Thankfully though, Ford could pull some Mustang running gear from the international Ford parts bin, which, when fitted to an XR6 shell, promised performance without complexity and excessive cost. So in went a 4-barrel Holley carburettor-fed Mustang 4942cc pushrod V8, power was sent to the backend via a 5-speed Mustang Borg-Warner manual transmission and the chassis was beefed up to handle the extra grunt. With the new lump weighing in 33kg heavier than the Essex V6 a beefier cross member was added, spring rates were increased by 50% at the front while the rear saw 40%, the McPherson struts at the front were moved to fit larger wheels, and because of the tight squeeze in the engine bay the anti-roll bar had to be re-routed. Halfshafts and driveshafts were designed and made from scratch locally while the 281mm vented discs all round and 4-pot from callipers came from the international race scene.
In total, Ford claimed to have locally designed from new 96 components while a further 150 were modded XR6 items. In road guise Ford didn’t over stress the motor, tuning it to churn out 150kW at 4800rpm and 330Nm of torque at the 3500rpm mark. The result was a sub-8-second zero to 100km/h sprint and top speed just over 225km/h, which although not earth shattering by today’s standards, was enough to blow off most other road users in the day while delivering a reasonable fuel consumption average of 11 litres per 100km. Thanks to the solid foundation some minor work at your local workshop could see the V8 transforming into a brutal performer and at a purchase price of R25 000 punching well above its price range.