The Ford Focus didn't make a clean break from the gate in 2000 when Ford's 'world car' hit U.S. shores. On the strip, a non-existing engine program caused a well-built, full-tube chassis to flounder down the quarter mile. To pump up the volume on the street, Ford dealt out one-dollar cars like a blackjack dealer in a decrepit downtown Las Vegas casino. While most of the Focus project cars were more flash than substance, one stood out as a powerhouse: HKS' red rocket. This boosted Blue Oval eventually landed at Vegas' own Silver State Motorsports in the capable hands of Mike Arnett.
474 WHPThe car was originally built by HKS with Jon Kuroyama when he was with Fastrax Turbos," Arnett says. "The first thing we did was install 1000cc injectors from RC Engineering. Then we performed a re-tune on our Dynojet that yielded 447 whp. Shortly after, the engine suffered the catastrophic effects of piston-to-head clearance problems, totaling the block and destroying the combustion chambers. After rebuilding the SVT block from my 1999 ZX2, adding a Tial blow-off valve and sending the head to Baker Cylinder heads, the new setup was complete."
The SVT block is stronger in critical areas and features under piston oil squirters, which cool the pistons and add reliability by fending off detonation. The block was machined at Kroyer Race Engines and then assembled with the same HKS GT3037S turbo and custom stainless steel turbo header as before. "This combo with lower compression and a better flowing head yielded 474 whp and 406 lb-ft of torque with a few tweaks of the HKS F-CON Pro at the same 23 psi," Arnett says. "Some fine tuning with the timing gears widened the powerband by 600 rpm."
The Focus relies on an SVT...
The Focus relies on an SVT block, forged internals from Probe and Eagle and an optimized head fitted with Ferrea oversized valves and heavy duty Crower hardware to turn boost into power.
The aforementioned Baker modified head had been fitted with .5mm-over Ferrea stainless steel valves, and Crower springs and titanium retainers after getting a full port-and-polish treatment. The intake manifold is a Ford racing offering modified to work in conjunction with the turbo conversion.
The Ford's exterior plays up the car's sleeper demeanor to a tee. There is no bulging body kit, just a custom fiberglass bumper to facilitate the exit of the car's custom HKS Super Drager exhaust system, but, by the time you see this body mod the Focus is fading into the horizon. Other than that, it's all stock.
Arnett addressed the underpinnings by swapping out the commuter-tuned OE shocks for a set of KW Suspension coilovers. Traction was enhanced with the addition of a Quaife limited slip differential and 35-series Toyo Proxes tires. The 215/35-18s are wrapped around old school Axis Touring Cup five spokes in a clean silver finish.
Mike Arnett's Critical Focus...
Mike Arnett's Critical Focus terrorized the rollers on Silver State Motorsports' Dynojet chassis dyno. With 1.6 Bar of boost singing through the HKS GT3037S turbo, the Ford pumped out an impressive 474 whp and 406 lb-ft of torque.
The interior is a flood of Sparco red as the front buckets, rear seats and other surfaces have been wrapped in the company's infamous seat material. The car runs a Sparco Pro2000 seat on the driver side and a Rev5 on the passenger side. Both offerings are rigid-back, wraparound race designs with the Pro2000 sporting adjustable lumbar support padding to ensure a more comfortable driving position. The dash is a full custom concoction with the OE gauges replaced with an Auto Meter tach and boost, and HKS oil pressure and water temperature readouts. Crow harness and an Autopower roll bar round out the interior mods.