March 3, 2006 Motor racing has always been about speed. For the last 100 years, Motorsport has been about racing from point A to Point B, and subsequently, once racing circuits were built, from point A to Point A. Now there’s a new form of Motorsport evolving and when Australian Ford subsidiary Ford Performance Vehicles developed an “unofficial” concept car specifically for the new sport, we decided it was time to sit up and take notice. The sport is known as “drifting” and if you haven’t heard of it, no doubt you soon will – whatsmore, unlike all prior forms of Motorsport, it isn’t about speed. If motor racing is the equivalent of the 100 metre freestyle in the pool at the Olympics, think of drifting as synchronised diving. Originating in Japan and popularised by computer games in the US, drifting combines extreme driving skill with flair and artistry as drivers negotiate complex courses or routines in a controlled slide. Combining both solo qualifying runs with head-to-head competition, each event is judged on execution and style rather than speed, and is akin to skateboarding and freestyle motocross competition. So what makes an ideal concept car for Drifting? Ford’s DRIF6 features a lightweight chassis, racing cockpit and uprated version of its critically-acclaimed intercooled and turbo charged 4.0-litre in-line six cylinder producing more than 380kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
There is a tradition at each FPV Family Open Day for a group of volunteers from FPV and Prodrive to create a project car to showcase their abilities and generate some excitement among the visitors. This year, the team created a specially-modified one-off version of the FPV F6 Typhoon sedan designed to tackle similar turbo-charged performance cars in the spectacular new form of motor racing: Drifting. DRIF6 features a lightweight chassis, racing cockpit and uprated version of its critically-acclaimed intercooled and turbo charged 4.0-litre in-line six cylinder producing more than 380kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
“Drifting is one of the fastest growing forms of motor racing in Australia – and certainly one of the most spectacular,” said FPV’s, Andrew MacLean, “so we let our imaginations drift in that direction.”
DRIF6 was built by a team of dedicated engineers and technicians at FPV’s Campbellfield facility with the assistance and support of a number of key suppliers, including Prodrive, Autotek, Castrol, HIS Hoses, Robinson Racing Developments, Revolution Racegear and Dunlop. At the heart of the DRIF6 project is an upgraded 4.0-litre turbo-charged in line six cylinder engine with modifications made to increase the efficiency of the turbo system and to boost power and torque. These include a significantly larger intercooler with a revised induction system that features a ram air box taking air from where the fog light is normally located on the production car, a hand made plenum manifold replacing the individual inlet runners, a unique engine management system calibration and three-inch straight through exhaust system with side outlet.
The transmission has an upgraded Tremec T-56 close-ratio six-speed gearbox and AP racing twin-plate clutch driving the rear wheels through a locked differential.
The braking system includes the optional Brembo brakes available on the F6 Typhoon with 355mm front and 330mm rear cross-drilled and pillar ventilated rotors and six-piston monoblock front calliper and four-piston rear calliper. It has been modified especially for Drifting with high quality braided hoses, a brake proportioning valve and a WRC-style hydraulic handbrake.
The cockpit of DRIF6 has been stripped and replaced with world-class MOMO racing seats and racing harnesses, MOMO steering wheel, MOMO gearknob and a variety of ancillary gauges by VDO and Autron. These include a monster VDO tacho on the dash located in line with the twin-pod sport gauges that display oil temperature and turbo boost pressure, A-pillar mounted gauges to display volts and cabin temperature and Autron’s latest high-tech tyre-press monitoring system located at the base of the Interior Command Centre. The cockpit also has a racing-style roll cage.
The DRIF6 is a concept car designed to showcase the enthusiasm and expertise of FPV’s engineering operations. There are no plans, at this stage, to participate in competitive events.
The FPV Family Open Day featured more than 300 of the best-loved performance Ford vehicles on display from car clubs across Australia and attracted approximately 10,000 visitors.
Body: Lightweight F6 Typhoon, Four-door sedan Engine: Turbo-charged and intercooled 4.0-litre DOHC in-line six cylinder Turbo charger: Garrett GT 35/40 Induction system: Hand-made twin-plenum manifold with custom three-inch pipes from turbo charger and intercooler. Ram air intake from lower front bumper into K & N pod filter Engine Management System: Customised calibration Exhaust: Stainless Steel three-inch straight-through with side outlet Intercooler: Front mounted 600mm x 300mm x 75mm Power: Approx 380kW Torque: Approx 700Nm Clutch: AP Racing twin-plate Differential: Locked rear differential, 3.73:1 final drive Brakes: Cross-drilled and pillar ventilated 355mm x 32mm front and 330mm x 28mm rear rotors with Brembo six-piston monoblock front and four-piston rear callipers. HIS braided hoses. Pull-operated hydraulic handbrake with Tilton brake proportioning valve. Seats: MOMO Steering wheel: MOMO Harnesses: Four-point MOMO race harnesses Battery: Optima; mounted in rear of cockpit with central-mounted kill switch Gauges: VDO monster tacho, Autron tyre pressure monitoring system Wheels: 19x8 inch five-spoke alloy in Dark Argent Tyres: 245/35 ZR19 Dunlop SP Sport Maxx Lubricant: Castrol Edge 0W-40