Despite only being available for a year the new Focus RS has been well and truly covered by the aftermarket tuning industry. There have been issues with build quality of the MK2 Focus RS but we won’t be going into that here!
Focus RS Tuning Guide
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Engine Program
Probably the first and easiest modification to increase power. There are a massive range of companies offering programs for the RS with the ECU being programmed through the OBD port. The most obvious companies offering programs are Superchips +40bhp, BBR Starchip +40bhp,Dreamscience +?Not stated, Graham Goode use Superchips, Puma Build +?Not stated.
As with any turbocharged car getting extra power is not that difficult. Boost is increased and fueling and timing is adjusted accordingly. Gains are quite conservative, the companies that give figures state around 40bhp.
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Intercooler
Puma Build are the only one of the companies above that suggest getting a larger intercooler as a first stage to engine tuning. It might not be glamorous or give big power gains like a program but it will reduce the stress on the engine without decreasing engine service life. Getting the breathing sorted out first also builds a stronger and safer foundation for future modifications. Puma Build recommend Radtec but Graham Goodealso have an intercooler for the Focus RS MK2 as do Autospecialists. Like any mass produced turbo car there are comprises and the intercooler is not immune, it may be good for standard power outputs a high quality uprated replacement is always a good idea.
MK2 Focus RS Tuning Guide
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Intake
The first step for many people and the Focus RS is well covered in this department. Pipercross make a replacement filter for the standard air box, K&N also make a replacement element, ITG have a system but their site does give any details at the time of writing. For the ultimate in flow and custom set up will be the way to go. The manufacturers listed all make universal filters flowing up to 500bhp and more
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Exhaust
Got to be at the top of the list for a straight five motor. The usual suspects all have turbo back systems with and without cat. Mongoose, arguably the number one for Ford have a full system, Milltek, Supersprint also have systems for the MK2 RS
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Coilover Suspension
The Focus RS is stiffly sprung from the factory but if you are looking for something that is adjustable and is a little more focused there are many companies offering high quality upgrades KW, H&R, Eibach don’t have coilovers available yet but they do have lowering springs
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Wheels
An easy way to make improvements to a standard car is to fit lighter wheels, the Focus RS comes with 19s as standard so its going to be a bit pricey if you want to keep the original size, but the usual names all have wheels available including OZ and Image
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Tyres
If your not so bothered about how the car performs in the wet, or if you are looking for more of a challenge when driving in the wet there are a World of tyres available for the Focus RS, the two that spring to mind immediately areToyo R888 and the new tyre from Yokohama the Advan AD08 which has received rave reviews in the EVO Magazine2010 tyre test
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Brakes
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Manifold
There doesn’t appear to be any tubular manifold available at the time of writing which is a shame. Tubular manifolds usually give big power increases and allow the fitting of larger turbos with ease. The trend seems to be remanufacturing of the standard turbo/header to house bigger internals. Possibly the cost is ruling out the viability of mass production but there will be companies out there that will make a one of custom manifold for your RS, Simpson race exhausts as an example. Click here for the exhaust manifold page on StrikeEngine, some of the companies will be willing to make a one-off for your car or possibly even give you a discount if they use your car as a guinea pig for an item they will mass produce
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Injectors
When things are start to get serious then injectors are going to be required as well as a custom remap to run them, fortunately Bosch Motorsport has got you covered
MK2 Focus RS Tuning – Turbo
The majority of car manufacturer simply don’t take turbo charging seriously Porsche being the obvious exception.Rototest have an excellent website which shows the dyno graph of a standard MK2 Focus RS as tested on their hub dyno. The engine almost makes peak torque at just under 2500rpm, with the torque dipping savagely after 4500rpm. The standard turbo is simply too small to get the most from this motor, a properly sized turbo could make 371bhp with no increase in stress on the engine if it could simply flow enough air. To calculate the power possible simply plug in the peak torque (427nm) and a high rpm (6200rpm) and you get 371bhp. If you take a look at the dyno graph provided by Superchips for their upgrade you can see that the inherent characteristic of torque tailing off at high rpm is even more obvious, this is down to the fact that the turbo simply cannot keep up. If for fun we plug in the new peak torque from the Superchips program of 545 we get a massive 474bhp at 6200rpm.
Nothing is without sacrifice and for sure the turbo that can flow this much air is not going to have anywhere near the boost response of the standard turbine at low revs but the bigger turbo will simply annihilate the standard turbo after 4500rpm. A turbine of this size will obviously need some custom parts, manifold, injector, program, downpipe, oil and water lines, external wastegate which obviously bumps up the price.