It is incredibly five years since Powers Performance announced the launch of its 4.3 litre Speed 6 engine conversion.The goal at the time wasto develop a 4.3 litre Speed 6 unit which would be as smooth, reliable and punchy as their highly respected and much loved 4.3 litre Rover V8 unit. The Rover V8 4.3 over the years had gained almost cultstatus amongst Chimaera and Griffith owners and Power wanted to create the same feeling with their 4.3 Speed 6 amongst the ‘T’ car and Cerbera fraternity. Five years down the road they appear to have succeeded.
With 195 conversions completed and no major mechanical failures to report, the Powers Performance 4.3 Speed 6 conversion has proved to be a very popular and much sought-after upgrade. The company has a continuous flow of 4.3 units through its engine building room and moving forward a very healthy looking order book.With the high demand for this ever popular conversion complimented by excellent customer feedback, we have surely witnessed the birth of a true modern classic.
When Power first announced their 4.3 Speed 6, there were those who considered they were on a hiding to nothing. And you have to say the naysayers had a point. After all,the Speed 6’s reliability record thusfar hadn’t been the most impressive. However Power’s excellent development history coupled with its undoubted engineering expertise meant that their first Speed 6 conversion could only be a roaring success and five years on that has proved to be the case.
Dom Trickett, Managing Director of Powers Performance comments“ We could see huge potential in developing the Speed 6 unit further and were happy we had solved the early reliability issues experienced with many of the Factory fitted engines. So it was natural for us to develop the engine one step further and to see how much reliability we could build into it.”
Power’s standard practice of a lengthy development programme including a gruelling and lengthy testing schedule meant that when they announced the 4.3 conversion, they had already spent two years developing the unit. With an approach like that, which includes a sizable investment,you can be pretty sure that the finished product will be the real deal.
However in true Power fashion they were already looking for more, so when the 100th 4.3 conversion rolled out of the workshop they decided to take the Speed 6 one step further. They started development work on the 4.5. Now you would think that offering a 4.5 alongside the 4.3 would merely dilute the existing market, but the contrary was to prove to be the case. In actual fact the emergence of the 4.5 option merely enhanced the reputation of the ultra-reliable 4.3 and sales continued to grow. And whilst Power’s 4.5 option was released comparatively recently, 24 conversions have been completed to date and again the order book is looking healthy.
Danny Winstanley’s outingsin last season’s GT Cup in the Team Winstanley 4.5 litre powered Sagaris also proved Power’s latest conversion to be reliable, even in the extremes of a race environment. So with 4.3 and 4.5 firmly established it was time for Power to move it up another gear. With a good amount of tolerance still left in the block, Power decided the third and final step would be to take the Speed 6 unit to its ultimate conclusion and develop a 5.0 litre version.
Dom continues “The reliability of the 4.3 and 4.5 impressed us greatly and the feedback we received from our customers cemented the fact. So we decided to take the Speed 6 as far as we could as an engineering exercise to see for ourselves how far we could develop the unit.The results so far have been very impressive.”
Power’s development 5.0 litre Speed 6 uses the same stock valve train asthe 4.0, 4.3 and 4.5 litre engines, with a modified cam timing combination. To gain the extra capacity the 5.0 litre uses the same bore as the 4.5, but isfitted with a custom made Powers Performance stroker crank. This in turn is complimented by new, shorter H section rodsfeaturing modified pin positions.
The ultimate Speed 6 engineering exercise, Power’s new 5.0 litre test engine has already covered over 3,000 milesin Dom’s development Sagaris and so far everything is looking good; well, pretty much.
The 5.0 litre’s reliability so far has been perfect and the power the engine produces is astounding.
But in actual fact there is so much power at the rear wheels, there is now an argument as to whether we fit traction control to the car to aid drivability.
Let’s just say in the wet it is character building. And I wouldn’t rule out launch control either. This is one of the fastest cars I have ever driven and getting it away without spinning up the rear wheelsis almost impossible.” Power’s current 5.0 litre development and testing programme is by no way meant to herald the release of yet another Powers Performance upgrade. But the experience gained from taking the Speed 6 to its ultimate conclusion will help the company build additional reliability into its existing engine options which at the end of the day can only benefit their army of loyal customers.
Indeed with a good amount of data from the 5.0 litre test engine now having been analysed, Power is taking the project on a step further and is currently moving into stage two of their 5.0 litre development. Dom explains “Stage two takes our crankshaft and con-rod combination on a step, building into the engine even more reliability whist developing even more power. Put simply; as an engineering exercise I want to make a reliable, high revving 5.0 litre which will make huge numbers to show what the Speed 6 isreally capable of. So watch this space.” On a lighter note it hasn’t escaped my notice that over the pastseven years of Speed 6 evolution, Dom’s development Sagaris has generally been fitted with a bigger engine than anyone else’s.
If this Managing Director’s car also happened to be fitted with a full race roll-cage I would be tempted to tell him to paint it reflex green and stick a number 8 on the side! Although I can think of one group of driversI know rather well who are no-doubt delighted that it isn’t and he won’t. The good newsisthat once Dom’s engines developments have been fully proven and released as a Powers Performance upgrade, we can be powered by exactly the same thing.
So Dom’s broad grin today is our broad grin tomorrow.