adequate clearance.

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Enhanced handling comes from adjustable Koni suspension while braking performance is totally transformed. Brian says he bought the car with the standard Ford brake setup with the intention of an aftermarket upgrade – there’s now Alcon six-pot front calipers with 355mm rotors and Alcon four-pot rears with 330mm rotors. The difference in braking is eyeball poppin’ obvious.

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Visually, Brian has gone for a sleeper look by retaining the factory XR6 body kit. The only mods are tinted windows, those 19 inch Racing Hart rims and dual outlet exhausts. And check out the factory style exhaust tips – there’s nothing to warn you this beasts puts out more than three times the standard XR6T output. Nasty stuff. Likewise, the interior remains standard fare except for a FPV gauge cluster (containing a 8000 rpm tacho) and A’PEXi boost and oil pressure gauges.

“Once the billet axles are fitted to the car about the only thing left is maybe an auto trans conversion. I wouldn’t mind finding out what it’s like with an auto but the problem is finding one that’s strong enough,” Brian says.

It’s either that or he might swap everything into a new FPV Typhoon. Hmmm, anyone wanna buy a XR6 Turbo with only around 30,000km on the clock?

Never given a hard time.



+61 3 9761 1522

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