SLEEPER is a term that gets thrown around a lot these days, and just about everybody has their own opinion about what does (and more often what doesn’t) make a true sleeper.
Whatever your view on sleepers, it’s hard to deny that Independent Motorsports’ Ford Territory is worthy of the badge. Granted, these big family haulers did come factory-fitted with the turbo Barra engines, but none of those where capable of nearly 1000hp at the hubs and a PB of 9.75@143mph!
It’s been proven time and time again just how capable of making serious power these Barra engines are, so Stathi Kavadias and the Independent Motorsports crew have been working away to refine the Territory chassis for years now, particularly the factory all-wheel-drive system.
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“We’re still running the factory driveline on the front, but we run pretty much a locked transfer case,” Stathi says. “That allows us to get a full 50/50 split of power front to rear.”
The SUV is still in full street trim, and even uses a modified version of the factory ZF six-speed auto ’box rather than a more common swap to a four-speed banger.
“It weighs around 2300kg; it’s a brick going through the air,” Stathi reckons.
Due to fitment difficulties, the car has spent its whole racing life so far running down the strip on street tyres, meaning that even with its prodigious weight, the Territory needs that AWD system to put the power to the ground.
The Independent Motorsports crew announced only a few weeks ago that they had finally sorted a full set of four drag radials for the Territory, but their plans of testing the new rubber at Calder Park Dragway were delayed due to poor weather. Let’s hope the boys can hit the track soon and run some eye-watering numbers.