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Bark’s Bites: Ford’s ST Octane Academy Should Be Rated at 100

Jun 13, 2015 - 12:08 PM - by ST2Focus
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By Bark M. on June 11, 2015

Many car manufacturers will sell you a hot hatch. Only Ford will teach you how to drive one after you’ve bought it.

Thanks in part to the success of their Boss Track Attack program (of which your author is a proud graduate), Ford made the decision to offer a one-day track experience to anybody smart enough to buy either a Focus or Fiesta ST.

Since I had such a great time at the Boss Track Attack two years ago, there was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity to head back to Miller Motorsports Park and burn the brakes out of wring out one of their STs at one of the finest motorsports facilities in the world, especially if the track is as doomed as some say it is.

After arriving in Salt Lake City and checking in at the sumptuous Hotel Monaco in the city’s beautiful downtown, I took my rental Toyota Yaris hatchback out to Ken Block’s Hoonigan headquarters in Park City, Utah, where a buffet dinner awaited the ST Octane Academy participants.

I have a lot of things to say about Ken Block and DC Shoes, none of which are particularly nice, so I will just focus on the fact that I met some super cool guys at dinner. Seated at my table were three young men who worked as engineers for Ford in Livonia, MI, and another young man from NYC who had to take a eighty-five dollar taxi from the airport to Park City because he was only twenty years old and wasn’t allowed to rent a car.

When I visited MMP for Boss Track Attack two years ago, I was the second youngest participant at 35 years old. At 37, I was among the oldest of the nineteen STOA participants. This pleased me immensely to know there are still many, many so-called “millennials” that have a passion for not only owning such great cars, but also for learning how to drive them. That being said, none of the other participants had any track experience, and only a couple had even autocrossed before.

We were strongly advised by the lovely young lady who was in charge that we should save the partying for the next night, because we needed to be at MMP no later than... [Read More]
  17 Replies | 3,463 Views

Ford Performance will Unveil New Engine-Swapped Focus @ Ford Nationals

Jun 04, 2015 - 4:01 PM - by NickJ

Big things have been afoot in the labs up in Dearborn. The Ford Performance Team has been working on a new project that is set to be unveiled this weekend at the Ford Nationals in Carlisle, PA. They have been channeling their inner Dr. Frankenstein to create a Focus that has the heart of a Lincoln MKC.

They tossed the stock 2.0L I4 engine and shoehorned the 2.3L I4 Ecoboost into the skin of the Focus. Our source within the Ford Performance group said, "A large amount of modularity exists between the 2.0L and 2.3L Ecoboost engines. The 2.3L engine offers a lot of 'bang for the buck', as seen in the 2015 Mustang. We see potential in offering the 2.3L engine for both front and rear wheel drive applications."

They were able to utilize a "crate motor" for this project and may, in the future, pursue crate motors as a possible outlet for their performance customers. They were able to work closely with Mountune on this project as well. Mountune could become a boutique provider for engine swaps in the future because of this collaboration.

The details were provided on this engine swap and it seems like most versed motor heads could complete this project.

There are (4) custom parts required for this engine swap.
  • 1) An exhaust adapter to mate the 2.0L catalyst assembly with the 2.3L turbocharger.
  • 2) A revised catalyst bracket that supports the catalyst assembly.
  • 3) An oil filter adapter plate to mate the 2.0L oil filter adapter to the 2.3L cylinder block.
  • 4) A coolant degas line with tee to mate the 2.0L degas line with the 2.3L engine.
  • There are other parts that are swapped from the 2.0L engine to the 2.3L engine, however they
... [Read More]
  79 Replies | 12,885 Views

The May 2015 Focus ST of the Month Contest winner is trackhermit!

May 31, 2015 - 12:37 PM - by wicked

The May 2015 Focus ST of the Month contest (Suspension & Exhaust) winner is none other than trackhermit! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to submit photos and videos and to those who voted.

We'll do this again in 2 weeks so stay tuned!
  6 Replies | 2,777 Views

2015 Ford Focus ST Preview

May 22, 2015 - 4:35 PM - by ST2Focus
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J.D. Power and Associates, ‎May‎ ‎22‎, ‎2015

Fast Facts:

•Updated interior and exterior styling
•5-door hatchback body style
•Retuned chassis
•Front-wheel-drive powertrain
•Redesigned optional 18-in. alloy wheels
•LED accents lights
•New Magnetic Metallic paint color
•USB port offers faster charging
•Added interior storage and standard features
•252 turbocharged horsepower
•EPA-estimated to deliver up to 32 mpg on the highway


Until the new and highly anticipated 2016 Focus RS makes its way to the streets, the tuner-oriented ST will remain the top-dog hot rod of the Ford Focus lineup. For 2015, this 5-door hatchback sports revised front and rear styling, revamped interior with updated controls and extra storage capacity, and an entertaining 252-horsepower EcoBoost engine joined by a stick-shift gearbox. Those without the ability to row their own gears--or the interest in learning--need not apply.

Exterior Features:

Like all 2015 Focus variants, the ST hatchback receives revised exterior styling highlighted by sleeker headlights and taillights, as well as a redesigned hood and fog lights. Helping to separate the 2015 Focus ST from the rest of the pack is a lower body kit that gives the car a more aggressive appearance, along with a choice of standard or optional 18-in. alloy wheels that provide a glimpse at red brake calipers, and the exclusive center-mounted hexagonal exhaust tips. Other exterior bits include a unique grille insert, power turn-signal mirrors, and a rear spoiler.

Interior Features:

Inside, the 2015 Ford Focus ST proves that it's more than simply a base model tricked out with a powerful engine. The list of standard features is long and includes such notable mentions as push-button start, racing-inspired flat-bottom steering wheel, aluminum trim, fast-charging dual USB ports, programmable MyKey keyless entry system, 6-speaker sound system, and more.

... [Read More]
  1 Reply | 3,303 Views

The April 2015 Focus ST of the Month contest winner is boosted_blue14!

Apr 29, 2015 - 2:16 PM - by wicked

The April 2015 Ford Focus ST of the Month contest winner is none other than boosted_blue14 with this awesome shot! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who participated and submitted a photo and to all those who voted! We'll do this again in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!
  28 Replies | 5,552 Views

PINKS: All Out Invites Us to Rockingham this July 4th

Apr 22, 2015 - 10:10 AM - by NickJ

Do you guys remember the "PINKS" TV show? The show where Rich Christensen would line up racers at a drag stip and they would race each other for pink slips. and then later, they did "PINKS: All Out" where racers would compete in brackets for cash prizes? The show ran on SPEED and also on FOX for a minute. It was canceled years ago, and the concept bounced around for a little while. Well, Rich has acquired the concept from FOX and is bringing it back!

The owner of Rockingham Dragway in North Carolina is going to open up his raceway for a July 4th celebration of raw power, shiny paint, and testosterone. The dragway will host the PINKS crew for a taping during the July 4th weekend.

Now, you might be asking why I am telling you about a television show that is taping in NC. Well, our little site here has been extended a personal invite from Rich and Brian Bossone. They have offered a 20% racer registration discount code when you sign up for the weekend. Simply add PAO in the checkout and you will receive the discount.

They are doing a grassroots promotion of this event as they don't have a large buget to get this thing off the ground. I think it is pretty cool that they are reaching out to the forum to go straight to the car enthusiast source.

This year is a TEST for future shows, and they need all the racer and fan support they can get. Support this event and maybe next season will be coming to track near you. They will be leaving room for group gathering areas or self run car shows at the show as well. It should be a great weekend for car enthusiasts!

I, for one, hope that they keep the show about racing and don't let it devolve into the drama-fest that the old show ended up being about.


“The fact that racers and fans still want PINKS is both an honor and extremely ...humbling,”... [Read More]
  7 Replies | 1,722 Views

The March 2015 Focus ST of the Month Contest Winner is eglove!

Mar 30, 2015 - 2:31 PM - by wicked

The March 2015 Focus ST of the Month (Aftermarket wheels edition) contest winner is none other than eglove with this amazing shot! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who participated and submitted an photo and to all those who voted! We'll do this again in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!
  14 Replies | 3,526 Views

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