The COBB Tuning Ford Focus Project started as a collaboration with Ford Motor Company to demonstrate what could be done with the current Ford Focus SE. In Part 1, you'll hear about how we were chosen by Ford to build a Modified Class Time Attack vehicle, why we are excited for the new Focus ST, and how the project is coming to life. Don't forget to stay tuned for updates on tuning, testing, and potential future race dates!
The COBB Tuning Ford Focus race car was finally revealed at the 2011 SEMA Show on November 1st in Las Vegas, NV. This is COBB Tuning's first build project using a domestic sport compact car and we are excited to show everyone what we have done and what we plan to do with this new Ford Focus. In addition, the COBB Tuning Ford Focus race car represents our official entry into the Ford Focus ST market. This is the next vehicle platform, and family of performance enthusiasts, that COBB Tuning will be supporting in 2012!
Where We Are Going
The 2012 Ford Focus ST is an exciting new car that will be making its way to the U.S. in early 2012 with a turbocharged 2.0L EcoBoost engine producing 248hp and 250lb/ft of torque. Upon its arrival, the Ford Focus ST will be getting the full COBB Tuning treatment, similar to the turbocharged Subarus, GT-Rs, Mazdas and Mitsubishis that came before it. This includes the popular Accessport hand-held flashing device, Accesstuner tuning software, supporting power bolt-on upgrades to the intake and exhaust systems and more. We are still waiting for the first Ford Focus ST to arrive, along with everyone else, so we have quite a bit of development ahead of us once this hot new compact hits our shores.
Since the Focus ST has not arrived, you might be wondering why we went ahead and built a race car out of the Ford Focus SE. Well, any time you take a street car and turn it into a race car, you can't help but learn quite a bit about how the car is built and what makes it tick. So, while the Ford Focus ST will be the vehicle to get COBB Tuning product support in 2012, the Ford Focus SE was used as the starting point for this race car and gives us a head start on understanding the powertrain, chassis and control systems used in this platform.
The new Ford Focus is a World Car, meaning that it will essentially be the same car from region to region around the globe. While we expect the ST to have the additional power of the EcoBoost turbo 2.0L engine and more aggressive running gear to match, many critical components in the car will stay the same. Our engineers have leveraged a great opportunity to see how the Focus is constructed, which pieces go where, and how new COBB Tuning products might be designed to best fit the new Focus ST.
The Start of the Journey
When Ford announced this year's SEMA Project Car Program for 2011, we jumped at the opportunity to get our hands on the new model Focus. Our race car was one of the most comprehensive builds involved in this program. The COBB Tuning Ford Focus looked great at SEMA and received a lot of very nice compliments from Ford Motor Company and SEMA spectators. Just a few steps away from our spot, Ken Block, Vaughn Gitten Jr., Tanner Foust and Brian Deegan whipped their crazy-fast cars around the Ford Out Front drift pen.
The COBB Tuning Focus was very well received by Ford execs and show attendees alike. The compliments we received on the build quality of the car and how cool people thought it looked made all of the hard work and attention to detail worth it. But most exciting was the feedback from Ford Focus fans about how happy they were that COBB Tuning was going to be supporting the Focus ST. Many were previous COBB Tuning customers that had owned Subarus, Mazdas or Mitsubishis and they were looking forward to the same level of products to be available for the Ford Focus ST!
The 2011 SEMA Show is just the beginning of what we have planned for the COBB Tuning Ford Focus. Once the build is final and the car has been tuned and fully tested, we will be campaigning the car in select events that include Time Attack and potentially Wheel-to-Wheel races. We will also be bringing the COBB Tuning Ford Focus out to a few popular Ford meets, as well as showing the car off at a few of our retail stores during First Thursday car meets.
Due to the need to get the Focus ready for presentation at the 2011 SEMA Show, we had to “focus” on getting the appearance of the car up to show-level quality. While most of the car is race ready, there are a few items that need to be addressed before the car hits the track for testing. The Focus will get 60mm wider with a custom carbon fiber wide-body kit to accommodate the 18” x 9.5” HRE R43 wheels shod with 275mm wide Hankook racing tires. We will also be swapping out the stock Focus SE front knuckles with those from the UK Focus RS for the improved steering geometry and larger wheel-bearing package. Then, once the final engine tuning is completed on our in-house Mustang AWD dyno and our initial power target of 400whp is achieved, we will be headed out to the track for some real world testing experience to prepare for the 2012 racing season!