The little Qashqai that could

WHAT’S the world’s fastest SUV?

Contrary to whatever you might think,  the answer is a Nissan Qashqai — a pleasant enough vehicle, but hardly one you’d associate with mind-bending performance.

Over in the UK, an outfit called Severn Valley Motorsport (SVM) has waved a magic wand over a Qashqai and turned it into a veritable supercar eater.

The lads at SVM replaced the standard Nissan four-pot 106kW motor with a twin-turbo 3.8-litre V6 taken from a Nissan GT-R, then tricked it up a bit with a pair of huge turbos from Extreme Turbo Systems and a few other tweaks, to lift output almost 14-fold to just short of 1500kW — or 2000hp in the old money.

Bear in mind that the most powerful GT-R currently offered by Nissan is the Nismo model, a fearsome machine by any standards, yet it generates only a comparatively puny 440kW. Get the picture?

The Qashqai SVR clearly is a beast like no other.

To prove it, the SVM folk took it to the recent Vmax 200 speed event in the UK, a 3.5km privately owned aircraft runway, where it clocked 237.8mph (383km/h) to knock the spots off not only a GT-R Nismo, but also a Koenigsegg Agera RS which lays claim to being the world’s fastest production car.

It sure scrambled the Koenig’s eggs with the Swedish hotshot mustering 356km/h and also ran clean away from a brace of McLarens, a Lambo Huracan, an Aventador and sundry other fire breathers.

The SVM treatment included specialised air filters on custom ram horn intakes, carbon fibre intake manifolds, a custom aero bodykit and a set of very serious Qashqai R brakes.

The Severn Valley is a strange place to be building such a vehicle, since it lies in a rural area of mid-western England, some 40km west of Birmingham.

But SVM has been building powerful, record breaking performance vehicles for more than 30 years.

Starting back in 1985 from a small two-bay workshop, its premises now sports 40 ramps within a vast 2700sqm bespoke performance tuning centre.

It has of late become synonymous with Nissan GT-R builds and it also turns its magic to brands such as Ford, Honda, Audi, Mercedes, Porsche and Range Rover.

In fact, SVM holds the record for the world’s fastest Nissan GT-R R35, clocked at a staggering 384.6km/h over 1.73km.

For people interested in history, the Severn Valley was under the rule of Ceawlin of Wessex after the Battle of Deorham in 577 AD, then, in 628 AD, Penda of Mercia came along and took over after winning the Battle of Cirencester.

But those were the days of one mule-power carts, long before Severn Valley Motorsport arrived with its 2000 horse power chariot.

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