Back in the late 1980s, Yamaha developed and manufactured the acclaimed 220 HP Ford SHO V6 engine, and someone decided it’s a good idea to cram it up in the back of a Festiva.
It all started in 1984 when Ford commissioned Yamaha to produce and supply a compact compact 60° DOHC V6 engine based upon the existing Vulcan engine for transverse application. The result was the iron block, aluminum head 24-valve DOHC SHO V6, which brought many high-tech and revolutionary technical solutions to the table, including an innovative variable length intake manifold.
Pushing 220 HP and 200 lb·ft (271 N·m) of torque from its 3.0-litre displacement, the engine was capable of revving up to 8500 RPM, but the redline was marked at 7000 RMP with the fuel cut-off occurring at 7300 RMP in order to protect the Ford components in the car.
So, it was the perfect engine to be used in other applications, especially as Yamaha’s variable length intake manifold solution was bilaterally symmetrical, allowing a 180 degree rotation to ease engine mounting transversal or longitudinal.
From there to finding its way in the back of seven Festivas was only one step, as Chuck Beck and Rick Titus took the engines – equipped with their standard transmissions – and mounted them in a mid-rear engine configuration inside the subcompacts.
As you’d imagine, the results were mental, but will let Jay Leno explain the attributes of the little supercar, as he owns the #003 model.