Independent Motorsports started with a 2008 Ford Territory, a body-on-frame SUV that was built exclusively in Australia until the Blue Oval stopped manufacturing cars Down Under. There’s a Barra under the hood, but no, not that one — the Aussies haven’t bolted a turbocharger to General Motors CEO Mary Barra. The Territory used Ford’s 4.0-liter Barra straight-six engine, which made 330 horsepower when it was fully stock.
An extensive list of modifications that includes a ported head, new cams, and a Borg Warner turbo bumps the SUV’s output to somewhere in the vicinity of 1,000 horsepower. The “XSPSI” license plate doesn’t lie; the six-cylinder takes up to 34 psi of boost. It splits its power between all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission and a transfer case strengthened to handle the extra power.
Independent Motorsports explains the most challenging part of the project wasn’t building such a powerful engine, or even ensuring the internal components wouldn’t succumb to the temptation of becoming external components. It was safely and successfully pelting a 4,500-pound SUV down a drag strip. Who knew?
The video shows the Territory obliterating several dedicated high-performance machines including a Chevrolet Corvette, a Porsche 911 Turbo, and a Ford Falcon Ute XR8, another Australian-brewed special we never got in the United States. The best quarter-mile time it posts is 9.9 seconds. That’s only three milliseconds behind the vaunted Dodge Challenger Demon, a factory-built limited-edition drag racer with a single seat, a trick launch control setup, and an appetite for 100-octane gasoline.
You can build a 1,000-horsepower engine for just about any car with enough determination, and a large amount of cash. Keeping it street-legal is a different story, and that’s what makes this Territory even more impressive. It looks virtually stock, it’s registered, and it’s driven daily. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, indeed. We bet your neighbor’s Explorer can’t beat a ‘Vette in a race.
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