How do I build a Ford Focus RS from a plain Focus?

Suppose I wanted to make my own RS out of a plain Focus 2.0L. :smiley: What parts do I need? I don’t really care about bucket seats, wider arches or a start button. All I’d like to know is the wheel sizes, suspension settings and the engine parts. Is there a complete list of these parts?

Also, some people reported that the turbocharger was placed too close to the intercooler which would make the engine overheat. Can any improvements be done to the original turbo conversion layout?

Oh jeez. You’re in for it. You’d probably be better off to sell your Focus and import a real RS.

First off, you’ve got to obtain the Cosworth intake and exhaust plumbing, as well as the turbocharger. Cosworth doesn’t have these for sale, and the number of spare parts available is sufficient to support the number of real Focus RS’s built, which was strictly limited. In addition, it would be highly unlikely that a Ford dealer here would be able to deal with a Ford dealer in England. I wanted a Ford Focus station wagon with the manual gearbox the year it came out; as it was available in Canada, I wanted to buy it there and bring it back here. Ford put the kibosh on these plans by sending an ultimatum to its Canadian dealerships that if they sold a car to an American, they would lose their franchise. If I cannot get a standard-in-other-countries-version of the best-selling car in the world, how am I going to get a highly-specialized semi-outside-supplier part from a car that was never legal here?

Second off, you’ve got to find the Quaife torque-biasing diff. Fat chance. It wasn’t a standard off-the-shelf item anyway - and Ford can certainly use their considerable powers of intimidation to convince Quaife to not sell you that differential.

Third, since the suspension calibrations aren’t really adjustable on a Focus (or almost any production car for that matter), the suspension geometry changes would require new parts. Once again, you get to try to deal with a bull-headed multinational corporation to get these parts.

However, if you change the question a little, you’ll get an answer more like the one you were looking for. Here’s the question you want to be asking : “Starting with a plain manual Focus, how can I end up with a car that drives like a Focus RS?” Ford Racing has a whole catalog of upgrade parts, many of which are for the Focus. In addition, a significant aftermarket has cropped up for the Zetec engine and Focus platform, even in this country. Sport Compact Car magazine has come up with a highly convincing recipe for a faux-RS.

Change the question a little more, and you’ll get an answer that’s even easier (although the cost is a bit harder to stomach). “I have a Focus. I want to go seriously fast in this Focus. What do I do?” Get on the blower to Ford Racing, and shell out for the $20,000 kit that includes a 5.0L four-cam V8… You have been warned.

Change the question a little more than that, and you’ll a yet-easier answer. “I have a Ford Focus. I want to go seriously fast. What do I do?” Sell the Focus. Go on AutoTrader or Ebay and find the best Z32 (1990-1996) Nissan 300ZX Turbo that costs less than your total budget for this project. Buy it. Seven grand is the going rate for a 99-percent-of-showroom-condition one. This is the biggest bargain in the whole high-performance car market right now. It’s worth no more than a Camaro Z28 of that era, but it’s a much better car in nearly every way.

Wow! I didn’t know that the ehxaust manifold was made by Cosworth. Anyway, it seems like too much hassle :frowning: I’ll buy a Civic Type R instead.

The Civic Type R is not available in the US. The current Civic Si sucks and is no better than the 130-hp Focus.

If you live in England, forget about what I just said. I think it would be quite easy to get Ford Racing, Cosworth, and Quaife to sell you the parts if you’re located in their country. They’re not idiots, just very territorial.

Anyway, don’t bother with the Civic Type R. That sort of money will buy you a nice TVR Griffith, which will save you more on depreciation alone than you’ll pay for additional maintenence and fuel.

Oh course the even bigger question here is why any company would go so far out of its way to make it more difficult for people to buy its product. Why in the hell sould Ford care if an American buys his Focus in Detroit or in Toronto and drives it back.

Hmmmm… make you wonder.

The answer to that question is as follows. Ford made a pretty bad marketing decision right before the USA launch of the Focus. They decided that since the wagon was going to be a mommy-mobile, it didn’t need a manual transmission option. :wally They forgot that anyone who bought a very sporty* economy wagon was either interested in minimizing the ownership cost of their car or was a driving enthusiast who needed the space - exactly the two groups of Americans who would want a manual transmission in their cars!

When these customers realized that Ford of Canada was selling the Focus wagon with a manual transmission, some of them actually went to Canada the weekend after the car came out and bought one. Ford did a quick calculation and realized that over 10,000 people were going to do this in that year alone. Ford realized that its dealers would be VERY displeased to lose 10,000 sales in a year. So, what they did was to threaten their Canada dealers with suspension for selling a manual transmission Focus wagon to an American. This had an effect similar to cranial amputation for a toothache - they probably lost every single one of these sales forever. You see, when an American wants a manual transmission car, or a station wagon, they know they’re in a persecuted minority and would rather ride the bus than drive an automatic car… as a result, Subaru, Suzuki, and Hyundai made a killing in the wagon market that year, especially Subaru who had just come out with two new ones.

By the way, the Ford Focus Wagon is one of the very few cars that sell more in America with manual transmissions than automatics.

*This was in the pre-Impreza WRX Wagon, pre-Mazda Protege5 era. The Ford Focus has an excellent, sporty chassis and back then (2000!), big power wasn’t necessary for a wagon to be the most-fun-to-drive in the class.

Uh, well, that’s stupid.

Actually the Ford Focus is still one of the sharpest FWD car in the market. It’s rivals (in Europe) are the Civic Type R the Renault Clio 182 Cup and maybe the Mini Cooper S.

I have the 2004 Focus ZTW wagon, with the 2.3-liter 145 HP engine, and its acceleration and handling compared with the much more expensive and heavier (and less reliable) Subaru 6-cylinder Outback and Foresters.

The ZTS sedan was even zippier, but I needed something I could fit wife, baby, skis, and camping gear in. And to commute daily with.

This Car and Driver review is very favorable, and although so is this Forbes review, the Forbes reviewer seems to recommend the Mazda6 for maximum sportisfaction.

I get 24 MPG mixed city and highway, driving with the AC On and a heavy foot on the accelerator (and a heavy thumb on the O/D button). On highway trips, I get 26-28 MPG depending on conditions (including climate… the AC reliably eats about 2 MPG).