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Archive for the ‘Ford Focus RS’ Category

PostHeaderIcon You Think You Can Beat A Real-Life Ford Focus RS On Forza Motorsport 6?

At some point in our video game racing careers, most of us have probably wondered if our driving skills are up-to-par with actual race car drivers. I know I’ve had that thought in my years playing Gran Turismo. Well, for those who are determined to see that thought through, Ford is laying down a challenge to see if gamers really are as good as they say are. All they have to do is beat a lap time posted by a brand-new Ford Focus RS by driving their own Focus RS… in the world of Forza Motorsport 6.

The challenge is called “Tame the Track” and the objective of it is pretty straightforward. Chip Ganassi Racing driver Harry Tincknell will post an undisclosed lap time at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. Contestants who show up at the Gamescom event in Belgium later this month will then have an opportunity to beat Tincknell’s lap time using a Focus RS in Forza Motorsport 6 and driving it in the virtual representation of the world-famous race track. Whoever ends up posting the fastest lap times will then be flown to the actual Spa-Francorchamps track where they’ll meet up with no less than Tincknell himself for an afternoon of fun times that include driving a real Focus RS around the race track. In addition to that, winners will also receive some sweet digs for their accomplishments, including a pair of Recaro seats and goodies courtesy of B&O Play. The “Tame the Track” challenge will be open from August 23 to August 25 at Gamescom. Those three days should be more than enough time for gamers to see if they’re as good as they say they are.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS by Mountune

Mountune may not have the most famous name in the aftermarket tuning circle, but don’t let its relative anonymity distract you from what the tuner is fully capable of. We already saw what happens when it gets its hands on the Ford Focus RS. It did so last year with Ford Performance and managed to squeeze out 375 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. Now it’s back with a bigger and better upgrade for the hot hatch as calls for a 400-horsepower Ford Focus RS have finally been answered.

The scope of Mountune’s new modifications for the Focus RS covers a lot of ground as far as mechanical upgrades are concerned. There’s very little in the way of aesthetic enhancements, so customers are advised to find them elsewhere, be it from Ford or another aftermarket company. Nevertheless, the program’s lack of versatility shouldn’t be held against it, not with the promise of incredible power and performance. Take this kit from Mountune however you want to, but rest assured, this is as “no-nonsense” as any tuning program we’ve come across for the Ford Focus RS. It was developed for one purpose – power for ages – and the resulting numbers certainly speak for themselves.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Motor1 UK Pits 2018 Civic Type R Against 2017 Ford Focus RS: Video

If you’re anything like us, then you’ve been chomping at the bit waiting for this test – the two kings of the hot hatch segment, once relegated to overseas markets and grainy YouTube videos, are finally, mercifully heading to stateside dealers. Naturally, buyers looking to get behind the wheel of one of these machines will wanna know how it stacks up against the other, and luckily, the comparisons are starting to roll in. One of the first of these comes from our U.K. friends over at Motor1, who got the two hatchbacks together for an on-road shakedown test. Which five-door superstar will come out on top?

Over the course of the 14-minute video, hosts Jon Quirk and Alex Goy take the two hatchbacks for a spin on winding public blacktop, blasting through two-lane backroads as they dissect the various pros and cons of each. Performance specs and what it feels like to pilot each of the cars is of course a major topic of discussion, but so is the daily driveability, infotainment, interior quality, comfort, and even styling, with all those real world attributes weighed evenly against the all-important track-oriented stuff. In the end, only one car walks away the winner.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS

For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?

You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.

But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.

Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Performance to Give Focus RS the EcoBoost Mustang Treatment

It’s only been a few days since Ford announced that the EcoBoost Mustang was finally getting some attention from Ford Performance. It’s not a lot, but the EcoBoost can now be equipped with a cold air intake and an ECU remap that boosts its output by 25 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque, bringing the grand total up to 335 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. AS fate would have it, the Focus RS still has 15 ponies on the EcoBoost Mustang, but the Mustang now tops the RS’ torque by 40 pound-feet. It took about five minutes for RS fanboys everywhere to call out that the RS uses the same 2.3-liter engine as the EcoBoost Mustang. Well, you RS fanboys can rest easy, as Jesse Kershaw told Road & Track that there is a calibration kit for the RS coming down the pipeline.

“From an engine and powertrain standpoint, we feel very comfortable with doing something on the RS,” said Kershaw. “I hesitate to give any dates or any more information than that, but I can tell you we’re working on it, and we fully expect to have a Focus RS calibration in the future.”

With that in mind, it’s also important to remember that the RS does have at least one major limitation – that all-wheel-drive system. See that system was designed and specifically optimized for the RS’ factory output of 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. On top of that, the RS already has some advanced ECU calibration to give those extra 40 ponies over the EcoBoost Mustang. So, don’t expect this tuning package from Ford Performance to show up tomorrow, as there is some work to do. But, coming from Ford Performance, it should offer mild bumps in horsepower and torque, while also allowing you to maintain your factory warranty.

Keep reading for the rest of the story


PostHeaderIcon Ken Block Turns an Industrial Park into a Playground in Gymkhana NINE

So, Ken Block has just released Gymkhana NINE, the latest installment in a series that has given auto heads a lot of joy over the years. Unlike the seventh and eighth versions of Gymkhana, NINE was filmed in what is essentially a closed-off abandoned industrial estate. It’s not exactly Los Angeles or Dubai, but the more private setting does make a callback to the roots of Gymkhana, right down to the ridiculous stunts and preposterous amount of tire smoke.

I don’t want to be a prisoner-of-the-moment here and call NINE the best Gymkhana episode yet, but there is a visceral joy in watching the CEO of burnouts perform one insane stunt after another, including jumping directly in the face of an incoming train and touching those rear tires on the literal edge of a pier in the middle of performing those patented burnouts.

To be clear, Block wasn’t the only star of Gymkhana NINE. Sharing co-star honors is his all new 600-horsepower Ford Focus RS RX, the same car that he’ll be kicking some dirt in at the World Rallycross Championship. Together, man and machine give us a Gymkhana episode of a lifetime, one that we’re unlikely to forget anytime soon and foolish to even attempt on our own.


PostHeaderIcon Ken Block Teases Arrival Of Gymkhana NINE: Video

Ken Block is back, ladies and gentlemen. Okay, he never really left, but his famous video series “Gymkhana” is set to make its dramatic return on September 13, 2016. The confirmation came from Block’s very own Instagram account where posted a short teaser on what everyone can expect from Gymkhana NINE.

The video doesn’t show any particular scene-stealing details, but we do know that there will be a couple of changes to the new film, including the new Ford Focus RS RX that’s making its own debut in the Gymkhana series. Like its predecessors, the Focus RS RX is a rally-spec racer that Block will be using in the World Rallycross. For now though, it’s conquering the a rail yard in New York with some of the sickest drifting runs and stunts in the long history of the Gymkhana series.

Expect Gymkhana NINE to build off of the insanity of its predecessors and for Block to once again showcase his otherworldly racing and drifting skills. Mark the dates, everyone. Next Tuesday, September 13. Gymkhana NINE officially goes live!

But for now, treat yourselves to this teaser video from the man himself. Watching it should get your juices your pumping.


PostHeaderIcon Ford To Start Offering Driving Lessons To Focus RS Owners

One of the most important features of the Ford Focus RS is its Drift Mode, which Ford engineers apparently created by accident. It turned out to be a stroke of genius for the Blue Oval and now, the automaker is capitalizing on the hot hatch’s popularity by offering a free one-day course at the Ford Performance Racing School in Grantsville, Utah for owners of 2016 and 2017 Focus RS models.

The complimentary driving school is called the RS Adrenaline Academy. It’s similar in a lot of ways to the ST Octane Academy that Ford previously offered to owners of the Focus ST and Fiesta ST models. The only difference is that this program is dedicated to the Focus RS and comes with classroom discussions, shifting, braking, and cornering exercises, and practical applications of all four driving modes found in the Focus RS, most notably the Drift Mode.

While the whole course comes free of charge, the airfare and accommodations to go to Utah isn’t. Interested participants will have to shoulder those expenses and if they enjoy their time in the facility, Ford is also offering a second-day session with the Ford Mustang GT at an added cost. Registration is now open on the dedicated RS Adrenaline Academy website (www.rsadrenalineacademy.com) but there is a caveat on who is eligible to participate in the one-day crash course. According to the site, “anyone who purchased and took delivery of a NEW Ford Focus RS will have one calendar year from the date of delivery to register and attend an RS Adrenaline Academy program.”

Be sure to browse through the site’s FAQ section to learn more about the RS Adrenaline Academy. Ford has yet to reveal the class schedules but has promised to do so sooner than later.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS Up For Grabs At The Inaugural Forza Racing Championship

This time last year, Ford introduced the Focus RS Forza Motorsport Edition, a special edition version of the popular hot hatch that came with a flashy exterior body wrap that was designed by players of Forza Motorsport. Fast forward one year later and the Focus RS and Forza are once again headlining a news item together after it was announced that the Focus RS would be the top prize for the inaugural ESL Forza Racing Championship.

That’s right. If the $35,900 price for the actual car is a little too steep, gamers can try their luck at competing against a stiff field of top caliber video game racers. That’s what the Forza Racing Championship is offering.

The mechanics are relatively straight-forward, even for those who are not avid Forza racers. As long as the game is available to play, gamers will get the chance to compete in three Forza RC Elite Series Rivals Qualifiers event that will be held over the next three weeks. The top 128 players from any of the three qualifying weeks will move on that week’s series cup where the field will be cut down to the top 16 racers. Those who made the cut will move on to the weekly Elite Series Cup and the winners will make up the top four that will compete in the Grand Finals on September 4. That’s when the battle royal for the Focus RS ensues and whoever wins that race will be handed the keys to a brand spankin’ new 2017 Ford Focus RS.

Those who owned up on the losing end aren’t going home empty-handed either. Sure, they don’t get the Focus RS, but they do get some interesting prizes, including Xbox One S consoles, video game steering wheels from Logitech, and Elite controllers, among others. As an added bonus, everyone who participates in the series will also receive a liveried-out 1973 Ford Escort 1600 to play within the game.

Gamers who don’t think they’re up to stuff to win the Elite Series, they can take their talents to the ForzaRC Open Series League where they can match wits with players of different skill levels for a chance to win in-game content bonuses. It’s not exactly on the same level as a Ford Focus RS, but it’s something that’s still worth a humble brag or two.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Mountune and Ford Performance to Offer Engine Upgrade for Ford Focus RS

Just five years ago, Mountune – a brand that specializes in tuning Focus, Fiesta, and Mustang models – released a sick upgrade for the 2011 Ford Focus RS that brought it up from 300 horsepower to around 345 horsepower. This was enough to make the previous-gen RS the equivalent of the Ford Focus RS500 at the time. Now, Ford Performance and Mountune have dropped a new upgrade package for the new Ford Focus RS and, while it doesn’t bring as much as the upgrade for the 2011 model, it does offer up an extra chunk of power that you want to have if you’re an RS owner – the few of you that have managed to take delivery of your hot hatch, that is.

Surprisingly, there isn’t a lot that goes into the upgrade. To start off, the car gets a new, high-performance air filter, followed by a bespoke alloy crossover duct with silicone hoses, an upgraded air re-circulation valve, and some revised tuning for the engine control unit (ECU.) The power increase is a decent 20 horsepower and 29.5 pound-feet of torque. It’s enough to drop the RS’ 0-to-60 mph sprint from 4.7 seconds to 4.5 seconds. And, as Ford so willingly pointed out, this makes the Focus RS quicker to 60 mph than the Porsche 911 Carrera – a model that costs more than double that of the Focus RS.

Tyrone Johnson, a Vehicle Engineering Manage for Ford Performance, said, “Ford has a proud history of working with Mountune to unleash even more power from our hot hatchbacks for dedicated performance enthusiasts. Boosting power to 375 PS launches the already class-leading Focus RS even further ahead of the field.”

For now, this package is only available in the U.K. where Ford has received upward of 4,600 orders since last September. It can be fitted by any Mountune-appointed dealer in just 1.5 hours and doesn’t void any of the factory warranties – a nice feature that comes along with the partnership between Mountune and Ford Performance. The package will set you back £899, or about $1,175 at current exchange rates. To break it down for you, that comes to about $48.95 per extra pony and $39.83 for each extra pound-foot of gut-wrenching torque.

Keep reading for the rest of the story.


PostHeaderIcon Focus RS Drift Mode Created By Accident And We're All Better For It

Accidents aren’t always bad. In 1928, Alexander Fleming accidently discovered penicillin after a petri dish was left exposed near an open window. And while the new Ford Focus RS probably won’t be wiping out any deadly, civilization-threatening bacteria any time soon, it will be fun as hell to play around with, especially with the ass-out AWD antics of Drift Mode activated – a feature that was apparently just an accident.

In a recent report from Australian publication Motoring, Tyrone Johnson, vehicle and engineering manager at Ford Performance, revealed that the crossed-up handling setting was originally discovered during the development of the RS’ AWD system, and was not part of the hot hatch’s original design plan.

Johnson said that it all started with a test session conducted by two engineers, one behind the wheel, the other in the passenger seat tweaking the AWD with a laptop.

“And they are talking and he says ‘oh let me try this out’ and he tries it and he says ‘oh that’s cool can you give me more of that’ and he gives him more and he says ‘that’s really cool’ and then it starts working,” Johnson said. “I guess it’s just because we are a bunch of crazy guys. We just do things.”

After exhibiting the benefits of Drift Mode to global technical and development chief Raj Nair, the feature was officially slated for production.

Ford says Drift Mode is not for use on public roads, but that hasn’t stopped safety groups from voicing their outrage at its inclusion on the new Focus RS. Some have even demanded that it be outlawed.

Unsurprisingly, we here at TopSpeed think the controversy is simply ridiculous. What’s more, it reveals an equally absurd (and potentially dangerous) double standard.

Read on for our defense of Drift Mode.

Continue reading for our take on Drift Mode.


PostHeaderIcon Scheduled Factory Shutdown Has Again Delayed Deliveries Of This Popular Hot Hatch

At this point, everyone seems to be on board with the belief that Ford struck gold with the Focus RS. The hot hatch is so in demand that Ford has had to delay deliveries or cancel orders altogether just so the hot hatch’s production can keep up with the demand for the car. The most recent development apparently involves Ford having to delay a number of orders for the 2016 Focus RS because the firm’s production facility in German couldn’t keep up with the demand before its scheduled summer factory maintenance shutdown.

According to The Truth About Cars, roughly 220 orders of the 2016 Focus RS have been cancelled and would be moved into the 2017MY with priorities being placed on those who would have to wait a little longer to get their hands on the hot hatch. It’s also interesting to note that a Los Angeles-based dealership that had three of its pending Focus RS orders cancelled were told that the delay in production was tied into issues in Europe that included the company’s plant in Germany, which isn’t scheduled to reopen until August 25, 2016.

A lot of people, specifically those who had their orders cancelled or delayed, are understandably peeved at having to wait longer to take delivery of their cars. That’s the downside of this delay. The silver lining is the hot hatch’s incredible popularity and the staggering public demand for the car is a sign that Ford did something right with the Focus RS. If for nothing else, the Blue Oval can take comfort knowing that the delay is happening largely because there are too many people who want to buy the Focus RS and there’s just not enough space and resources to accommodate them in time for a summer release.

Only time will tell if this delay stretches out longer than anticipated.


PostHeaderIcon EVO Pits The Ford Focus RS Against The Volkswagen Golf R In A Hot Hatch Drag Race: Video

The Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS present an interesting conundrum for those looking for a hot hatch worth its salt. Both models can arguably claim to being the best of the lot and both make valid points for doing so. On paper, the Focus RS has the edge. It’s got almost 50 horsepower and 67 pound-feet of torque over the Golf R. It also has a smoother gear transition, particularly on the lower gears, making it easier for the Focus RS to get off the block quicker than the VW rival. On the flip side, the Golf R is around 80 pounds lighter than the Ford and that lighter weight makes up for some of the VW’s perceived shortcomings.

And so, when it comes to figuring out which of the two is better, there are some ways to do it, including having both the Golf and Focus RS line up side-by-side for good ‘ol fashion drag race. EVO took the task of doing just that by setting up a race between the two pocket rockets. As expected, the Focus RS shot off the line much quicker than the Golf R, quickly establishing a 0.5-second gap in the race to 60 mph. But just as quickly, the Golf R comes roaring back and by the time the two cars hit the quarter-mile, the Focus RS’s lead drops to just 0.2 seconds, the same difference between the two cars when they both hit the half-mile.

In the end, the Focus RS nudges past the Golf R in the race to 130 mph, beating the Volkswagen by 0.6 seconds. For a car that supposedly has close to 50 horsepower on the other, that’s not much of a difference. All this points to one undeniable truth: both the Volkswagen Golf R and the Ford Focus RS are worthy contenders to the title of the best hot hatch in the market.

And since the Focus RS is finally headed to the U.S., it’s now important to look at the price comparison between the two. Not surprisingly, it’s almost dead even too as the Volkswagen Golf R retails for $36,595 compared to the Focus RS’s starting price of $36,605. That’s a $10 difference, by the way.


PostHeaderIcon Is Ford Holding Someone's Focus RS For Ransom? Maybe….

Okay, so Ford probably isn’t holding someone’s Focus RS for ransom, but there is definitely something sketchy going on. As reported on Medium by anxious RS owner (who doesn’t have possession,) Kevin Flynn, he ordered his Ford Focus on October 12, 2015, and was actually one of the first to place an order. He was hoping to receive one of the first five RS models to hit the West Coast, but it has become painfully obvious that isn’t the case.

According to Flynn, two anonymous Ford employees were relaying information to those awaiting their cars through forum posts on FocusRS.org, like this post claiming that new production had been halted. Flynn’s story goes on to say that these Ford employees had told him when his car started and ended production and even posted an image of several RS models on a boat waiting to leave the dock. However, the employees have since been silent after Ford allegedly told them to “cease all information exchange.”

The last Flynn has reportedly heard, his car was in the U.S., sitting at the docks, but the trail goes cold after that. His dealer doesn’t know what is going on and Ford keeps giving him the runaround. Keep reading to see the reply that Flynn got directly from Ford.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Matt LeBlanc Has A New Ride And It's Smoking Tires Hot

Despite all the mess that Top Gear found itself in during the ill-fated season-that-just-finished, Matt LeBlanc’s performance as Chris Evans’ co-host was one of the show’s few bright spots. For a man who was once known for his preference in being driven than him doing the actual driving, LeBlanc’s time at Top Gear seems to have satiated his appetite for performance cars, a belief that has been reinforced by a recent photo of the actor-turned-motoring-show-host showing off his new Ford Focus RS.

The photo of LeBlanc looking like a proud new dad to his Focus RS was actually uploaded by Ken Block, who complemented LeBlanc’s choice for a new ride in the most Ken Block way imaginable. Yep, as if the fact that LeBlanc is the new owner of the fantastic Focus RS isn’t interesting enough, Block had to point out the Focus RS’s Hooligan-themed license plate case in what could arguably be one of the most obvious celebrity plugs on Instagram right now.

Be that as it may, LeBlanc’s choice of a Ford Focus RS to be his new ride is an exciting one, especially when you let your imaginations run loose on the things that the former Friends actor is capable of doing on a rather interesting car that belies its incredible power and performance capabilities.

For those who need a refresher, LeBlanc’s new Ford Focus RS comes packed with a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that packs an impressive 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. It may not be the fastest and most powerful car that’s available on the market, but for what it’s worth, the Focus RS is arguably one of the most exciting ones to drive, something that LeBlanc appears to be all too excited to find out.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Rumored To Be Considering A Hotter Version Of The Focus RS

The new Ford Focus RS is earning “standard-bearer” status within the hot hatch community, but soon it might not even be the fastest variant in its own family. That’s because there are rumors that Ford is considering building a more hardcore hatchback that will be called the Focus RS500.

Before anybody starts giggling with excitement, it’s important to remember that Ford has not officially confirmed any plans on a faster variant of the Focus. But, according to Australia’s Motor, Ford insiders have confirmed that a more powerful version of the Focus RS is in the works; one that would be much lighter than the RS, thereby improving its power-to-weight ratio numbers.

Adding more power to the Focus RS’s 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is going to be difficult considering that the RS, with its 350-horsepower output, is already running at close to maximum output and adding more power would be a challenge without having the space for additional cooling capacity. So instead of taking that route, Ford will be focusing on making the Focus RS500 significantly lighter than the RS variant. That would entail a number of weight-saving measures, including the use of lightweight components like a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body work, polycarbonate windows, carbon fiber brakes, and a stripped-out interior.

To be clear, the rumored Focus RS500 is far from a done deal. While there may be some interest in Ford’s part to do it, the company is rumored to be gauging interest in the Focus RS before it signs off on building the RS500. Even if that happens, the RS500 would likely be produced in limited quantities much like its 2011 predecessor, which sold out in just 12 hours.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Mountune Launches Phase 1 Tuning Kit For Ford Focus RS

The new Ford Focus RS is a hot hatch that is sure spawn a wide offering of aftermarket performance offerings ranging from cold air intake systems all the way to more extensive engine and transmission upgrades. Only being around for a short time, model-specific aftermarket performance options are far and few between right now, but Mountune USA has finally released a decent list of upgrades known as Phase 1, which undoubtedly means there will be more to come.

Each piece of the Phase 1 tuning kit can be bought separately. The upgrade list starts out with a Mountune high-flow air filter and high-flow induction hoses that are priced at $59.00 and $69.00, respectively. Next on the list is the ultra-high-performance silicone boost hose kit that retails for $315. More in-depth bolt on parts include a roll restrictor for $159, which is basically a stiffer rear engine mount that cuts back on engine movement during launch, shifting, and heavy acceleration. There is also a quick-shift upgrade which replaces the standard shift arm on the transmission for $199.

There are two other options, which are a little more expensive. First on the list is the OZ Leggera wheels, which as you can see in the attached video, offer just enough clearance for those large RS calipers on the front axle. The wheels are 3.7 pounds lighter than the stock OE wheels, are ET45 offset, and are 19-inchs in size. The wheels are priced at $485, but that doesn’t include tires, which are sure to set you back at least that much, if not more. The big news in the Phase 1 tuning kit is the $1,099 Quaife ATB differential that helps maximize traction, minimize wheel spin and torque steer, and is maintenance free. Mountune USA hasn’t announced an installation kit for the differential, but for the Focus ST, the installation kit runs $124.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Mountune Launches Phase 1 Tuning Kit For Ford Focus RS

The new Ford Focus RS is a hot hatch that is sure spawn a wide offering of aftermarket performance offerings ranging from cold air intake systems all the way to more extensive engine and transmission upgrades. Only being around for a short time, model-specific aftermarket performance options are far and few between right now, but Mountune USA has finally released a decent list of upgrades known as Phase 1, which undoubtedly means there will be more to come.

Each piece of the Phase 1 tuning kit can be bought separately. The upgrade list starts out with a Mountune high-flow air filter and high-flow induction hoses that are priced at $59.00 and $69.00, respectively. Next on the list is the ultra-high-performance silicone boost hose kit that retails for $315. More in-depth bolt on parts include a roll restrictor for $159, which is basically a stiffer rear engine mount that cuts back on engine movement during launch, shifting, and heavy acceleration. There is also a quick-shift upgrade which replaces the standard shift arm on the transmission for $199.

There are two other options, which are a little more expensive. First on the list is the OZ Leggera wheels, which as you can see in the attached video, offer just enough clearance for those large RS calipers on the front axle. The wheels are 3.7 pounds lighter than the stock OE wheels, are ET45 offset, and are 19-inchs in size. The wheels are priced at $485, but that doesn’t include tires, which are sure to set you back at least that much, if not more. The big news in the Phase 1 tuning kit is the $1,099 Quaife ATB differential that helps maximize traction, minimize wheel spin and torque steer, and is maintenance free. Mountune USA hasn’t announced an installation kit for the differential, but for the Focus ST, the installation kit runs $124.

Continue reading for the full story.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Performance Gives An Inside Look At Its New Rallycross Car: Video

The latest season of the FIA World Rallycross Championship is upon us, and taking up the challenge is Gymkhana superstar Ken Block at the wheel of this brand-new Focus RS race car. Joining him is Andreas Bakkerud, a 24-year-old from Norway with back-to-back championship titles in the Super 1600 category (2011 and 2012). The duo recently debuted the fresh Ford in Montalegre, Portugal, but before the green, they had time to shoot this sub-three-minute peek at their new ride.

Ford Performance and M-Sport did the prep, and the specs are impressive – 600 horsepower and 663 pound-feet of torque from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Mated to a Sadev six-speed gearbox and AWD system, 0-to-62 mph is done in about two seconds flat.

“To let go of the handbrake, pulling up the gears, it’s just a massive beast,” Bakkerud says.

“This is a bit different package as far as aero is concerned, because the last car that I had was actually designed for stage rally,” Block reveals. The team looked at the tracks and speeds they would face and specifically designed the carbon-fiber exterior “… to try and get the maximum grip that [they could] with the entire car.”

Block ended up struggling with a stuck throttle at the outset of the race, placing him at the back of the pack, but Bakkerud managed to finish fourth and take home vital points when it was all said and done.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS RX By Hoonigan Racing

At the end of Ken Block’s last Gymkhana video, Gymkhana 8, we were left hanging with a teaser of “Ken Blocks Ford Focus RS RX.” It featured an outrageously wide body kit with blacked out headlights and vents all over the place. But it raised an interesting question: Just what the hell is a Focus RS RX? Was it the “hardcore version” of the RX we talked about back in November of 2015? Well, it kind of is, but don’t expect it to show up in dealerships anytime soon.

We would love to see Ford produce a production version of the RS RX (you’ll see why later on in this review,) but for now, it looks like the only people lucky enough to get their hands on one will be none less than Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud – Block’s new teammate. As it turns out, Hoonigan Racing Division will have official factory support from Ford for the 2016 WRC racing season. And with such, comes the most extreme variants of the Focus we’ve seen to date.

As you would expect, the cars used by Block and Bakkerud won’t feature that boring gray livery we saw at the end of Gymkhana 8. Instead, the cars each feature a unique livery put together by international graffiti artist Felipe Pantone.

In a recent press release, Block was more than happy with what Ford Performance did with the RS, saying “I’m really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance. To have official factory support for my race season in 2016 and beyond as I enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship full-time is absolutely incredible. It opens up a ton of powerful resources that myself and my team will be able to benefit from in terms of engineering prowess, research, development and racing experience from different fields. Plus, have you seen the car that they’ve created for me to go race in? My mind was blown when they showed it to me in Dearborn a few months ago. I absolutely cannot wait to get behind the wheel and start testing.”

Of course, if Ford Performance dropped one of these babies in my lap, I’d be ecstatic too. So, let’s take a closer look at the most extreme Focus ever made. You won’t believe the kind of performance boasted by the Focus RS RX – it’s truly out of this world.

Updated 07/11/2016: Ford dropped a new video showing the new Focus RS RX scoring its second World Rallycross victory with Andreas Bakkerud behind the wheel. Hit “play” to watch the video!

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus RX By Hoonigan Racing.


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