A FOCUSSED OBSESSION
Once a vision of a schoolboy, this Lairy Focus ST is proof that actions really do speak louder than words.
Equilibrium, "A state in which opposite forces or influences are balanced." A state that many strive to attain, the perfect mixture of everything in harmony to create that Goldilocks effect. Not too much or too little. Just right. This is also true of cars. Some people want nothing more than an A to B runaround, whereas others want an all singing, all dancing monster that screams "Look at me!" every time it's driven. This MK3 ST featured today is the perfect definition of an equilibrium, however this is not just any Focus ST. This is my Focus ST.
So what are we looking at here then? well, the base of the build is a 2015 Ford Focus ST-2. Being a 2015 model, this car is the face lift variant of the MK3 ST featuring a restyled front bumper as well as a more refined interior. I bought the car at the back end of 2019 in bone stock form with a mere 21,000 miles on the clock. Nothing for a 5 year old car! The car was in pristine condition apart from pretty badly curb-rashed wheels, however a full refurbish in gloss black was carried out by the dealer resulting in a factory fresh finish and the whole car looking as good as new. It poured down the day of collection however nothing could wipe the smile from my face. This car was new when i was still in school, and i still remember seeing them out and about and telling myself that one day i'd get one. 2 years later and here i was with one. The journey had begun.
Since that fateful day in 2019, the car has slowly but surely undergone a steady transformation into the daily driver turned B-road blaster that you see before you. There's no denying the staggering performance of the ST in stock form (a world away from my previous Fiesta 1.25!) however right away the focus's old friend torque steer started to show its face and the chassis in general just didn't feel as tight or planted as it should. This gave way to the first modification on the car in the form of a rear engine torque mount with fast road bushes courtesy of CEUK. A huge difference was to be felt right away with the car feeling so much better planted in corners and not like a light aircraft every overtake with the front end loosing all feeling. After that first modification, the bug had been truly let loose and it was time to put a plan into action.
I had a vision of what i wanted from the car from the beginning. I already had my perfect base; Tangerine Scream paint, 2.0L petrol etc. I just needed to make it a reality. Next up came some cosmetics thanks to a TRC front splitter and Zunsport lower grill featuring MS-RT branding. As good as the facelift bumper looks, i just didn't feel it was aggressive enough when compared to the RS and needed a focus point. The M-sport grill solved this issue perfectly. As a lifelong rally fan and with the M-sport team being a local business to me it felt right to display their logo on the car. It's really something to be proud to be connected to. It divides opinions sometimes however i love it and always get plenty of questions as to where its from! to finish the cosmetics, black rally flaps have been a welcome addition for that glorious Cumbrian weather, as well as wing risers to continue the subtle aggression to the rear of the car. Completing the TRC lowline kit right around the car is also on the cards for the future.
Recreating that famous shot by M-Sport for the 2017 WRC car reveal. Sat in the belly of the infamous Honister Pass, this is the Focus's home turf and is ready to tear up the tarmac!
An Ominous sky looms over the pass, however that Tangerine Scream brings brightness back to the lakes
On the day of the shoot, an ominous grey sky loomed over the infamous Honister pass. One of the most iconic and well known areas in the lakes. The lush green ferns and rocky outcrops soon gave way to a flash of sunlight as the tangerine dream carved its way along the pass. Although being much bigger than its Fiesta counterpart, those choice suspension modifications do the Focus a world of good, helped also along the way by a set of Mountune lowering springs which offer a 25mm drop at the front and a 35mm drop at the rear. This rear bias allows for a leveled ride height with a lower center of gravity improving handling dramatically. These springs also offer a progressive rate meaning they are perfect for daily driving as well as being speed bump friendly! See what i'm getting at here? The tyre of choice on the ST is the factory standard Goodyear Eagle F1 wrapped around stock 18" "snowflake" alloys. A set of aftermarket wheels and dedicated summer tyres will no doubt make their way onto the car in due time however this set up does the job with no issues right now!
The Focus pulls itself in and out of the twists and turns of the pass with ease, as well as being no slouch on the journey there either! Power wise, the ST retains a stock 2.0L Ecoboost lump, however with the addition of an Airtec stage 2 induction kit directly from the turbo which is fed by an intake snorkel peering through the front grill. The Ecoboost engine pulls hard and strong through every gear and with plenty of on-off throttle action on the drive that added induction noise from the airtec kit is a welcome addition. When paired with the enhanced engine noise coming through the symposer pipe this creates a real sense of action inside the car without being obnoxious to passers by. Some may turn their noses up at a nearly stock engine, however around 250BHP is nothing to be sniffed at as the ST has already proven its worth giving a mapped MK3 Focus RS a run for its money.
And with that, we return to the beginning of the article. The Goldilocks effect. Not too much and not too little. This car sits in the center of the see-saw bringing with it a perfect equilibrium between a daily driver hatchback and a weekend toy to be proud of. Subtle, well thought out modifications across all areas allowing for that touch of personalization as well as increased usability in all areas. After 1 year of ownership this car still never fails to put a smile on my face and my ultimate vision of this car remains strong. In the coming year i plan for more power, eventually bringing the car to a round 300BHP creating what i feel to be the perfect sweet spot for a daily driven ST build. The car has gotten off to an amazing start this year but the fun has only just begun. Hold on for the ride.