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Blow By, Blow By, Blow
Although not strictly a road test comparison, certain parallels can be drawn from the three vehicles you see pictured in that they are all turbocharged and offer vastly improved performance over the standard models. The first to come under careful scrutiny is a modified XR3i from UBM of Winchester known as the XR300T, the second, a 'works' development car for the Ford Escort Rally Championship uses a kit that should eventually become available through RS dealers and thirdly we have the much acclaimed Fiesta Lumo 105T offered by Trimoco of Dunstable that is based on a brand new XR2.
Andrew Kirk assesses the cars, Gerard Sauer adds his thoughts on the turbo technicalities.
UBM XR3OOT TURBO
By far the most interesting car of the hreesome visually, is the UBM version jf the XR3i, known as the XR300T. This car is offered as a complete package with or without numerous options, but basically includes the body kit you see pictured along with Ford RS wheels and the turbocharged and injected CVH engine.
The body kit is a specially developed package by the German company Kamei, which has been wind tunnel tested to reduce lift at the front end by 37% and 60% rear. This includes a deeper front spoiler with integral front wheel spats, whilst running boards are fitted below the door sills which also flare out to form wheel spats. At the rear is an extended undervalance, designed to improve air flow. The front grille is changed for a Kamei restyled job and a special reflective panel with XR300T lettering fits into the space normally occupied by the number plate, which in turn is relocated under the bumper. The standard XR3i rear spoiler is retained.
Our demonstrator came equipped with optional 15" Rallye Sport wheels as opposed to the standard 14" fitment and these in turn were fitted with 195/50VR 15" P7 tyres. For looks, this is a combination that is hard to beat, although another choice offered as an option is a complete TRX Michelin wheel/tyre combination (55 series) that is claimed to give a more comfortable ride. These particular wheels are also attractively styled and complement the body modifications well.
The P7's that we tried do give excellent grip but made the steering too heavy for normal everyday driving. Parking was a real tugging affair and a general unpleasant experience and the tyres only came into their own when motoring quickly.
Another option fitted to our demonstrator was the RS suspension kit that successfully lowers the ride height and improves general handling in the process (fitting feature in April issue). Downrated springs are used all round along with a thicker front anti-roll bar. A rear roll bar is also part of the package.
Motivation behind the XR300T comes.....