To survive anything for 10 years is a pretty remarkable feat. Living life by itself is already a hard pill to swallow--what with hurricanes, the Crips, and crazy parents (Michael probably won't be getting a father's day card from Lindsay). But take for example Super Street, which has been in the magazine game for exactly 10 years, an especially amazing achievement considering the inherently erratic business of publishing. We're talking about a business that welcomes anything from today's Latin man (Oye), sexy half-naked celebutantes (Maxim), and the talentless younger siblings of the world's hottest stars (Teen People). Needless to say, it's tough to survive.
So when Editor-in-chief John Naderi found this '05 Ford Focus at the SEMA Show 2005, he immediately jumped on the chance of featuring it to further diversify the cars in his ever growing magazine and in his own words, "This ought to shut up the Ford Focus audience for a while." (HAHA, I'm kidding. He didn't actually say that; he e-mailed it to me.) (I was merely acknowledging the tenacity of the Focus community who have suffered so much. I love you all. Vote Naderi - JN) Plus, I don't think Super Street has featured too many Foci before, much less a four-door version, so let's chock this up as another milestone in Super Street history, right under Jonathan Wong's coming out party. The Focus, owned by Ricardo Vega, is actually the flagship car for his business F2 Focus, which mainly focuses on, well, Ford Focuses.
The car was nominated to be part of the Dunlop Tire Awards and was the outright winner of the Ford Excellence Award, both held at the SEMA Show 2005. Ricardo's reasons behind picking a Focus for a project car and starting an aftermarket business for the model were actually owed to divine intervention. "I chose the Focus because my pastor (who is also my engineer) told me that it would be my next race car," explains Ricardo, "I didn't believe him, of course. So when we tried to look for parts, there weren't any out there and the companies that did had a short variety. We then decided to make our own parts and eventually make it into a business." And born out of nowhere, like the son of God, is F2 Focus.
Ricardo specifically chose the sedan because he wanted to prove his business is strong enough to make a notoriously slow car perform. His shop did such a good job that he estimates that the 2.3L Duratec engine under the hood is running between 300-350 hp. Internally, the motor features some quality parts including a billet crankshaft, Carillo connecting rods, and JE pistons that has a compression ratio of 8.5:1. But the most eye popping part is the twin turbo setup. The first turbo compressing the air is a GT-25 turbo followed up by T3-T4 turbo, both large enough to fill the entire right side of the engine bay. Coupled with a Turbosmart wastegate, exhaust gate, and blow-off valve, the turbochargers are fed by an F2 Focus air filter, cooled by F2 Focus intercoolers, and connected by some F2 Focus custom plumbing. Ricardo and his team had a hard time condensing the setup in order to fit it in the rather small opening. And, metaphorically speaking, they pulled it off like, ahem a certain type of rather well endowed actor.
Surprisingly, the car is still using a stock ECU, only using SCT for turning. The fuel delivery is also close to stock, aside from the Ford Racing 48lb. fuel injectors. The exhaust system features a custom exhaust manifold, using 1-5/8-inch primaries, and a F2 Focus 3-inch mandrel bent pipes connected to a Magnaflow muffler. The gearbox thankfully was upgraded. Now using an MTX-75 box and an ACT 6-puck clutch, the drivetrain can now better handle the improved power. Ricardo also made sure he upgraded the stock flywheel and differential to an Aasco/F2 Focus flywheel complete with Zetec-style clutches and a Torsen T-2 differential.
And if you know anything about Newton's Law of Motion, you're a smarter person than we thought, and understand how a car this fast and relatively heavy would really needs some strong stopping power. That's why Ricardo and his team improved all four rotors to both 14- and 13-inch two-piece rotors, working with some quality F2 Focus multi-piston calipers. This braking system is so stout, Ricardo says that every time he steps on the brakes, he feels like his "eyeballs are going to pop out." But that's a good thing considering the amount of work done to the exterior of the car--work that you wouldn't want to see mangled around some telephone pole. Just take a look at the F2 Focus RS widebody fit, made especially for the '05 Ford Focus sedan. Made out of polyurethane, Ricardo wanted to shamelessly plug the fact that he also makes it for the ZX3, ZX5, and ZX4 models. But more importantly, it's hard to argue the fact that this is quite possibly the best looking Ford Focus in the world.
Ultimately, Ricardo with this car is turning the domestic sport compact community upside down. With so many only focusing on the ready-made Dodge SRT-4 and Chevy Cobalt, Ricardo's F2 Ford Focus proves that creativity and hard work pays off. And he finished it at the right time, during the 10-year anniversary of Super Street, as he reaffirms the fact that it's the only magazine that first brings readers innovative and original cars.
'05 Ford Focus
OWNER Ricardo Vega
POWER Estimated between 300-350 hp
ENGINE 2.3L Duratec twin turbo; billet crankshaft; Carillo connecting rods; JE pistons 8.5:1; F2 Focus air filter, intercooler, custom plumbing, 3-inch mandrel bent exhaust pipes, exhaust tips; GT-25 turbo, T3-T4 turbo for twin turbo setup; Turbosmart wastegate, exhaust gate, dual port blow-off valve, hoses, clamps; Ford Racing fuel injectors; custom exhaust manifold using 1-5/8-inch primaries; short 3-inch flex pipe; Magnaflow muffler
BRAIN Stock ECU using SCT for turning;
DRIVETRAIN MTX-75 gear box; ACT pressure plate and 6-puck clutch; Aasco/F2 Focus flywheel; modified drive shaft; Torsen T-2 differential; 4.06 final drive
ROLLERS 19x8.5 (f), 19x10.5 (r) Luff M1 wheels (custom drilled to fit the Focus 4x108 bolt pattern) with 235/35R19 (f), 275/30R19 (r) Dunlop SP Sport Maxx tires
STOPPERS 14-inch (f), 13-inch (r) two-piece rotors with F2 Focus calipers 6-piston (f), 4-piston calipers (r); Hawk brake pads
STIFF STUFF Vogtland dampers and springs; F2 Focus camber plates, camber adjustment; custom front strut brace
OUTSIDE Silver paint; F2 Focus RS widebody kit, hood with side vents, raised 1/2-inch; custom front splitter, rear carbon fiber adjustable wing
INSIDE OMP Gran Turismo seats; Faze gauges; Turbosmart e-Boost2 gauge; Polk MOMO speakers, amps; Pioneer head unit; custom enclosures; Visteon Family entertainment center over head