With the XR6 Turbo variants outselling the XR8 in the previous generation XR range, Ford has decided the XR6 Turbo is just as important as the XR8, so both models shares major equipment specifications.
The main difference is of course the signature bonnet power bulge which hints at the new and powerful 5.4-litre four-valve V8 engine, which finds its way into the XR8 with the introduction of the FG Falcon.
The engine is hand-built from bare blocks and heads by Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) and produces 290kW (30kW more than before) and 520Nm of torque (20Nm more).
Assembled on the only V8 production line in Australia, the Boss 290 engine features a number of unique FPV engine components:
High performance, high compression pistons with domed tops lift the compression ratio to 10.5:1 for the Boss 290 (up from 9.5:1 for the Boss 260) for a major improvement in engine response and overall engine efficiency, particularly under light throttle loads.
These high strength pistons feature a larger gudgeon pin, larger internal pillars to support the gudgeon pin and a special ring pack to match the high compression, extra power and torque loads.
Sintered conrods for uniform weight and high strength, tailored to accommodate the larger gudgeon pin and to clear the larger gudgeon support pillars inside each piston – for significant gains in strength and durability.
Forged steel crankshaft for exceptional refinement and strength under high power and torque loads – each Boss 290 crankshaft undergoes a special balancing process prior to assembly to match the new piston and conrod combination for reduced stress on engine components at all engine speeds.
Cylinder heads are cast in aluminium alloy to minimise weight and to reach optimum operating temperature faster – they feature an improved Cobra R design with a straighter, better breathing inlet port for better performance.
High-lift inlet camshaft that increases valve lift to 13 mm (10 mm in Boss 260) for improved inlet flow, fast response and easy-revving high performance feel.
High-lift exhaust camshaft that increases exhaust valve lift to 12 mm (10 mm in Boss 260) for more efficient exhaust gas clearance.
Longer valve stems and springs to match the high-lift camshafts for longer reach and improved gas flow in and out of the combustion chamber.
Longer finger followers to match the higher cam profile and ensure accurate valve control through the extremities of valve lift.
Locally-manufactured inlet manifold with tuned length trumpets to match the head design, delivering strong torque at lower engine speeds and power at high rpm.
A larger-entry, free flowing airbox that provides more efficient airflow into the induction system, aiding performance and significantly reducing induction noise.
A 75mm throttle body with drive-by-wire linkage, which eliminates the noise and vibration path that a mechanical linkage can generate as it enters the cabin. It reduces maintenance, allows more accurate throttle control and optional pedal adjustment on automatic models.
Locally-manufactured, fabricated stainless steel exhaust headers for a total breathing package to match the performance inlet manifold, high-lift cam profiles and 32-valve heads.
Engine blueprinting – a highly accurate three-grade engine tolerance system, measured in microns, matches crankshafts, pistons, blocks, conrods and bearings for a perfect fit. Accurate component matching by tolerances and weight delivers improved performance, refinement, durability and fuel efficiency.