Ford Performance Vehicles (FPV) has taken the already rapid Ford Territory Turbo and turned it into something awesome: the F6X.

Although Ford plans a revamp of the Territory Turbo to increase its profile amid the new Falcon sedan range, the F6X already has abilities that set it apart.

Its turbocharged, four-litre, six-cylinder engine generates 270kW and 550Nm of torque, meaning the FX6's clever ZF six-speed automatic has ample grunt with which to work.

Power has risen by 35kW over the Territory Turbo and there's an additional 70Nm of torque on offer, with the full 550Nm available between 2000rpm and 4250rpm.

DRIVING

Suburban pace is easy to maintain without punching the turbo six to the redline, making for smooth, unfussed progress.

But the temptation to pound the firewall is difficult to resist; giving in causes the F6X to press forward with gusto, raising its nose and sniffing the air with intent.

Kickdown from the gearbox follows, accompanied by considerable thrust which doesn't really need to be moderated for corners.

The F6X sits reasonably flat for a tall SUV and, despite compromise rubber (it sits on 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/55 Goodyear Fortera tyres), manages to make short work of corners. Up to a point. Physics still wins eventually, but the FPV F6X can be hustled with remarkable pace.

In fact, a Beemer X5 V8, an AMG-tweaked M-Class Benz or a supercharged V8 Range Rover Sport — all costing at least $40,000 more — would be the only SUVs that could keep it in sight.

The F6X's nose points into a corner with remarkable accuracy and feel. There are more than a few sedans that could take a leaf from this SUV's book when it comes to handling.

Suspension has been upgraded for the extra performance, but the already capable Territory chassis was a good base from which to start.

Tweaked dampers have been installed, and revised spring rates — 10 per cent tauter than on the Territory Turbo—have tightened up the handling without sacrificing ride quality.

That's where the F6X makes up substantial ground on the Euro hot rods, with a ride quality born from local knowledge and Ford's expertise in getting the ride/handling balance right.

The brakes are well up to the task of reining in the F6X's performance. The front end is home to bigger discs with Brembo six-piston calipers.

FPV also says the stability control has been reprogrammed in conjunction with manufacturer Bosch to allow for sportier driving before the system interferes.

The official ADR fuel-consumption figure is 14.9 litres/100km, but it doesn't take too much lead in the right foot to nudge that number towards 20 litres/100km. More reasonable driving will return that figure to the mid-teens.

Based on the Territory Turbo Ghia, the F6X has a comprehensive range of features, although the fat side stripes may not be to everyone's taste.

Adjustable pedals are a welcome feature, as is the wide-ranging rear-view camera teamed with rear parking sensors.

The sound system, with a six-disc, in-dash CD player, provides good-quality noise.

Safety features include ABS brakes and stability control, dual front airbags and side curtain airbags for both rows of seats.

The FPV version of Ford's Territory is a versatile package which can cart the family, tow a boat and deal decently with any corners it encounters.

 


FPV F6X

Price: $75,990 (five-seater)

Engine: 4L/6-cylinder turbocharged 270kW/550Nm

Transmission: 6-speed auto, all-wheel drive

Economy: 14.9L/100km claimed, 20.5L/100km tested