CAR magazine Road Test, May 1991, Ford Sapphire Peranas
The Sapphire Peranas were the last of the Peranas. After a gap of some years, Basil Green started experimenting with his personal Ford Sapphire. The results were so impressive that he was persuaded to put the modifications into production. There were two versions with 3.0 and 3.4 litre displacements.
The most visible modification was the Basil Green developed twin carburettor down draught inlet manifold. The manifold was complimented by a camshaft with increased lift and a more radical overlap. The entire exhaust system was replaced, using tubular headers and increased diameter piping. These modifications were common to both the 3.0 and 3.4 versions.
In addition the Sapphire Perana 3.4 used the JT Developments sub-assembly.
The JT Developments modifications to the sub-assembly increased both bore and stroke. The stroke was increased from 72.4 mm to 81.5 mm by offset ground crank journals. Purpose-made connecting rods and big-end bearings to suit the smaller diameter of the big-end journals were fitted. The bore size was enlarged to 94 mm and fitted with special Kolbenschmidt pistons made by Kolbenco. These modifications resulted in an engine capacity of 3 393cc. The compression ratio was 9.8:1.
The sum of all these modifications meant that when the Sapphire Perana 3.4 was road tested by CAR magazine in 1991, it was the most powerful V6 Ford and the fastest Ford they had ever tested.
For both versions the suspension modifications were similar to the JT Sport, with the Bilstein parts providing lowered ride height using rising rate springs and stiffer dampers. The 3.4 was fitted with 16-inch wheels and 205 50 VR 16 tyres.
Once again Basil Green delivered a Perana that was very refined with CAR magazine saying "...eminently drivable around town..." and "Perhaps even more than outright speed, it is the smoothness of the engine that really impresses."
CAR did not fully test the Sapphire Perana 3.0 but did provide some performance figures which are shown here with the Sapphire Perana 3.4 figures for comparison.
|Sapphire Perana 3.0||Sapphire Perana 3.4|
|Maximum speed||222 km/h||236 km/h|
|0-100 km/h||8.21 sec||7.56 sec|
|Standing kilometre||29.13 sec||28.22|
|Kilometre terminal speed||183 km/h||190 km/h|
|Price||R63 305||R71 305|