Tech: Lethal Focus ST, Part 1

Lethal ST, Part 1 Featured

Packing a Punch

Lethal Performance embarks on a Focus ST project with Ford Racing’s FR1 Power Package

By Steve Turner

If you haven’t taken the time to drive a Focus ST, you should give it a try. Yes, a Focus doesn’t offer the massive grunt of a supercharged V-8, but it does deliver a spirited, torquey powerband and it handles like a go-cart. If you are looking for a fun commuter, we can’t recommend one highly enough.

New Fords don’t stay stock long when the crew at Lethal Performance buys them. However, this 2014 Focus ST did stay stock long enough for a baseline run at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida, before getting Lethalized. Squirt put down 245.73 horsepower and 288.88 lb-ft of torque.
New Fords don’t stay stock long when the crew at Lethal Performance buys them. However, this 2014 Focus ST did stay stock long enough for a baseline run at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida, before getting Lethalized. Squirt put down 245.73 horsepower and 288.88 lb-ft of torque.

Of course, whether a Focus ST is your primary project or your daily go-to ride, we know you wouldn’t leave it stock. (We sure didn’t.) As you might guess, when Lethal Performance picked up a 2014 Focus ST project and named it Squirt, it wasn’t going to remain stock for long either. Fortunately the company waited long enough for us to come down and document Squirt’s deflowering at Power by the Hour in Boynton Beach, Florida.

“We’ve been following the growth of the EcoBoost market and the newest offerings from Ford and really liked what we saw,” Jared Rosen of Lethal Performance explained. “Small, light cars with turbocharged engines just seems like something we couldn’t pass up on.”

This is what we like to see when we show up at a shop—a stock car and a pile of go-fast parts getting ready to join forces. On the table in front of Team Lethal’s 2014 Focus ST is Ford Racing’s 2013-2014 Focus ST FR1 Power Package (PN M-FR1-FST) and Ford Racing’s 2013-2014 Focus ST Short-Throw Shifter (PN M-7210). There are a few parts there for Part 2, but you’ll have wait a little while to read the next installment. Patience is a virtue.
This is what we like to see when we show up at a shop—a stock car and a pile of go-fast parts getting ready to join forces. On the table in front of Team Lethal’s 2014 Focus ST is Ford Racing’s 2013-2014 Focus ST FR1 Power Package (PN M-FR1-FST) and Ford Racing’s 2013-2014 Focus ST Short-Throw Shifter (PN M-7210). There are a few parts there for Part 2, but you’ll have wait a little while to read the next installment. Patience is a virtue.

To embark on this project, Team Lethal opted to kick off the project with a selection of gear from Ford Racing. The factory performance division has handily put together a well-rounded group of power enhancers in its 2013-2014 Focus ST Power Upgrade Package (PN M-FR1-FST). It includes a cold-air intake, a Cat-Back exhaust, a set of colder spark plugs, and an enhanced calibration.

“As we started looking into EcoBoost mods we decided, “Who would know this car better than Ford itself?” Jared said. “So Ford Racing Performance Parts is where we turned. Our good friends Jesse Kershaw and Wayne Geoffrey were quick to show us support and shipped us a Power Package, which includes Ford Racing’s cold-air intake, ProCal Tuner and Cat-Back exhaust system.”

Obviously this was a great choice, as the Ford Racking package really enhanced the performance of the Lethal ST across the entire power band. Though it didn’t provide massive peak power, it did offer substantial improvements under the curve. Moreover, the torque gains were massive.

The Ford Racing shifter is a completely new shifter with an upgraded mechanism. It is said to decrease the shift throw by 18 percent, and it comes complete right down to the handle and boot. Of course, this means you have to remove the center console. As such, Power by the Hour’s Harvey Hutch gets down do business by popping off the outer trim.
The Ford Racing shifter is a completely new shifter with an upgraded mechanism. It is said to decrease the shift throw by 18 percent, and it comes complete right down to the handle and boot. Of course, this means you have to remove the center console. As such, Power by the Hour’s Harvey Hutch gets down do business by popping off the outer trim.

“I’m definitely impressed,” Jared enthused. “From the factory the stock car felt quick, but I knew some mods would really wake this thing up. Once I saw the huge increase in torque and power it gained from the Ford Racing parts I was super excited to take the car out for a thrashing.”

In addition to the power package, Lethal wisely opted to replace the factory shifter with Ford Racing’s 2013-2014 Focus ST short-throw shifter (M-7210-FST). It was a wise choice, because the stock shifter is vague and flimsy at best. The shorter Ford Racing unit offered a vast improvement in precision and feel.

“The car drives just as well as it did stock but with way more pep,” Jared said. “Once you put the pedal down it just pulls and pulls, putting you right back into the seat.”

Now, given the header at the top of this story, you know this is just the beginning of the Lethal ST project. We will be bringing you the complete evolution of the Lethal ST right here on SVTP, so stay tuned.

Stepping down from the higher-resolution graph to the 100-rpm increments of this chart you can see that the boost and gains jump on early and taper off as the rpm climbs. This is obviously part of Ford Racing’s calibration strategy to make good power and have the combo livable enough to offer a warranty if you have the dealer do the flashing.
Stepping down from the higher-resolution graph to the 100-rpm increments of this chart you can see that the boost and gains jump on early and taper off as the rpm climbs. This is obviously part of Ford Racing’s calibration strategy to make good power and have the combo livable enough to offer a warranty if you have the dealer do the flashing.

9 thoughts on “Tech: Lethal Focus ST, Part 1”

  1. Theres several turbo 4′s out today capable of 400+ ft/lbs. The issue is the stock internals handling it, because stock turbos tend to make peak torque down low, typically in the 3000-3500 range.

  2. Didn’t realize the stock ST’s only put down 7lbs of boost stock. And then adding 17lbs netted a gain of 15hp and 70tq. That little turbo must be out of steam.

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