If you’ve seen this car before, well, we’re not surprised – it’s probably the highest profile Ford XR6 Turbo in Australia. This is the personal ride belonging to Jason ‘JR’ Woodford – the Editor of Street Fords magazine.
Jason purchased his BA Mark II XR6T auto brand new after stepping out of a naturally aspirated BA XR6 with about $15k in mods.
“That was a great car and it went well – but it could never be a turbo,” says Jason.
The transition to Ford turbo power was a smooth one and Jason loved the effortlessness of its performance. But, uhh, the standard brakes! After only a couple of days ownership, Jason upgraded to a set of DBA slotted discs. Yep, the standard brakes really are that bad!
Since these early days, the car has morphed into something worthy of front page coverage.
Middleton Rally Team (MRT) has delved under the bonnet installing one of their earliest Ford power-up kits. The upgrade includes a remap using Flash Tuner, a 550hp fuel pump, 440cc injectors, modified turbine housing/wastegate, a high-flow dump pipe and a humungous 5-inch cat. Boost pressure peaks at around 9 – 10 psi. In addition, Jason has gone for an optional MRT front-mount intercooler upgrade – initial testing showed this to give a modest power gain but, in real-world driving, it has made a tremendous difference. There’s less heat soak and maximum performance is always on tap.
With these mods, Jason’s XR makes some real grunt. Output has rocketed from 201 to 272kW at the wheels on a Dyno Dynamics chassis dyno. And, yes, this is achieved with the standard valve springs – Jason hasn’t run into any significant valve bounce issues. Yet! The driveline is also coping fine as Jason is careful not to thrash the guts out of it. Gear shifts are firmer than standard thanks to some transmission line pressure tweaking via the Flash Tuner.
With this level of power, the existing DBA brake set-up was pushed to its limit. With almost 1800kg of metal to stop, Jason made the wise decision to switch to AP Racing anchors. These measure 356mm at the front and 343mm at the rear with six and four-pot calipers respectively. Braided lines and ceramic pads are also included. Jason says this is the first car he’s owned with a full-on brake upgrade and he’s still learning the finesse that’s required to get the most out of ‘em.
The Ford Control Blade suspension has also received a serve. Whiteline Suspension is responsible for transforming the car into a finely balanced machine that feels like it’s ready to enter a targa rally. Their Group 4 coil-overs team with the Handling Pack which comprises upgrade front and rear swaybars plus a front castor/camber kit with low-compliance bushes.
Jason recently pulled out all stops to make it to the recent Summernats event and, of course, the car had to carry a suitable amount of bling.
Polished 20 inch XHP Boost roll with class but Jason points out there is one associated trade-off – without resorting to a custom wheel offset, the front tyre width had to be reduced from 235 to 225 to achieve necessary clearance. Rear tyres are athletic 255/35 20s.
The body is plenty eye-catching. Jason has gone for an attractive black stripe look which starts at the front with an AWC carbon fibre GT bonnet and painted top section of the grille. Jason r-e-a-l-l-y wanted a carbon fibre roof as well, but practical reasons steered him in the direction of custom stick-on vinyl with a carbon fibre pattern. You wouldn’t pick it as vinyl until you’re up close. Heading rearward, the black stripe is extended with a carbon fibre covered boot teamed with an AWC carbon fibre bobtail. Neat, eh? An AWC lower body kit, BF Falcon taillights and dark window tint complete the picture. Oh, and those chrome mirrors? Ahh, well you’ll find the same parts on a Ford LTD.
The under-bonnet picture is equally as pur-ty as the body. You’ll find an AWC carbon fibre ECU cover, radiator top intake panel, airbox lid and snorkel. Jason has also applied some ‘Ford blue’ paint highlights and a Ford badge on top of the valve cover. Go the Fords!
Jason loves his modified XR6T’s combination of performance and practicality – not to mention its relatively modest cost. What other current-shape full-size car can roll out 272kW at the treads without resorting to major mods? With its MRT power-up, the car has managed a best quarter mile time of 13.3 seconds but Jason is confident it could go quicker. With the newly fitted AP Racing brakes he can now give it a serious stall-up off the line and expects it should run a flat 13/high 12 second ET. A 3000 rpm stall converter is about to be installed to further improve launch ability and a transmission fluid cooler will add longevity.
Life is tough for a magazine car so don’t expect things to remain as they are for very long. Jason has ideas of a high-performance engine build with the aim of achieving either an 11 second quarter mile or a neat 350kW at the wheels.
And then it’ll be onto the next project car!Contact/Thanks:
Middleton Rally Team (MRT) +61 2 9767 4545
Jason would like to thank the team at MRT and Whiteline, Mark and Adam of AWC, Brett from XHP Wheels, Mick from Eagle Tyres, Matt from Race Brakes, Dean from Peter Warren Ford and good mate John Vella.