American tuner gives the already impressive Focus RS even more reason to be awesome

We’ve seen Hennessey do some pretty incredible things in the aftermarket tuning scene. It’s been able to get as much as 1,000 horsepower on American sports cars. It’s done performance wonders for pickups and SUVs. It’s even built a supercar that challenged the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport as the fastest production car in the world. Now Hennessey is setting its sights on another performance maven, namely the Ford Focus RS. It’s not exactly a Mustang or a Corvette, but as the trend-setting hot hatch of today’s market, the Focus RS is as sought-after a car as there is anywhere. Hennessey knows this, which is why it has prepared the HPE400 program that gives the Focus RS a new output of, you guessed it, 400 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque.

Truth be told, the HPE400 program is far from complete. Hennessey itself made that point quite clear in its own website. In its own words, there’s still work to be done on the hot hatch before the final product is released. But some details have been revealed, which is what we’re diving into with this review.

The tuner hasn’t given a specific timetable on when the complete kit will be released, but Focus RS owners have been advised. If you’re looking to give your hot hatch an extra bounce or two, you can take it to tuners that already offer kits or you can wait for Hennessey to release its own program. Personally, I prefer to take that second option.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

  • 2016 Ford Focus RS by Hennessey
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    2.3 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    180 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:


With a few exceptions, Hennessey has never been the type to dive deep into exterior modifications with its programs. The HPE400 program for the Focus RS seems to follow that same blueprint as the tuner’s only notable upgrades in this area are the "Hennessey" and "HPE400" badges, as well as a "Powered by Hennessey" badge under the hood of the Focus RS.

The tuner did promise a fancy set of wheels and matching performance tires, so that’s something that we can all look forward to.


Hennessey isn’t the type of tuner that likes to keep its projects under lock and key. That’s why we’re already getting a glimpse of what it has in store for the Focus RS in the engine department. According to the tuner, it has an engine upgrade package that includes modifications to the car’s 2.3-liter turbocharged Ecoboost engine in the form of updates to the intercooler, air induction, exhaust, and those aforementioned turbos. The tuner also tinkered with the hot hatch’s engine control unit, allowing it to achieve a new output of 400 horsepower and 425 pound-feet of torque. Do the math and that’s an improvement of 55 ponies and 101 pound-feet of torque. Hennessey didn’t say how this upgrade affects the Focus RS’s performance times but given the increase in power, it should be able to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in the low-four seconds and hit a top speed north go 180 mph.


Don’t expect Hennessey to release pricing details until the full kit is released. If you can’t wait for that and you’re more than happy with the engine modifications, you can contact the tuner directly to get a price quote on that specific upgrade.


Volkswagen Golf R by O.CT Tuning

2016 Volkswagen Golf R Mk VII By O.CT Tuning
- image 679162

When you have a car like the Ford Focus RS, mentioning the Volkswagen Golf R as a competitor is automatic. It just so happens that there are a number of tuning programs that are already dedicated to the German hot hatch. One of them comes by way of O.CT Tuning, which prepared a multi-stage engine upgrade package for the Golf R. The modifications include a Stage 1 kit that results in an output of 370 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque; a Stage 2 kit that adds 378 horsepower and 354 pound-feet of torque; a Stage 3 kit that puts the power up to 395 ponies and 372 pound-feet of torque; and a Stage 4 kit that nets an output of 450 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. O.CT Tuning didn’t put any numbers out as far as performance improvements are concerned, but rest assured, the Golf R with a Stage 4 upgrade isn’t going to have any issues hitting 60 mph in less than four seconds and getting a top speed of about 180 mph.

Read the full review here.

Mini Cooper John Cooper Works by B&B Automobiltechnik

2016 Mini Cooper John Cooper Works by B&B Automobiltechnik
- image 677696

Yes, the Mini Cooper John Cooper Works also has to be mentioned as a legitimate competitor to the Ford Focus RS. Like O.CT Tuning’s work on the Golf R, B&B’s program for the Cooper JCW involves a multi-stage kit that puts out 272 horses and with the Stage 1 upgrade. The Stage 2 kit brings the power up a notch to 286 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of twist while the Stage 3 kit puts into overdrive with a net power of 300 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. It’s admittedly not on the level of Hennessey’s work on the Focus RS but it is good enough to hit 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds to go with a new top speed of 174 mph.

Read the full review here.


2016 Ford Focus RS by Hennessey
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We already know what to expect when it comes to Hennessey. The aftermarket company is regarded as one of the best in the business and it hasn’t done anything to disprove that belief. Granted, the HPE400 kit for the Focus RS isn’t complete yet, but I don’t think Hennessey is messing around with this program considering how popular the Focus RS is today. Consider this one, even if it’s still incomplete, a typical, high-quality tuning kit from an aftermarket heavyweight.

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Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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