For many years the Australian high-performance scene has been dominated by
the Subaru Impreza WRX. But if you ever needed proof that there is a new
performance king on the scene, this is it!
Let's take some time to think about the numbers associated with C&V
Performance's Ford XR6 Turbo.
First, it has made 385kW at the back wheels. That equates to around 500kW at
the engine or, to put it another way, about 50 percent more power than the
current 8.0-litre Dodge Viper... Muscle car? You must be talking 4.0-litres of
Second, with no other track preparation apart from a pair of rear slicks, the
car has run a best quarter mile time of 10.9-seconds at 124.7 mph! It's so fast
that the racing officials won't let it run again without a roll cage!
Oh, and we'll fill you in on one other important little titbit... Since running
this time, the car has been further tweaked to pump out an extra 20kW at the
wheels - bringing the total up to 405kW ATW!
Subaru WRX – what?!
Con and Vic Elfes of Sydney's C&V Performance are drag racers from way
back and they've run more than enough tough cars to know what's hot and, well,
what's not. The XR6T, they say, represents a new era of performance. Ford really
has set the benchmark.
Regular AutoSpeeders might recognise this car from our previous road/dyno
test of the APS (Air Power Systems) XR6 Phase III power-up kit – see
APS Phase 3 Teaser. In short, we were blown away
by the sheer grunt, drivability and integration.
Con from C&V explains that their orange XR has been serving as one of
APS's many in-the-field development vehicles. He recalls the standard car (with
an auto trannie) managed low 14s over the quarter. Not bad, if you ask us. But
progressing immediately to the APS Phase II kit (comprising an upgrade exhaust,
air intake, replacement injectors, additional fuel pump and UniChip) the car
plunged into the high 12s with a peak boost pressure of just 10 psi. That, as
Con says, is more than enough performance for the average enthusiast – a
12-second car rarely gets beaten on the street!
The next stage of development involved stepping up to the Phase III kit and
pushing it as far as it could go. Moving up to Phase III means adding a
replacement wastegate actuator and a DR-series front-mount intercooler that's
approximately 4½ times the volume of the factory intercooler. With such
effective charge-air cooling, C&V cranked the boost up to a massive 22 psi.
This combines with the existing 3½ into twin 2½-inch stainless exhaust, cold
air snorkel, upgrade fuel system and UniChip. Oh, and the APS optional blow-off
valve was also installed at this time.
It's nothing excessive but, believe it or not, this is the exact mechanical
configuration that was used to make 385kW at the treads and to run a 10.9-second
ET. That makes it the fastest XR6T in Australia. And don't bother looking for a
nitrous kit – there ain't one!
As mentioned, the racing stewards require that a roll cage is installed
before the car can make another pass. Understandably, the guys at C&V are
reluctant to take this drastic move – the car is, after all, still used as a
After changing to the Phase III APS kit the C&V XR6T ran into valve
spring problems. Con explains the valve springs fitted to certain examples
aren't capable of controlling the valves at high boost pressures. This was
solved by installing replacement OE springs, which apparently share a Ford V8
C&V have been developing the auto transmission in their orange XR6T for
some time. Con recalls the standard trannie gave trouble even before the car was
modified... Since then, C&V have been testing various mods and are pretty
happy with the current set-up. The transmission internals have been heavily
revised in conjunction with Northmead Auto Centre and an all-important trans
cooler has been added. "We give our cars a pretty hard time and the current
set-up is coping well – it all looked nice inside when we last dropped the
gearbox for inspection," says Con.
There have been absolutely no problems with the standard rear-end.
Content that they'd cracked a 10 with the Phase III kit, Con and Vic have
recently switched to a yet-to-be-finalised APS Phase IV kit. This adds a
beautiful new intake plenum with the original set of six injectors now employed
as secondaries – waste-not want-not! The pre-turbo induction path is also
revised as part of the upgrade. This involves relocating the battery to the
opposite side of the engine bay and fitting an APS airbox to the space now
available in the driver's side guard.
On C&V's in-house Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno the car has already
showed a 20kW gain in the top-end along with improved mid-range torque. Boost
pressure has not been increased from 22 psi. Throttle response has also been
further improved, partly thanks to the shortened induction tract. Ask Con and
he's quietly confident of achieving a 10.7-second quarter...
"We're still using the standard turbocharger," says Con.
"We wanted to see how far we could go without changing the turbo and I think
we're pretty well at its effective limit now." Obviously, bolting on a larger
turbo will give scope for an even more monstrous top-end output. But there are a
couple of subtle areas Con says they might address in the future...
"I'd like the rev limit to be a couple of hundred rpm higher – especially if
we go to a bigger turbo – and it would be nice to be able to control the
electronic throttle. It'd be great to have control of the throttle during
gearshifts," he says.
"I'm sure that sort of thing is on its way from APS."
Even as it stands it's safe to say the Ford XR6 Turbo is a milestone vehicle.
In Con's words, it's simply "unstoppable!"