Ford Focus RS GGR340

The first tuned RS arrives, with 340bhp – and that’s just for starters…

Evo rating
  • Healthy mid-range gains improve driveability
  • Hope your dealer doesn’t notice

It was only a matter of time. A little bit of light electronic hacking and the Focus RS now has even more power for the front rubber to deal with. We can only assume there must be some sort of competition in tuning-land to be the first to bust open an ECU, have a rummage around and offer the results to owners, especially when the car in question is one like the Focus RS, very much a ‘now’ car and turbocharged too, which is always good for gains. So congratulations for getting there first, Superchips.

Graham Goode Racing uses Superchips’ Bluefin handset to upload the new software through the RS’s data port, the only underbonnet change being a stiffer air intake pipe. That’s optional, but recommended because it helps prevent negative pressure building up between air filter and engine, which can cause the standard pipe to collapse in on itself at high engine loads.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

So are the mods worth £435? On paper, certainly. Peak power is up 40bhp, while torque rises from 324 to 402lb ft, a whopping 78lb ft gain. That’s slightly misleading, though, because, like our own RS (which you can read about on page 140), most cars are putting out about 355-360lb ft before GGR gets to work. Call it another 45lb ft, then.

As you’d hope, it’s a bit faster. Objective analysis first. At the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground we manage to lop 0.3sec off the 6.0sec 0-60mph time we recorded in our long-termer, and a far more impressive 0.9sec from there to 100mph, the GGR despatching that increment in just 7.5sec. 0-100mph? 13.2sec plays 14.4.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Worthwhile gains, then, but it’s the way this power is delivered that makes the upgrade compelling. In a standard RS the real fireworks only happen beyond 5000rpm, forcing you to hold on to each gear to really get the most from the roaring 2.5-litre. Not any more. From 2750rpm onwards the GGR340’s torque and power curves climb well clear of the standard car’s, giving you extra mid-range might you probably didn’t know you were missing. It subtly changes the way you drive the car, and because the extra power arrives earlier, the front wheels aren’t put under too much extra pressure. Torque steer is no worse than in the standard RS, but it’s still a hard car to drive smoothly.

It’s worth remembering that the work will invalidate the Ford warranty if detected, although GGR believes this is practically impossible. The firm’s next stage would be hard to explain away at the dealership, though – 370bhp, using the same chip upgrade but adding a carbonfibre airbox, larger intercooler and new exhaust.

As we understand it, Ford is highly unlikely to offer its own officially sanctioned upgrade (even though Mountune is known to have already developed it), forcing power-hungry owners to run the gauntlet of the diagnostics machine come servicing time. Whether it’s a risk worth taking is down to you. 

Specifications

EngineIn-line 5-cyl, 2521cc, turbo
Max power340bhp @ 5600rpm
Max torque402lb ft @ 3100rpm
Top speed163mph (limited)
0-60mph5.7sec
Conversion price£435
On saleNow
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/auctions/202147/ps6million-lancia-champion-collection-includes-world-rally-winning-group-a-delta
auctions

£6million Lancia Champion Collection includes World Rally-winning Group A Delta Integrale

Auction house Girardo & Co. is set to offer one of the world’s finest collections of racing Lancias later this month
24 Jan 2020
Visit/mercedes/a-class/22021/mercedes-amg-a35-2020-review-amgs-shot-at-the-vw-golf-r
Mercedes A-Class hatchback

Mercedes-AMG A35 2020 review – AMG’s shot at the VW Golf R

Mercedes-AMG’s A35 successfully feels like a first step on the AMG ladder, but as the A45 S proves, the A-class has plenty more to give
24 Jan 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019
Visit/seat/leon-cupra/202143/seat-leon-cupra-r-st-abt-2020-review-spicy-spanish-dish-gets-even-more
SEAT Leon Cupra

SEAT Leon Cupra R ST Abt 2020 review – spicy Spanish dish gets even more sizzle

50 horsepower boost puts extra pep in the Leon Cupra’s already athletic step
23 Jan 2020