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Archive for the ‘Ford Focus’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing

Launched in 2012, the latest Focus ST was the company’s range-topping hatchback until the RS model arrived for the 2016 model year. Although the ST was revised for 2015, the drivetrain remained unchanged, as did performance. As a result, the Focus ST lost its place under the spotlight as soon as the Focus RS made its entrance. Fortunately, several tuning companies are still offering upgrades for the ST, which remains an important model in the lineup despite being some five years old as of 2017. Blood Type Racing is one of those companies, and it just unveiled a flashy package for the 2017 SEMA Show.

Described as a concept that combines “lifestyle elements of moving images with motorsports,” Blood Type Racing’s Focus ST boasts several upgrades inside and out, as well as under the hood. And while the aero kit is heavily based on modern racing, the wheel design and the paint remind of flashy vehicles you usually see in the Fast & Furious franchise. What’s more, the hatchback sports a roof rack and a custom landing pad for drones. A rather awkward package for what sort of elements it combines, but more than suitable for an event like the SEMA Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing.

Exterior


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738527
“Up front, it's the massive splitter that draws the most attention”

Blood Type Racing’s take on the Focus ST is somewhat weird, in the sense that it blends a race-specific exterior with a flashy paint and rims that are usually seen on tuning show cars (not exactly recommended for track use). But the car fits quite nicely in the SEMA Show context, where many tuning companies display out-of-the-box approaches on road-legal cars.

There are quite a few features that help this Focus ST stand out from the pack. Up front, it’s the massive splitter that draws the most attention. Made from carbon-fiber by Rally Innovations, it’s very similar to what we can usually seen on GT3- and GT4-spec race cars. The bumper and engine hood were also given a more aggressive design, but nothing compared to the really wide fenders from SoCal Garage.


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738528
“Around back, there's a massive, carbon-fiber wing atop the tailgate”

Onto the sides, we can see a set of B-Forged Performance wheels that measure 19-inch and feature a unique, twin-seven-spoke design and a brushed smoke gloss.The rims are wrapped in low-profile Toyo T1 Sports tires that sunk deep into the body under the flares. They look really cool, but I wouldn’t drive this car on a race track with this wheel and tire configuration. The blacked-out pillars and the carbon-fiber side skirts complete the look.

Around back, there’s a massive, carbon-fiber wing atop the tailgate, also provided by Rally Innovations. The roof carries a Thule rack system that includes a custom drone helipad that’s supposed to add “functionality to curb appeal.” But I think is just a fancy feature that’s not exactly useful, as landing a drone on such a small platform is rather difficult and inconvenient. But hey, drones are popular nowadays and I’m sure that most of the SEMA crowd will find this feature interesting.

Finally, the car is finished in a flashy Midnight Purple paint created by BASF, while the standard headlamps were replaced by Diode Dynamics units for a more modern look.

Interior


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513098

Note: standard Ford Focus ST pictured here.

“Cabin upgrades include Sabelt carbon-fiber seats and a race-spec roll bar and harness system”

There are quite a lot of upgrades to talk about inside the cabin too. Arguably the most interesting is the racing package that includes Sabelt’s carbon-fiber seats with four-point harnesses. The latter are attached to an Autopower roll bar with harness bar, while the rear section comes with a BTR storage compartment for camera and drone. There’s also a SoCal Garage carbon-fiber steering wheel and a Ford Performance short-throw shifter. But this Focus ST isn’t just about racing and all the gear you need to make a cool video. Blood Type Racing also added all weather floor mats for enhanced practicality and illuminated door sill plates for a bit of glitz. Both were taken from the Ford Accessories catalog.

Drivetrain


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513106

Note: standard Ford Focus ST pictured here.

“The 2.3-liter EcoBoost was enhanced with a Full Race Turbo kit that cuts turbo lag”

Under the hood, this souped-up hatchback hides the same 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine as the stock Focus ST. However, the four-banger was enhanced with a Full Race Turbo kit that cuts turbo lag for quicker throttle response and increased output. It also features a Borg Warner EFI turbo instead of the standard unit and a Ford Performance exhaust. Blood Type Racing also added a Mishimoto radiator and coolant reservoir, a new, improved intercooler, and a Hoonigan oil cap. A COBB Tunning Accessport tuner revised by Blood Type Racing rounds off the engine package.

Unfortunately, there’s no word as to how powerful the beefed-up EcoBoost engine is after all these upgrades. The unit cranks out 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque in stock configuration and this package could increase that to around 270 horses and 290 pound-feet. The extra oopmh should also drop the 0-to-60 mph sprint from the standard 5.9 to around 5.7 seconds.

More upgrades were made to the chassis, starting with a performance air suspension from Air Lift. A Pierce Motorsports underbody brace enhances stability, while a bigger brake kit from Wilwood provides the necessary stopping power.

Conclusion


2017 Ford Focus ST by Blood Type Racing - image 738198

While Blood Type Racing’s take is definitely exciting as far as performance upgrades go, it’s a bit too exotic (or may I should say flashy?) for my taste. And it has nothing to do with the purple paint. Though I’m not a big fan of these Fast & Furious type finishes, I actually like how it looks the Focus ST. What I don’t like about this build are the wheels, which are rather inappropriate for a race-inspired body. I also think that the roof rack system is out of place, while the drone roof pad is anything but necessary. Why would I want to land a drone on the roof on my car when I can use any surface on the ground? Sure, it’s not a bad idea if you look at this car as a SEMA Show project only, but it’s not a feature I’d pay for in an aftermarket tuning package.

  • Leave it
    • Roof rack doesn’t go well with the race-inspired design
    • Drone landing pad is a useless feature

References

Ford Focus ST


2014 Ford Focus ST - image 513093

Read our full review on the 2017 Ford Focus ST.


2017 Hyundai HyperEconiq Ioniq - image 737254

Read more SEMA news.

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 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 Focus

The Ford Focus was first launched in the European marking in 1998 but came to North America for the 2000 model year as a replacement for the Ford Escort and its cousin, the Mercury Tracer. Despite being a “cheaper” model with goofy, bubbly headlights and a somewhat lackluster interior, the Focus was a big hit. The first generation model ran until 2004 and won more than 60 awards during its lifespan. It even found itself on Car and Driver’s Ten Best List. Ford has continued to improve on the looks and overall function of the Focus, and it is currently in its third generation, with a facelift taking place for the 2015 model year.

With the current generation being six years old, it’s not all that shocking that our spy photographers have caught what we believe to be the next-generation Focus out doing some cold weather testing. Oddly, it isn’t under any camo, and it looks quite similar to the facelifted Focus that debuted in 2015. Be that as it may, there are still some significant changes to mention – some that might be hinting that this mule is sporting an old, modified body as a decoy.

While the body may very well be a decoy, we can still make some predictions about the next-gen Focus. Take a little walk with me as I talk about what we see in the photos, and what we can expect when the next-gen Focus is unveiled sometime in the future.

Update 3/15/2017: We have received a second round of spy shots that show the next-gen Focus playing in the snow and on the ice. This time around, however, it’s sporting what appears to be the official body with lots of camo and padding to throw us off. Check out the exterior section below to learn all about it.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Ford Focus.


PostHeaderIcon Compact Hatchback Battle Royal – Finding The Best In A Six-Model Slugfest

Here’s the scenario – you want a car, but it has to be the right car. It’s gotta be practical and comfortable, but it can’t be a complete snooze-fest behind the wheel either. You don’t want a crossover, and a sedan isn’t gonna cut it. What you want is a hatchback, something with a little zest and personality, but something that won’t break the bank. Thankfully, there are plenty of options out there, but which to choose? To help you decide, we’ve gathered six of the top contenders and put them head-to-head in the following comparison article. Let’s get ready to rumble.

To keep it all apples-to-apples, each of the entries in our comparison comes packaged in a five-door body style, gets standard FWD, and is instilled with at least a hint of sportiness. Each is also tagged with an MSRP around the $20,000 mark. With criteria like that, we decided to include the Ford Focus ST, Honda Civic Hatchback, Hyundai Elantra GT, Mazda 3 Hatchback, Mini Cooper Hardtop Four-Door, and Volkswagen Golf GTI.

While all six of these hatchbacks are solid choices in their own right, the question remains – which is the best? 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 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 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 ST280

After many years of rumors and speculation, the Ford Focus RS returned for the 2016 model year with a Mustang-sourced engine under the hood and all-wheel drive. Back in showrooms after five years, the RS came to the U.S. with a whopping 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet to become the range-topping Focus model as well as the most powerful factory-built hatchback. With the lineup seemingly complete, the third-gen Focus looked set to carry on unchanged for a few years, but it appears that Ford has even bigger plans for the compact in the form of yet another performance oriented model.

Our trusty paparazzi recently spotted a Focus ST driving on the roads close to the Nurburgring track, but the performance-oriented hatchback isn’t exactly the standard ST model. The vehicle uses a revised aerodynamic body and since the company already received its mid-cycle facelift, it’s safe to assume that Ford is preparing a new version of the hatch, most likely a more powerful ST to bridge the gap between the standard ST and the top-line RS. With the two rated at 252 and 350 horsepower, respectively, there’s plenty of room for a sportier version of the former. And, with Ford having already launched the Fiesta ST200 to sit above the ST, there’s a good business case for a Focus with nearly 300 horses.

We have no idea when this new hatchback will break cover, but based on the fact that prototypes are already being tested, we should see it in the metal by the end of the year. The 2016 Paris Motor Show in October seems like the perfect event for such a car, but Ford could also opt to unveil it outside a major auto show. We also don’t know the name it will carry, but it should use the same naming scheme as the Fiesta ST200. Specifically, the ST will most likely be followed by the horsepower figure in PS. Our best guess is that it will be launched as the ST280.

We should find out more about this hatch in the upcoming months. Until then, have a closer look at our speculative review to find out what it could bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Ford Focus ST280.


PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus ST280

After many years of rumors and speculation, the Ford Focus RS returned for the 2016 model year with a Mustang-sourced engine under the hood and all-wheel drive. Back in showrooms after five years, the RS came to the U.S. with a whopping 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet to become the range-topping Focus model as well as the most powerful factory-built hatchback. With the lineup seemingly complete, the third-gen Focus looked set to carry on unchanged for a few years, but it appears that Ford has even bigger plans for the compact in the form of yet another performance oriented model.

Our trusty paparazzi recently spotted a Focus ST driving on the roads close to the Nurburgring track, but the performance-oriented hatchback isn’t exactly the standard ST model. The vehicle uses a revised aerodynamic body and since the company already received its mid-cycle facelift, it’s safe to assume that Ford is preparing a new version of the hatch, most likely a more powerful ST to bridge the gap between the standard ST and the top-line RS. With the two rated at 252 and 350 horsepower, respectively, there’s plenty of room for a sportier version of the former. And, with Ford having already launched the Fiesta ST200 to sit above the ST, there’s a good business case for a Focus with nearly 300 horses.

We have no idea when this new hatchback will break cover, but based on the fact that prototypes are already being tested, we should see it in the metal by the end of the year. The 2016 Paris Motor Show in October seems like the perfect event for such a car, but Ford could also opt to unveil it outside a major auto show. We also don’t know the name it will carry, but it should use the same naming scheme as the Fiesta ST200. Specifically, the ST will most likely be followed by the horsepower figure in PS. Our best guess is that it will be launched as the ST280.

We should find out more about this hatch in the upcoming months. Until then, have a closer look at our speculative review to find out what it could bring to the table.

Continue reading to learn more about the upcoming Ford Focus ST280.


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.


PostHeaderIcon Tricked-Out Ford Focus ST by JMS

JMS Ford Focus ST-1

If the standard Ford Focus ST is a bit dull for you, that means you have extremely high expectations from a car and should get a sports car instead of a hot hatch. But if you have ended up with a ST, there are things you can do to make the car look and feel more exciting. Tuner and accessories specialist JMS has a solution.

What JMS offers to spice up the Ford Focus ST with begins with a nice body kit. It includes a 249 EUR front spoiler lip that fit the original bumper, 199 EUR side skirts, rear diffuser skirt with central tailpipe design which runs 369 EUR plus 299 for the pipes, and some graphics and stickers which frankly you can do without.

JMS Ford Focus ST-2

As for the upgrades with a bit more substance, JMS Ford Focus ST gets a Stoffler sport exhaust system featuring 120 x 80 mm mid-end pipes for better flow and a more sonorous sound (1,099 EUR), KW coilover suspension with 50mm lowering on the front and 40mm on the rear (1,099 EUR), and a set of Barracuda Shoxx Racing wheels in size 8×19 inch with 235/35R19 tires (329 EUR per wheel).

JMS Ford Focus ST-3

Should you decide you want more upgrade, JMS’ 2016 catalog includes many new aerodynamic parts, alarm systems, exhaust systems, wheel spacers, suspensions and… from some of the world’s best tuning part suppliers.

The post Tricked-Out Ford Focus ST by JMS appeared first on Motorward.

PostHeaderIcon Ford Focus RS Rallycross Revealed

Focus RS at 2016 FIA World Rallycross Championship

FIA World Rallycross Championship continues to attract more and more big names, which is bad news for Formula 1 but great for motorsport fans who want something exciting to watch. A few days ago we heard that Sebastian Loeb is making this series a full-time job this year, and now we get this, the awesome Ford Focus RS Rallycross. 2016 season is completely unmissable now!

What’s more, Ford Focus RS Rallycross will be fielded this season by Ken Block’s Hoonigan Racing Division, a partner of Ford Performance, scoring the Blue Oval additional publicity points. The race car is built in a joint operation between Ford Performance, Block’s Hoonigan Racing and U.K.-based M-Sport, and it features all-wheel drive, a new EcoBoost engine producing 600 horsepower, and a 0-60-mph launch time of less than two seconds. Hopefully the car’s success on the battlefield will inspire a road-going version of this little monster someday.

Ford Focus RS Rallycross-1
Ford Focus RS Rallycross-2
Ford Focus RS Rallycross-3
Ford Focus RS Rallycross-4
Ford Focus RS Rallycross-5
Ford Focus RS Rallycross-6

“I’m really happy to be expanding my relationship with Ford Performance,” said Hoonigan Racing Division’s Ken Block. “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.”

The post Ford Focus RS Rallycross Revealed appeared first on Motorward.

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