1986 Ford Telstar TX5 AS 2.0L petrol turbo from Australia and New Zealand
Quick, cheap, nimble sportscar. A 5 door hatch with flat fold seats, and room to sleep in the back
When I first got the car, the electronic gas struts were gone, and were so sloppy it handled like a boat. I replaced the springs and shocks with lowered heavy duty and GT Gas shocks though, and it handled well.
The turbo was still working OK, but I did a swap for a reconditioned turbo and high flowed factory one, and also installed a full 2-1/2" Mandrel bent exhaust. The new suspension stopped the torque steer that I got with the improvements to the exhaust flow.
I had to remove and replace one rear brake caliper, but I sourced it from a Ghia model, where rear discs were optional; the turbo had 4W discs as standard
The parts were fairly easy to find, being a fairly common car, and Mazda 626 parts being usable for most of the car also.
These are a VERY quick car. I had much fun not letting V8 Commodores get in front from the lights. With a reasonable low boost, higher compression turbo motor, and a very low weight (1080 kg), it had more than enough to scare most of my friends and me.
The turbo model has a different gearbox, with tall ratios and limited slip. I could do 90 kph in 2nd gear, 180 in 3rd, 210 in 4th, but I never found out how far 5th went.
The biggest problem I had was getting traction with front wheel drive off the mark. I had put on 205/65/15 tyres on the factory alloys that it came with.
The small turbo restricts the top end (limited to 6250 RPM), which gets asthmatic about 5200-5400 RPM. But this means that it needs very little revs to start boosting, and is a very flexible engine at any revs. I could often feel it start about 2300-2400 RPM.
I had a big stereo with 2x 12" subs, 2x amps (980W total) and 8 other speakers, and the thickness of the rear hatch glass made it great for sound, though I had to install double sided foam tape behind many panels due to rattles.
Overall it is a nice cheap sporty car. I improved the performance, but left it looking stock, and never once was pulled over. It is as light and nimble as many hatchbacks, but has a 2.0L turbo FET model engine, which was built by Mazda (known in Japan as the Magnum Turbo engine).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th January, 2015