2018 Focus ST Mods | MBRP Exhaust - Intercooler - Downpipe - Tune

SID297

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2018 Focus ST Mods | MBRP Exhaust - Intercooler - Downpipe - Tune

2018_Focus_ST_002.jpg

I’ve made my fair share of trips to the SVT/Ford Performance engineering offices over the years, and one thing I always pay attention is the employee parking lot (which used to be covered in burnout/drifting marks that were visible from space). The cars parked there will tell you a lot about the guys who work there, and there is certainly a trend that’s easily spotted. Back in the early SVT days you were likely to see an inordinate number of Contour SVTs. That eventually gave way to the SVT Focus, and then the focus ST. At any point in time it seemed like a 3rd of the cars in that lot would fall into one of the model ranges.

2018_Focus_ST_005.jpg


The MBRP Cat-Back is a quality piece that has far better looks than the factory unit.

There’s a good reason for that. Those engineers designed those cars to be extremely fun, capable, and sporty; while still being comfortable for daily driver duty. SVT/FP’s small cars have always been the automotive equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife for the performance enthusiast. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve known with a Cobra or GT500 home in the garage that daily drive a compact SVT/ST. It’s a combination that just works, and it says a lot about the final product that men who engineer it also drive it to work everyday.

2018_Focus_ST_017.jpg


It's easy to see the differences in design an construction of the factory and aftermarket intercoolers.


Still, the OEMs can only go so far. That’s where the enthusiasts and aftermarket pick up and carry the torch a bit farther. It just so happened that Rich, a long time friend and owner of multiple Fords, rolled into town with his newly purchased 2018 Focus ST loaded down with a shopping list of performance upgrades. On deck were an MBRP Cat-Back Exhaust, Depo-Racing Catted Downpipe, Depo-Racing Intercooler, K&N Air Filter, NGK Spark Plugs, and a 93 Octane Tune from Edge AutoSport. With parts in hand we headed over to a local shop that loaned us a bay to do the install work ourselves. Check out this vid of the install work and final test drive:



Other than some laughable instructions for the intercooler and its bracket system making it a pain to install, everything went smoothly. The MBRP exhaust was very well made and added a great tone to the 2.0L EcoBoost engine. The design differences between the Depo-Racing Downpipe and the stock unit are stark, and the aftermarket piece had to unleash some hidden horsepower. The Depo-Racing Intercooler is massive compared to the factory unit, which is prone to allowing high IATs on extended pulls. All these mods were brought together by the Edge AutoSport tune, which definitely sharpened the responsiveness of the turbo’d mill.

2018_Focus_ST_019.jpg


Which one do you think will better cool the air charge?


On the road, the car is simply just better. This particular combination of is a subtle one. Nothing in particular stands out, but everything works together to produce a driving experience that is sharper than stock without annoyingly quirky or obtrusive. In other words, everything that makes the Focus ST a pleasure to daily drive has been enhanced without losing the road manners that makes it a popular choice for professional automotive engineers. I’d say that deserves a cold beer or three after a long day of turning wrenches.


2018_Focus_ST_020.jpg


The factory downpipe is severely compromised by the crimped neck-down transition from the turbo flange to the cat. The aftermarket unit corrects that design flaw.

2018_Focus_ST_027.jpg


The new intercooler looks great in mounted in place.

2018_Focus_ST_032.jpg


The MBRP exhaust fit perfectly into place and sounded great.

2018_Focus_ST_033.jpg


I particularly like the design of the MBRP tailpipe.

2018_Focus_ST_035.jpg


I think the dual round tip exhaust design is much classier looking than the factory squished-trapezoidal exit.

rich_ST_001.jpg


This is a really nice looking commuter, and a blast to drive. It's a shame Ford no longer sells them in the US.


-SID297
 
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GNBRETT

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Dope little ride! I raced one with my Hellcat a while back and Geeeeeez that thing was flipping fast and I was ALL in!!!!!!
 

jessie_sanders

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I miss my ST and I hope to have another one or a RS. They're super fun little cars and listening to a turbo spool and HKS blow off valve never gets old.

My problem with the car was FWD and the exhaust note.

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CobraBob

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Very nice upgrades, Travis. I definitely like the new exhaust system and sound. Fairly easy to install mods (made even easier with a lift).
 

q6543

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These cars are so much fun for the money, I did just the bigger i/c, injen intake and E30 tune and the car rips so damn hard.

I DD 100 miles a day… just about to crack my 1st 100k miles… thing hasn’t skipped a beat… multiple cross country trips no sweat.

I think it can make it 2-300k miles easily
 

jessie_sanders

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These cars are so much fun for the money, I did just the bigger i/c, injen intake and E30 tune and the car rips so damn hard.

I DD 100 miles a day… just about to crack my 1st 100k miles… thing hasn’t skipped a beat… multiple cross country trips no sweat.

I think it can make it 2-300k miles easily
If you've not already get a short throw shifter. I had one from boomba and it was my favorite mod I did.

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SID297

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These cars are so much fun for the money, I did just the bigger i/c, injen intake and E30 tune and the car rips so damn hard.

I DD 100 miles a day… just about to crack my 1st 100k miles… thing hasn’t skipped a beat… multiple cross country trips no sweat.

I think it can make it 2-300k miles easily

The manual trans goes a long way towards extending longevity.

What's in the SVT parking lot these days?

I'll make a point to check it out next time I'm up there. I feel like it was F-150s the last time I was there.
 

jessie_sanders

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Those new single cab short bed 2wd 5.0's are fun to watch on YouTube. The 10 speed transmission does good at keeping them in the power.

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04MysticCobra

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Great thread thanks. Looking soon to replace my 255K mile Focus daily driver with a 2018 ST. Have owned a 2013 and 2015 ST's in the past so know these Focus cars well and their great long term reliability. Currently have a 2018 RS which is not a daily driver and the best of the 3 year RS run.

My only gripe with the ST's in the past was the FWD compared to the RS....but its not a big deal for a daily driver.
 

jessie_sanders

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Great thread thanks. Looking soon to replace my 255K mile Focus daily driver with a 2018 ST. Have owned a 2013 and 2015 ST's in the past so know these Focus cars well and their great long term reliability. Currently have a 2018 RS which is not a daily driver and the best of the 3 year RS run.

My only gripe with the ST's in the past was the FWD compared to the RS....but its not a big deal for a daily driver.
How come you don't like the RS as a daily? Suspension too stiff?

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04MysticCobra

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How come you don't like the RS as a daily? Suspension too stiff?

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The RS would be fine as a daily driver but that ended many years ago with me driving performance vehicles like my Cobras, GT500's and Lightnings every day. Plus I have a big problem with my right foot and it gets me in trouble. My first RS the 2017 when new ended up with a speeding ticket so then I had to always have my radar detector on for the smokey's...lol

The ST certainly is a more compliant ride than the RS but its not too stiff for me. Why Ford has the recommended tire pressures at 46psi is beyond me. Over at the RS forums most everybody runs 41front and 38rear with a stock setup. That works fine for me also. I run Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires for the summer months and have another wheel set that I run Conti DWS06 tires for the months below 35 degrees here. I live in a ski resort area and the roads suck for many months during the winter but this season no snow on the ground.....yet.

I want another ST for daily driving and would have no problem with it. But if you have the choice and the finances get an RS but look into the 18's which does not have the head gasket issue but the 18's are rare. Mine is 1 of 500 made in Race Red.....
 

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