We’ve written a lot about Motorsport Tools (MST), the engineering firm based in North Wales. That’s because what they produce is PH gold. It all started as a supply of parts for Mk1 and Mk2 Ford Escorts and has developed, over the years, into the supply of the most exquisite recreations of Escorts. Well, they’re not officially sanctioned, so they’re not called a Ford or an Escort - but they are officially exquisite. MST builds the entire body shells from the ground up itself, so what is delivered at the end of the process is a brand new Mk1 or Mk2 with a new registration plate from the DVLA.
We hadn’t heard much from MST in a while but then, last night, it sent out a Facebook post showing pictures of a 6R4 body under the heading ‘***The All New 6R4 coming soon***’. Obviously, we were straight on the phone to MST’s manging director, Carwyn Ellis, to find out more. Apparently, it all started after a conversation with Innovative Composites, which supplies carbon body panels for 6R4s. If there’s already a supply of body panels available, Ellis wondered, could MST make a bodyshell? So off he went and somehow found the original 6R4 jigs – he didn’t say how, exactly, but one wonders whether a phone call to Williams, which produced the original 6R4, was involved.
This is far from a fully-fledged car, with lots yet to be decided, so don’t expect a complete specification just yet. The project has been taking shape over the last couple of years, and here’s what we know so far – and this is straight from the horse’s mouth. Needless to say, it all centres on that new 6R4 shell. That’s built in-house, in steel, and based on the original steel monocoque with its integrated roll cage. It’s only the bodywork that differs significantly, being lightweight carbon fibre instead of the original’s GRP.
The suspension is produced by MST based on the original car’s set-up, but the springs and damps are still TBC. The final choice MST goes for will depend on various factors, but it’s likely to be a supplier that’s currently producing 6R4 components rather than starting from scratch. They will be motorsport-grade components and most likely three-way adjustable units.
The gearbox is a six-speed sequential transmission. That and the differentials for the four-wheel drive system are sourced from Sadev. And what about the engines? Well, you could have an original 6R4 naturally aspirated 3.0 V6 with around 400hp if you so desire. The problem with that is sourcing an original engine, as well as the associated cost: you’re talking between £40,000-£50,000, and that’s for something that still might need a rebuild. There is an alternative, though.
It's still a 3.0-litre V6, but supplied new by Audi – the EA837 engine from the B8 S4 and the original SQ5. It's a 24-valve 90-degree all-alloy V6 with forced induction rather than naturally aspirated, as per the original car. It’s an Eaton supercharger rather than a turbo providing the boost, though. Effectively it's supplied as a crate engine from Audi, and was rated up to 354hp with 347lb ft of torque (in the SQ5). Ellis suggested that the plan is to offer it with no mechanical upgrades as a rule. However, a Motortech ECU should allow it to develop around 450hp in the 6R4. If you want to go further, then MST will look at upgrading the mechanicals to effectively make it a motorsport specification engine.
Speaking of motorsport specification, MST will build two distinct versions of the 6R4. One will be a road version, with a plusher interior trimmed in Alcantara, and the other will be a stripped-out, lightweight track version. Ellis expects to have cars ready for delivery by the end of 2024 at the earliest, although that might roll into the beginning of 2025. The intention is to build around 10 cars per year. I asked him what the interest has been like so far. He said, “The Facebook post went out last night and this morning I already have 100-odd emails to sift through from people who are interested.”
The other question I asked him was how much? He told me they are so far away from finalising everything that he couldn't say for sure - but when pressed he said "probably around £300,000". To put that into context, an original 6R4 would cost somewhere £150,000-£300,000, judging by what’s come up for sale recently. Better get in line. Which you'll be able to do at our 25th-anniversary party - MST is already among our confirmed exhibitors. One of literally thousands of reasons why you should be seeking out a ticket immediately...
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