When a movie does well at the box office and in critical reviews, it is said to receive “universal acclaim.” The new Ford Focus RS is like a fantastic movie — it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t love it.
We made hint of the arrival of the Ford Focus RS back when it was first announced. We dubbed it an “Evo-Killer.”
The end result does not disappoint. The Focus RS makes car enthusiasts jump for joy, and as expected, it’s a blast to drive. It’s rated better than all other cars in its class, including the Subaru WRX and VW Golf — and I’m only referring to the factory model! That’s where modding comes into play.
There are countless possibilities for modifying certain aspects of your new Ford Focus, especially if you want to take it to the track. Over time, the cult following surrounding this car will most certainly result in very specific modding trends. As of right now, some things are obvious, yet every upgradable aspect of the Focus RS has still to reveal itself. As a starting point, in case you’re unsure of what to change, here’s a recommended list of what to modify and what you might want to keep. The video below goes along the same lines:
Exhaust: If you want to be heard when you’re driving down the street, be sure to upgrade the exhaust. An extra roar pairs well with this car. Yeah, a good exhaust can yield more power, but let’s not kid ourselves… exhaust mods revolve around making more noise.
COBB Accessport: Chances are you’re usually tuned into your car’s performance ratings. Why not add this access port to monitor all the stats of your ride? More importantly, COBB Tuning is sure to deliver a full host of tuning ECU maps for the Focus RS, based on stage packages and fuel octane rating. Furthermore, if you end up modding the car past the stage packages, many custom dyno tuners use the COBB Accessport as their own access point to flash their custom tunes. As of this writing, COBB has yet to release official maps for the Focus RS, but we know they are coming. Just you wait.
Brake rotors and pads: To improve the cooling in your RS, use performance rotors. Better brake pads will increase the stopping power and reduce brake dust. This is also the case with the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. Both cars are known to produce a lot of brake dust with the stock pads. The RS seems to be just the same.
Sway bars: Not a big fan of the stiff sway bars? Want a more flexible, ST-style bar? Modify it to achieve the feel you want. But then again, stiff might be better specially for the track. But if you live in pothole country, softer might not be such a bad thing.
Carbon fiber parts: There’s no carbon fiber on this little beast, but it’s always a great idea to add some wherever you see fit, like the hood, spoiler, or mirrors. It reduces weight and adds some visual flair.
Intake: One of the first things gearheads usually do is exchange the air intake for a better one. Not only does it open up the engine area, but it also adds more power. Watch out for plenty of new air intake systems to flood the market.
Springs: Want better handling? The springs are the first place you should turn to. Use lowering springs to lower the center of gravity. The RS already has some pretty good handling though, so you don’t need to do much here. For some, moar low is moar better… so tune to your liking. Keep in mind that going too low decreases performance.
Intercooler: Believe it or not, Ford’s stock intercooler was over-efficient. They had to include a blanking plate in order to reduce the efficiency. Still, that means you’re totally fine with the stock one.
Brake calipers: Why would you replace the awesome Brembo calipers that already come on the RS? Move along, nothing to change here. We expect to see some Brembo Racing options in the future if the car develops into a popular track car option. Until then, the stock units are the best option.
Modify or Leave
Wheels: Light 19-inch alloy wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires come standard on the RS, but if you want a different look, these can easily be swapped out. We don’t have to tell you that though… Wheels to some are the most important mod.
Seats: Recaro seats also come standard in both the RS and the ST. These are awesome seats, but they don’t have a height adjustment for the passenger. The driver is going to be pretty happy though. Eventually, dedicated track Focus RS hatches will end up with dedicated fixed-back racing seats. It’s only a matter of time. The stock Focus RS Recaro seats might be amazing for the street and for occasional track days — When it comes to full on track duty, there is no substitute for dedicated performance racing seats.