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Motor Magazine


When too much power is never enough, APS turns up the boost with a 330 kW Falcon XR6T

Exactly how far can you stretch the XR6’s turbo six-banger before it takes that ‘banger’ tag literally? Buggered if I know, but I can tell you this. The limit isn’t 300 kW or even 330 kW.

See, I’ve just thumped pick handles out of an XR6 Turbo running 330 kW (probably a bit more, truth be told) and as well as not blowing up, it made for a tractable, responsive car that retained all the refinement of the stocker, refused to overheat and blew not a single puff of smoke. And just happened to go like a very recently cut cat.

How cut and how recently?

Well, how does 5.2 sec to 100 km/h and 13.35 for the quarter sound? Yeah, exactly, and the terminal velocity of a tad over 190 km/h suggests that the Falcon should go quicker with better rear bags and a double-digit track surface temperature. In fact, 36 hours after we ran our figures, the XR6 backed up at Calder’s night drags and pasted down a high 12 with a similar terminal velocity. Better air and different tyre pressures, probably, but time cards don’t lie.

If you’re a regular MOTOR reader, you should find this here smokey grey XR6T a bit familiar. It’s the test mule for Peter Luxon’s APS Engineering, and a few issues back (June 2003) we tested his cheekily pushed power to 280 kW as well as adding a big dollop of mid-range and part-throttle urgency.

But understanding that too much grunt is barely enough is a Luxon long suit, meet Phase II.

Like a lot of turbo installations, the real power is in the exhaust. Specifically, losing back pressure is the trick, a simple matter if you don’t mind blowing every noise and emissions regulation to oblivion. But that’s not something APS’s cars are known for and keeping it legal is a big part of – as Ali G would say – keeping it real.