Lethal Performance embarks on a Focus ST project with Ford Racingâ€™s FR1 Power Package
By Steve Turner
If you havenâ€™t taken the time to drive a Focus ST, you should give it a try. Yes, a Focus doesnâ€™t offer the massive grunt of a supercharged V-8, but it does deliver a spirited, torquey powerband and it handles like a go-cart. If you are looking for a fun commuter, we canâ€™t recommend one highly enough.
Of course, whether a Focus ST is your primary project or your daily go-to ride, we know you wouldnâ€™t leave it stock. (We sure didnâ€™t.) As you might guess, when Lethal Performance picked up a 2014 Focus ST project and named it Squirt, it wasnâ€™t going to remain stock for long either. Fortunately the company waited long enough for us to come down and document Squirtâ€™s deflowering at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida.
â€œWeâ€™ve been following the growth of the EcoBoost market and the newest offerings from Ford and really liked what we saw,â€ Jared Rosen of Lethal Performance explained. â€œSmall, light cars with turbocharged engines just seems like something we couldn’t pass up on.â€
To embark on this project, Team Lethal opted to kick off the project with a selection of gear from Ford Racing. The factory performance division has handily put together a well-rounded group of power enhancers in its 2013-2014 Focus ST Power Upgrade Package (PN M-FR1-FST). It includes a cold-air intake, a Cat-Back exhaust, a set of colder spark plugs, and an enhanced calibration.
â€œAs we started looking into EcoBoost mods we decided, â€œWho would know this car better than Ford itself?â€ Jared said. â€œSo Ford Racing Performance Parts is where we turned. Our good friends Jesse Kershaw and Wayne Geoffrey were quick to show us support and shipped us a Power Package, which includes Ford Racingâ€™s cold-air intake, ProCal Tuner and Cat-Back exhaust system.â€
Obviously this was a great choice, as the Ford Racking package really enhanced the performance of the Lethal ST across the entire power band. Though it didnâ€™t provide massive peak power, it did offer substantial improvements under the curve. Moreover, the torque gains were massive.
â€œIâ€™m definitely impressed,â€ Jared enthused. â€œFrom the factory the stock car felt quick, but I knew some mods would really wake this thing up. Once I saw the huge increase in torque and power it gained from the Ford Racing parts I was super excited to take the car out for a thrashing.â€
In addition to the power package, Lethal wisely opted to replace the factory shifter with Ford Racingâ€™s 2013-2014 Focus ST short-throw shifter (M-7210-FST). It was a wise choice, because the stock shifter is vague and flimsy at best. The shorter Ford Racing unit offered a vast improvement in precision and feel.
â€œThe car drives just as well as it did stock but with way more pep,â€ Jared said. â€œOnce you put the pedal down it just pulls and pulls, putting you right back into the seat.â€
Now, given the header at the top of this story, you know this is just the beginning of the Lethal ST project. We will be bringing you the complete evolution of the Lethal ST right here on SVTP, so stay tuned.