As awesome as it is with 350 horsepower, All-Wheel-Drive and “DRIFT MODE” from the factory, there’s more to getting the most out of your Focus RS than just driving like Ken Block.
In this article we’ll be getting into some of the best mods on the market for the Focus RS to maximize your driving enjoyment of Ford’s newest performance heavyweight.
Before we get started with the wheels section, I have some bad news for you. Your wheel bolt pattern is 5x108mm. That’s bad news, because many great aftermarket wheel options simply are not available to you as a result. That said, there’s still some incredible wheel Focus RS Wheel options in 5x108mm out there if you’re willing to look. Virtually every wheel available for the Focus ST will also fit the Focus RS, as well so you have a fair amount of Wheels for Focus RS to choose from.
Ken Block’s Nitrous Blue Focus RS with mountune FMIC on Fifteen52 Wheels & ST Suspension Coilovers
fifteen52 wheels are of course, the obvious choice if you’re living that Ken Block lifestyle, a set of Turbomac Wheels or Tarmac Wheels being ideal.
The fifteen52 Formula GT is another gorgeous option for the Focus RS that’s nearly tailor made for the car.
While fifteen52 makes some great wheels for the Focus RS but they’re by no means your only option.
Focus RS on HRE P44.SC 19×8.5 ET48 / Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/35-19 Tires on Eibach Springs
HRE also offers their P44.SC custom wheels in 5x108mm bolt patterns, however the current Flow Form line is not available in the Focus RS’ 5×108 pattern, however, word on the street is that the much rumored flow form HRE FF04 will be available in 5x108mm fitments. Of course, time will tell.
Forgestar F14 18×8.5 Bronze Burst / 245/40-18 BF Goodrich Tires
Wilwood Big Brake Kit on H&R Springs
While we only have an example of what this looks like on a Focus ST, Forgestar Wheels are a handsome option for the Focus RS as well.
When it comes time for wheels, consult one of our Mod Experts on some fitment options that will work for your Focus RS.
The Focus RS suffers from some of the same suspension woes as the Focus ST, and like all cars, it simply looks better with that excess wheelgap gone. Lowering your Focus RS can be done with either springs or coilovers – and if you’re feeling really baller or are determined to be the lowest of low, there’s Air Suspension as well.
Focus RS on HRE P44.SC 19×8.5 ET48 / Michelin Pilot Super Sport 235/35-19 Tires on Eibach Springs
As far as lowering goes, a set of lowering springs like a set of Eibach Springs as seen on the Stealth Gray Focus RS above or Swift Springs or Vogtland, is a great place to start, however lowering your suspension exactly as much as you want is something limited only to coilovers. There are a handful of options out right now and more will become available as time passes. As a KW Specialty dealer, we can get you the Exclusive lines from KW you can’t get from the bigger box shops, such as KW Clubsport, Street Comfort, H.A.S. and many others – it really all depends on how you plan to use the car.
This Focus RS has been upgraded with Whiteline Suspension sway bars – sway bars, particularly the rear sway bar, really change the feel of the car and its handling characteristics. Matched with Massive Endlinks and Camber Arms, this FoRS in particular tends to err more on the oversteer side of the spectrum.
Whatever you choose to do, upgrading your Focus RS’ suspension will have a huge effect on the look and performance of your Focus RS.
The Focus RS’ OEM exhaust is nothing to write home about – while sure it’s got that cool valve actuator that modulates volume and it has dual exits on either extreme of the rear diffuser a-la-Focus trackSTer, but the stock exhaust not just doesn’t “do it” for us and for most owners, either.
An Exhaust for Ford Focus RS changes the character of your car in a way that you’ll notice every time you drive the car, as well as changing the way the car looks, and maybe a little horsepower too.
The Remus Cat-Back Sport Exhaust System for Focus RS retains your factory valve setup but really uncorks that Ken Block-esque rallycar sound with lots of crackle and pop with the valve open, but calms down for a more refined european sound when you don’t feel like being a total hoon. Good for a tidy little 2.4hp / 11.6tq bump in power, you might notice slightly faster acceleration and improved throttle response as well. With this system you’ll definitely hear that signature turbocharger sound.
There are plenty of options out there, for example, this Focus RS has been equipped with a Milltek Sport Cat-Back Exhaust for Focus RS to make things more interesting which offers a slightly different sound than the Remus system.
Another option is the Magnaflow Cat-back Exhaust for Focus RS, which like the other systems offers the benefits of enhanced appearance, a richer, throatier engine note and a small but noticeable increase in power and torque. It’s important to remember that exhaust systems are like a person’s taste in music – go with what sounds the best to you.
Believe it or not, the Focus RS’ OEM airbox is pretty efficient, but fitting it with a snorkel – such as the VelossaTech Focus RS Intake Snorkel seen above or with the Roush or Ford Racing snorkels – makes a huge difference in intake air temperatures. Here in Southern California, we saw intake temps drop from 130*f on hot days plummet back down to ambient air temperature, helping keep the cars from bogging when it’s hot out.
Upgrading your Focus RS intake with a high flow filter is a great place to start, though at the moment the market is a bit limited, more will become available in the next few months.
In the meantime, it’s worth saying that replacing your diverter valve with a Turbosmart Plumb-Back Diverter Valve will have a huge effect on throttle response and power.
Making power is easier than you’d think with the Focus RS, and the biggest bang for the buck power wise is the Cobb Tuning AccessPORT for Focus RS. Offering a approximate 45whp/45wtq gain with their off the shelf maps, this simple device is not only great for diagnostics, adds a ton of power and a LOT of functionality with more features announced every month, this thing makes the car the best it can be.
One of the most important components of any performance turbo car build is going to be upgrading the intercooler. The Focus RS’ intercooler isn’t exactly small, but historically speaking, Ford tends to go a bit smaller than they should, so a larger FMIC really is to your benefit, especially for those of us who live in warmer climates. mountune currently offers an FMIC for the car, and our friends at Wagner Tuning have one in development, as does Cobb Tuning, if the rumors are to be believed – either way, stay tuned as we will updated this article when they become available.
An intercooler, as we’ve explained before, isn’t about making “more” horsepower, but rather, allowing your car to make the most horsepower it can, as consistently as possible.
ETS Intercooler for Focus RS Installed
Consistency is the name of the game with intercoolers – what you need to know is that a lower air charge temperature means more oomph when you mash the go pedal.
There’s a couple lingering problems from the Focus ST that need to be addressed as well for your driving experience to be as good as it ought to be, especially if you’re making power.
The Cobb Rear Motor Mount For Focus ST also fits the Focus RS, and it’s a big upgrade for exactly the same reasons as on the ST.
The OEM Rear Motor Mount aka Roll Resistor, is simply too soft to deal with the absurd torque these EcoBoost turbo fours belt out. Replacing this will dramatically improve shift feel and reduce the sensation of wheelhop/harsh shifts in 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Last but not least is this little beauty, which helps dramatically in making your pedal position much more comfortable – the Active Shift Designs Pedal Lift Spacer brings the gas, clutch and brake pedals even, making it possible to do things like heel toe, and in general, just makes day to day driving easier- personally, I installed one about two years ago and my right ankle doesn’t hurt after a day of driving like it used to.
Check out how the whole schebang looks installed and assembled. We used the Red color in this photo to help you see it better. This spacer installs directly between the gas pedal module and the firewall, like so, meaning installation is a cakewalk.
That wraps it up for power, more will become available as time goes on and of course we’ll be sure to update the article accordingly.
Rally Innovations Side Skirts + Focus RS Diffuser Extensions
Half the fun of the Focus RS is knowing you have something different than every other Focus in town, so why look like any other RS? Thanks to the ST’s aftermarket support, the RS is hitting the scene with several aftermarket exterior mods right off the bat.
Rally Innovations offers a full suite of aero for the Focus RS, including the front Splitter as well. They also custom modified this hood with WRC Style Hood Vents to give the car a more aggressive character.
A vented hood is a great way to go, and Seibon Carbon has some great options available, like this TS Style Carbon Fiber Hood seen here. They offer several styles to suit whatever your taste may be.
The TS Style Hood features functional hood vents that allow for real heat extraction, enhancing thermal management as well as giving the car a much more aggressive visual style.
A splitter or any of these aero upgrades are great examples of how to make your Focus RS your own, but by no means the end-all for what’s out there. You can expect more to be added here as more upgrades hit the market.
That’s it for now, but it’s worth remembering that as more parts hit the aftermarket, more will be available than just what we have listed here, so be sure to consult a Mod Expert for the most up-to-date information.
Need parts for your Focus RS, Fiesta ST, Focus ST or Mustang? Talk to the Mod Experts, call 714-582-3330 or stop by the shop to place your order. Need something installed? We can do that too! From lighting to intercoolers to coilovers, we can install just about any bolt on mod at the Mod Auto shop.
Ask the Mod Experts what upgrades are available to change the style and performance of your ride. Call us at 714-582-3330 for expert car mod advice or Chat Live at www.ModBargains.com, or just click here to schedule your installation at the Mod Auto shop today.
Story & Photos by Nick Gregson