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I just got a 2018 ST3. Not a car guy at all and not planning to do any performance mods. But I like driving and got this car to hopefully make driving more fun.

Are there any must read threads about driving an ST?

For each gear, assuming all stock:
What is the top speed?
What is the ideal speed to upshift for max power?
What is the minimum speed for the gear to get better gas mileage but still not be in any danger of LSPI?
 

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The ST does have a "rev hang" which is kinda annoying, so get used to that. The ST suffers from heat soak pretty bad on the stock FMIC. Be easy on the synchros, 2nd is notorious for going out if you abuse it. Tires make a big difference in the traction department more than anything. Also check your hatch screws, link below. The ST paint is very thin, my front end is destroyed living here in AZ. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Top speed is 155mph electronically limited but being stock it'll take you a long while to get there.
The turbo is small and runs out of steam around the 5000-5,500rpm range, so shift around there.
As long as you are not boosting when at low rpm you can be in whatever gear you want really for gas mileage.
 

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2018 Ford Focus ST1
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Regarding good mileage, if you are gingerly accelerating you can use the stock shift light as a means to tell you when to shift. This assumes low load and a pretty flat roadway (unless you're going downhill, obviously). I've found that some fuel brands work better for mileage than others. When I use Conoco gas my mileage SUCKS... like less than 30 no matter how easy I drive. If I use Exxon 91 octane around here (Denver area), I have knocked down almost 36 a couple tanks when I was just commuting, and that includes several stoplights... For those high-mpg tanks, though, I didn't get to have ANY fun with the car, so I consider that about the high mark for what the car's capable of. I think I got 37.3 once, but that was in the first couple weeks of having the car and before I started tracking with Fuelly. That trip was literally a jump on the freeway, drive 70 mph for 4 hours, and then fill it up again trip.

You're going to want to run an oil that meets the specs for LSPI prevention. Do that, and don't be dumb about mashing the gas at low rpm in higher gears, and you'll be fine regarding LSPI. Also use the highest octane you can get (91-93), and it doesn't really hurt to run a 1-step colder plug even with the stock tune. FWIW, these motors go through plugs like a toddler through candy. The gap will open up some even in 10K miles, so checking them at every oil change isn't a bad idea.

I know you want to keep the car stock, but a few things are sorely needed on this thing. The stock intercooler is garbage. Change it to something... anything else... and your charge air temps will be down to 8-10 over ambient on a fun run vs 50-60 degrees over ambient. The stock unit heat soaks badly, too, so even if you just hammer on it once and then take it easy, it will take several minutes to get down to a normal(ish) temp again.

A couple things that make it more enjoyable to drive and are fairly inexpensive (and easy) to do, are replacing the shifter cable bushings and putting a short-shifter arm on the transmission (I recommend JBR) set to 20% reduction. The shifts are tighter without that stock, sloppy feeling and it just feels better changing gears. Some folks will also change out the stock clutch assist spring for a Steeda unit. It's a nice change, IMO, and was one of the first mods I did to mine.

If wheelhop is a problem for you, you'll want to put a new rear motor mount on the car. I've got an Innovative Mounts unit with the 75A bushing and even with the A/C on my wife doesn't complain about it at idle. NVH (Noise/Vibration/Harshness) is pretty subjective to folks, but I figure if my wife doesn't notice it then it's not much. ;)
 
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