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Article: Peters Focus ST mk3

Peters Focus ST mk3

Peters Focus ST mk3

Steeda UK customer Peter has been slowly working on his Focus mk3 ST to take this base platform beyond the great "multi role" family car that Ford created it to be. As you can see from the pictures, Peter is focusing a lot more on the on road performance of the car, and not its appearance, and has limited the exterior changes to just some subtle styling tweaks, such as colour coded gel overlay badges , some rally armour mudflaps and wind deflectors and a spoiler lip to give that little hint at improved performance. A Mountune oil cap and dipstick also help hint as to the hidden improvements.

When it comes to the performance side of the ST, things really step up. Starting at the beginning of the induction pathway, (which seems like a good place to start after all), Peter opted for a Mountune induction kit, combined with an RS Airbox lid to step up the engine bay look a little. All that lovely air gets sucked in via a stock turbo currently, but Peter has plans to upgrade that soon and his mods so far will help him prepare for that.

The intake air passes through a CP-E Delta Core intercooler to help deal with the charge air temperatures that turbo life can create, and fire its spark through uprated NGK iridium spark plugs for optimal burn and optimal power. The crucial backside of the system flows exhaust directly out through a CP-E Quickspool (ok QKSPL to be really CP-E about it) hi flow catted downpipe and then out to its twin tips through a CP-E Austentite catback system.

A Mountune uprated re-circulating valve helps control pressures without breaking, while a CP-E Xflex stage 2 rear motor mount helps keep the engine under control, a notorious weak spot for the Focus ST mk3, especially the pre-facelift cars which had a super soft engine mount from the factory. For facelift cars like Peters, the Stage 2 mounts will give the biggest step up in performance, whereas a pre facelift car will see huge benefits from even a stage 1 mount. With the CP-E mount helping keep the engine under control, a Steeda Focus Clutch pedal spring helps the driver keep their clutch pedal under control too. After all smooth and controlled deployment of power is what you need for optimal performance, and you can not achieve that with an engine swinging all over the place or the car kangarooing with jerky pedal inputs.

Focus ST Cp-E Austentite catback

To control and improve the power mods, a Cobb accessport with msd multimaps controls the ECU and provides a choice of maps, with a 250 / 280 or 300 setting with loud burbles to bring the best out of the full exhaust system. The maps will be updated when the uprated turbo is chosen and fitted, but for now Peter is very happy with the system. 

Focus ST mk3 with CP-E catback installed

We asked Peter for some feedback about his mods and he said:

"The rear motor mount stopped the engine moving around when shifting and throttling and helped considerably with wheel hop but I did get increased nvh in the cabin which died down a little after bedding in....

The intercooler is amazing my charge air temps stay between 70 to 80 degrees even after repeat hard pulls where previously would rise to 100 + degrees! It was a little awkward to fit as the UK crash bar is slightly different than the US version so took some slight modification but really happy with it.

The cp-e austinite exhaust is really impressive. Top notch build quality looks and sounds incredible it's fairly loud but it's just right for me. It makes the car have a nice deep rumble to it especially paired with msds loud burbles sounds like a beast! It exceeded my expectations to be honest, I'm really happy with it and would like to thank Steeda for importing these parts for me quality service and really good customer service!" 

Thanks for your kind words and the pictures Peter! 

Peter is very right about the intercooler, as the OEM Focus ST intercooler is just about sufficient for normal road use, but any hard duty use, for example a track day, or any increase in power modifications quickly totally overwhelm it. In our own testing we did in the UK alongside Fast Ford magazine and Perfect Touch performance on their dyno we found that after just ONE dyno pull the totally stock car started to suffer badly from heat soak and the power on each subsequent pull went down, whereas with an uprated intercooler, you can keep deploying power as and when you need.

Photo from our OEM Focus mk3 testing session with Perfect Touch Performance in London. We found the OEM intercooler was totally insufficient for hard use even when the car is totally stock. 

Steeda Focus ST on Perfect Touch dyno for parts testing

You can shop for upgrades for your Focus ST mk3 here: Focus ST 250 ( 

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