2016 Ford Focus ST by Blood & Grease
“The 'Do-It-Yourself Garage' theme isn't about a physical place as much as a state of mind that we want to inspire”
The Blood & Grease Focus ST concept reigns in the spirits of traditional hot-rodding and modern tuning, blended together to visually express platform personalization across a cross-generational passion for custom car culture. Teaming up with automotive designer Vaccar, B&G wanted this project constructed in like fashion of their clothing; with premium materials, unique processes and attention to detail. A matte black exterior is accented with retro-style door graphics and hand-built translucent red wheels, stanced just right. The interior is nothing but bespoke, with a limited edition brushed metal-look steering wheel and upscale leather work. From EcoBoost to EcoBeast, the powertrain was treated to a variety of performance products coupled with one-off fabrication and tuning.
Blood & Grease / Aaron Vaccar
Youngstown, OH / Orlando, FL
Above; Photos via Ford Media Center
Below; Additional live from SEMA pictures
The Ford Focus RS RX was designed to be the ultimate rallycross vehicle in the FIA World Rallycross Championship. Collaborating with UK-based M-Sport and Hoonigan Racing Division, Ford Performance engineers implemented the same high-tech instruments and procedures used on production vehicles to develop the Focus RS RX for competition.
The first of a four-part documentary, episode one of “Project RX” highlights the design and development of the vehicle between Ford Performance headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, and the M-Sport race shop in Cockermouth, England.
Hoonigan Racing Division drivers Ken Block and Andreas Bakkerud played a critical role in the development of the vehicle, providing insight from the driver’s perspective to be implemented in the build.
Ford vehicles wearing the RS badge have had winning participation in rally for decades. Because the RS badge is reserved for vehicles that display the highest level of Ford Performance technology, automotive enthusiasts have been incredibly excited about the latest version of the Ford Focus RS. Their unbridled passion, in addition to the vehicle’s global release, made 2016 the perfect year for the program’s debut to a new generation of motorsports fans.
The Ford Focus RS RX vehicle development is Ford Performance’s factory program in the FIA World Rallycross Championship series. “Project RX” takes an inside look at the development process between the Ford Performance team based in Dearborn, Michigan, the UK-based M-Sport, and Hoonigan Racing Division.
Ford Focus RS RX Race Program in 2016
“Rallycross is a sport that requires the best…it requires you to perform at levels that are world class. We’re going to use this to prove our technologies and capabilities. The partnership [with M-Sport] is unlike anything we’ve done in the past, and this car is going to be the best.”
– Dave Pericak, Global Director, Ford Performance
“We’ve been doing a bit of to and fro with the design studio. At the end of the day, even the guys in the studio admit that this car is out to win races. It has to look good, but it has to perform.”
– Nolan Halliday, Aerodynamics Engineer, Ford Performance
“This project has been probably the most dynamic involvement of my team in a car like this. Trying to race at the highest level of the sport and doing it with factory help and with a race shop like M-Sport has been incredible.”
– Ken Block, Ford Focus RS RX Race Driver, Hoonigan Racing Division
<source: Ford Motor Co.>
I truly believe that there's several reasons to applaud Ford for this option for the RS. Aside that they're leading the marketing by being the first to offer such a package, it shows that they did their research - they know their customers. Picture, you've just taken delivery of your all-new 350-horsepower Focus RS - why wouldn't you want to shred the roads year-round?
It's my opinion that the majority of future RS owners will want to fully utilize their vehicle - it's fun and functional, and they're going to get the most enjoyment and use out of this investment. Don't get me wrong, I'm all-in on purpose built street, race, and even show cars - but I think this vehicle will best serve the year-round fun-haver.
I'll also admit, that there will be (and I hope so!) very large groups of owners pushing the limits of the Focus RS in various niche and high-performance segments. Let's just say, we've yet to imagine the full potential of this AWD beast.
- Aaron Vaccar
THE OFFICIAL WORD:
DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 17, 2016 – Customers of Ford’s all-new all-wheel-drive 350-horsepower Focus RS will now be able to order a fully certified winter tire kit for great driving enjoyment in the snow.
The Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package offers customers a unique set of wheels and tires – the first time an original equipment manufacturer is making a check-the-box winter tire option available in North America.
“We started this project knowing what our RS customers really want out of their cars,” says Adam Wirth, chassis supervisor, Ford Performance. “This tire package allows RS owners to continue spirited driving even in the snow.”
Ford Performance developed this package so the most demanding Focus customers can be outfitted with optimum equipment for winter conditions. The challenge was that normal vehicle testing procedures require certification with production wheels and tires; winter-only standards had never been authored. To bring this package to owners, the first step Ford Performance had to undertake was creating a new set of standards specifically suited for brutal winter conditions.
These new standards were put to the test in extreme cold and snow in Northern Michigan and Sweden, to guarantee the quality and performance Ford customers expect. Engineers and technicians tested a wide variety of high-performance winter tire and wheel setups to determine the optimum combination for ride, handling and performance in various wintry conditions.
The winning setup is a 225/40R18 Michelin Pilot Alpin PA4 tire mounted to a new 18x7.5-inch wheel, which looks very similar to the base Focus RS option, but is finished in sparkle silver to hide salt spray. The set is complete with tire pressure monitoring sensors and center caps fully mounted and balanced and ready for installation at the dealer.
The wheel and tire are narrower, to provide improved snow traction, while the overall diameter is smaller, so owners can fit chains if necessary.
“We fully expect our more extreme-weather customers to take advantage of the ability to use snow chains,” Wirth says a smirk.
The Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive fitted to Focus RS will take full advantage of these new winter tires.
“Settings are completely driver-preference,” notes Wirth. “Customers are able to utilize all four drive modes to suit their driving style in winter conditions.”
Focus RS Winter Wheel & Tire Package is available only in North America – a $1,995 option. For customers in Canada, the package comes standard on Focus RS. The Focus RS arrives at dealerships in North America this spring.
<Info Source: Ford Motor Company>