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2014 Ford Focus ST - Focusing On Power

Better breathing mods open up Ford's ST hatchback.

Apr 14, 2014

Test Mule
'14 Ford Focus ST

Engine
2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder

2017 Ford Focus
$16,775 Base Model (MSRP) 18/25 MPG Fuel Economy

Relevant Mod
Agency Power Engine Mount

Key Features

  • Agency Power's air intake box pulls air from the factory inlet for consistent cold air supply
  • A Garrett intercooler core and custom aluminum end tanks make the AP intercooler setup capable of 600 hp
  • Intercooler includes ducting to direct flow to the core
  • AP's lower intercooler pipe kit is 2.5 inches in diameter and made from aluminum
  • The 3-inch turbo-back exhaust utilizes CNC-machined flanges, existing hanger points, TIG welding, and slip fits for a no-hassle installation
  • Exhaust tip options include 4-inch dual setup, 4-inch split V-design, and 2.75-inch triple tips that fill the entire bumper outlet

Description

The Ford Focus ST has blasted onto the scene and proven to be one of the best FWD hot hatches on the market today. Packing a 2.0L EcoBoost engine that develops 252 hp and 270 ft-lb of torque makes it no slouch at all. Add some superb handling to the mix and you've got one heck of a package.

However, there's always more left on the table, especially with turbocharged engines like the one found in the Focus ST. Extracting power from this finely tuned engine takes some know-how and experience, but the folks over at Vivid Racing have done all the hard work and R&D for you, creating a bolt-on package under the Agency Power brand.

2014 ford focus ST agency power bolt on breather upgrades 02 Photo 2/6   |  
Agency Power’s go-fast parts for the Focus ST are built on dyno-proven results, and best of all, they all bolt up to the factory-mounting locations for hassle-free installation.

The AP intake uses a tried-and-true K&N air filter at the base where it ingests fresh air from the factory inlet, and utilizing smooth mandrel-bent piping, it feeds the turbo free of any restriction.

An upgraded intercooler is a necessity when it comes to consistent power production, especially when higher boost pressures are achieved. AP's intercooler features a 3.5-inch-thick Garrett core that's rated to 600 hp and custom aluminum end tanks that ensure it fits just like stock. Since the larger core doesn't allow the factory ducting to be used, AP has designed its own replacement ducting that comes with the IC to ensure proper routing of airflow. As an add-on, 2.5-inch aluminum intercooler piping is also available for increased flow capability.

2014 ford focus ST AP intercooler setup 03 Photo 3/6   |  
This beautifully crafted intercooler includes custom-shaped end tanks and a 3.5-inch-thick Garrett core that will provide consistent cooling. Say goodbye to heat soak!

The final piece of the puzzle is the Agency Power exhaust system offered as an after-cat unit or with a 3-inch downpipe. Utilizing the entire setup uncorks the exhaust and gets rid of the catalytic converter that hinders performance in this case. Several exhaust tip options are available, including a unique tri-tip setup that will definitely turn some heads and raise eyebrows.

Combining all these mods together with a Cobb Accessport tune results in very healthy power gains and a Focus ST that outperforms its stock counterpart by leaps and bounds.

2014 ford focus ST built in ducting 04 Photo 4/6   |  
A critical portion of the efficiency of the Agency Power intercooler is the built-in ducting that helps direct air over the core.

Results

On a Mustang dyno, the Agency Power parts in combination with a Cobb Accessport reflash proved their worth, spinning the rollers to some impressive gains. While horsepower jumped from 227 whp to 275 whp, netting a peak 50-whp gain, the torque figures are really where the modifications shine. A solid 35-wtq gain was realized, bumping torque from 307 wtq to 342 wtq-not bad for a four-cylinder turbo, right? Better yet, though, the largest torque gains are smack-dab in the middle of the powerband from 3,000 to 4,500 rpm, providing real-world power whenever you need it.

Also, the increase in power isn't just in one area. It carries across the entire rpm range, which in itself is good. Unlike stock, where horsepower trails off at redline, with the AP mods and Cobb tune, it holds steady. The result: an engine that now loves to be revved out without any signs of giving up in the top end.

2014 ford focus ST AP turbo back exhaust system 05 Photo 5/6   |  
The 3-inch AP stainless steel turbo-back exhaust system is finished with dual 4-inch burnt tips that look just right in the center exit position.

This translates to some serious seat-of-the-pants improvement on the street. The ST was already quick, but now it surges ahead with very little hesitation. Throttle response is noticeably better, and all that low-end torque means it's always got plenty of power on tap, feeling more like a V-8 than a turbo 4. It's very easy to roast the tires if you get greedy with the go-fast pedal. Torque steer is very apparent as well, but that's what makes an FWD so much fun.

These unassumingly simple yet very effective mods translate to some great power gains without ever affecting driveability. The Ford Focus ST continues to shine as the go-to hot-hatch platform. And best of all, with Cobb's Accessport, there are plenty of maps to choose from, so when you don't want to leave black patches all up on the tarmac, you can simply load an economy map and cruise.

Gains Made

+ 50 whp

+ 35 wtq

Before 227 whp and 275 wtq

After 307 whp and 342 wtq

2014 ford focus ST dynograph 06 Photo 6/6   |   2014 Ford Focus ST Dynograph 06

Sources

Cobb Tuning
Austin, TX 78758
866-922-3059
http://www.cobbtuning.com
Vivid Racing
n/a, AK
http://www.vividracing.com

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