Ford Focus

Neat remapping swells the appeal of the excellent ST

Evo rating
Price
from £499
  • An extra 40bhp for less than £500
  • What's not to like?

Bluefin. A curiously evocative name, suggesting high quality (as in blue chip), stealth (as in a shark's dorsal fin), and Ford too with its blue oval. All fitting connotations for this £499 Superchips engine upgrade system, available for an array of turbocharged petrol and diesel-engined Fords, to which the new Focus ST is the latest addition. We first tried Bluefin on the Focus RS back in issue 55, and since then the presentation of the package has improved. The programmer, which allows you to upload the enhanced engine map or restore the factory settings, was originally a nerdy, square-edged device but is now a more rounded, tactile and altogether more attractive affair. Using Bluefin remains simplicity itself. From the comfort of the driver's seat you simply plug the programmer into the standard-fit diagnostics socket (in the Focus ST this is located in a facia cubby hole), follow the simple instructions on the programmer's LCD display, and in less than five minutes the ECU is re-configured. The bottom line on the Focus ST's 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo engine is an uplift in power from 222 to 255bhp, and torque up from 236 to 273lb ft. However, the bottom line isn't the most impressive aspect of this remap; the gains are at their greatest in the 3500-5500rpm range, where Bluefin delivers up to an extra 40bhp. Compared with the standard curve, Bluefin not only produces a higher peak, it also sustains it for longer before the turbo boosts ebbs away. Superchips offers a seven-day money-back guarantee, and switching between the maps is so easy that you can easily conduct any test you wish to determine if you've made a wise investment. It reflects well on the Focus ST that its chassis copes easily with the greater power and torque on offer. The mildly warbling five-pot engine still comes on boost very progressively but there's an appreciably heftier shove when it does. Also, the small hesitation that the standard car has when you snap open the throttle at around 3000rpm is smoothed over with the Bluefin map. So capable is the ST's chassis, and so smooth and progressive the enhanced delivery, that switching out ESP and driving the same road with both programs provides the best demonstration. With the standard map, when you nail the throttle out of tight, second-gear turns, the inside front wheel will overspeed only slightly. Like we said, the chassis is very good. Try the same road with the Bluefin map installed and the ST will remain composed and on line but its inside tyre will spin and smoke unless you modulate the throttle a fraction. In a straight line, there's simply more urge for overtakes. It works, then, and unlike the Focus RS which really doesn't need more power to make it more exciting, the less edgy, almost laid-back ST seems to offer scope for much greater increases in power and torque. Indeed, the sneak preview of things to come that we enjoyed when we visited Superchips confirms that Bluefin is just the start, and that the Focus ST will cope comfortably with substantially more power. Stay tuned.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 5-cyl, 2521cc, 20v, turbo
Max power255bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque273lb ft @ 4200rpm
0-606.2sec (est)
Top speed155mph (est)
On saleNow (Superchips, 01280 816781)
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/ford/focus-hatchback/202030/2019-ford-focus-ecoboost-review-a-family-favourite-past-its-prime
Ford Focus Hatchback

2019 Ford Focus EcoBoost review

9 Dec 2019
Visit/ford/focus/22228/ford-focus-rs-mountune-m400x-upgrade-most-powerful-yet
Ford Focus Hatchback

Ford Focus RS Mountune m400X upgrade most powerful yet

4 Feb 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/volkswagen/golf-gti/22866/new-volkswagen-golf-gti-to-be-revealed-at-geneva-motor-show-plus-new
Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback

New Volkswagen Golf GTI to be revealed at Geneva motor show – plus new insight on the next Golf R

2020 VW Golf GTI returns in eighth-generation form at this year’s Geneva motor show
20 Jan 2020
Visit/ford/202122/ford-focus-rs500-v-audi-rs3-new-v-used
Ford Focus RS

Ford Focus RS500 v Audi RS3 – new v used

One’s an eight-year-old Ford, the other a brand new Audi. But which of these five‑cylinder superhatches deserves your £45k?
18 Jan 2020
Visit/news/22921/jannarelly-design-1-uk-edition-revealed-plus-our-initial-driving-impressions
News

Jannarelly Design-1 UK edition revealed – plus our initial driving impressions

We've gone for an early drive in the Jannarelly Design-1, does it live up to the sporty design?
22 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