Tech: Lethal Focus ST, Part 2

Lethal ST, Part 2 Featured

Beat the Heat

Adding an intercooler and much, much more to the Lethal ST

By Steve Turner

When you think of Lethal Performance, you automatically think of mega-powered Mustangs built with parts right off the company’s shelves. But if you really pay attention, you know that Team Lethal loves to mod all sorts of performance Fords— from SVT Raptors to Focus STs—just like we do.

As we last checked in on Lethal Performance’s 2014 Focus ST project car it was putting down 260.01 horsepower and 361.31 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels on the Dynojet at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida. In this next phase we take the project even further with a larger intercooler from Custom Performance Engineering.
As we last checked in on Lethal Performance’s 2014 Focus ST project car it was putting down 260.01 horsepower and 361.31 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels on the Dynojet at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida. In this next phase we take the project even further with a larger intercooler from Custom Performance Engineering.

“We’re definitely amazed at how well our fans have been into our ST project,” Lethal Performance’s Jared Rosen confessed. “There’s a lot more ST owners out there than we thought there were. Surprisingly a lot of them are Mustang customers of ours already that drive their STs daily.”

When we last left Lethal Performance’s 2014 Focus ST project, known as Squirt, the car had picked up a substantial chunk of torque and power courtesy of Ford Racing’s FR1 Power Package. The combination of cold-air intake, cat-back exhaust, and performance calibration really altered the ST’s personality for the better.

Power by the Hour’s Harvey Hutch made quick work of removing the ST’s front fascia and freeing the factory intercooler.
Power by the Hour’s Harvey Hutch made quick work of removing the ST’s front fascia and freeing the factory intercooler.

Combined with the shorter more positive throws from the Ford Racing shifter, the increased engine performance really made the Lethal ST a little pocket rocket. However, that was just the beginning. The Lethal camp had bigger plans for the car, and the next phases started with a larger Custom Performance Engineering front-mount intercooler to tame the turbo discharge temps in the Florida heat.

“The intercooler upgrade from CP-E was a nice addition,” Jared said. “It’s a high-quality piece that fit great and sets the stage for what’s to come next.”

The FMIC was just the headliner for this second phase. It continued at Power by the Hour with Eibach Pro Kit handling springs, a Cobb short-shift bracket, a JLT Performance oil separator, and a Turbosmart blow-off valve. Obviously all these parts improve aspects of the car, but the most apparent change this time was the improvement offered by the Eibach springs.

Any forced induction engine is vulnerable to heat soak and with the AGS restricting flow to a modestly sized factory intercooler, you can see why the Focus ST might fall prey to it. Quite simply the 28x8.25x5.5-inch CPE intercooler dwarfs the factory unit. The company says it offers minimal pressure drop, low-turbulence end tanks, and lower, more consistent air-charge temps.
Any forced induction engine is vulnerable to heat soak and with the AGS restricting flow to a modestly sized factory intercooler, you can see why the Focus ST might fall prey to it. Quite simply the 28×8.25×5.5-inch CPE intercooler dwarfs the factory unit. The company says it offers minimal pressure drop, low-turbulence end tanks, and lower, more consistent air-charge temps.

“The car feels a lot more stable with the springs not only going straight but through turns as well,” he said. “Hopefully we can get this thing on the road course for a few laps soon. It’s just too fun to drive.”

As you might imagine, this fast-paced project is just hitting its stride. There are still a number of mods in the offing, and if you keep checking the front page here at SVTP you can see how the rest of this project unfolds. It certainly sounds like Team Lethal has some exciting plans.

“We’ve got plans to test other tunes and exhaust systems as well as a few other bolt-ons such as a high-flow downpipe and upgraded engine mount,” Jared added. “Ultimately an upgraded turbo kit will be following that in the near future so stay tuned.”

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5 thoughts on “Tech: Lethal Focus ST, Part 2”

  1. I’m thinking about nabbing one of these cars for my dd and I’ll probably get the itch to do some of these same mods but I don’t want to destroy the fuel economy at the same time. Have you all done any mpg comparisons after doing these mods?

    Also I’m thinking that swapping to a lighter set of wheels may help w/ mpg on this car along w/ the looks? Have you all thought about a wheel/tire swap yet?

    1. I have heard that removing the Active Grille Shutters can negatively affect the economy. However, the biggest influence on the economy is your right foot. That 360-plus lb-ft of torque is so much fun…

      I am sure Lethal is swapping wheels in the future.

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