This is one Focus RS you don’t want to meet in the desert

“Subtlety” is not one of the first words you think of when talking about the SEMA Auto Show. Proving as much is Ford, which is headed to the annual aftermarket show in Las Vegas with a series of specially modified Focus hot hatches. We’ve already seen the Blue Oval’s collaborations with Bloody Type Racing, VMP Performance, and a triple-team effort from Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. Now, it’s Rally Innovations’ turn in the spotlight, and the rally racing tuner is bringing with it a heavily tuned Ford Focus RS that now looks like its ready to throw down in Baja or Dakar.

The project car officially goes by the name “Ford Focus RS Rally Revival,” and if there’s one thing that passes the proverbial eye test, it’s that this hot hatch looks ready to go flying in some sand dunes. It’s arguably the Focus hatch that underwent the heaviest and most significant of modifications among the four that are headed to SEMA. Given the new purpose it was given as a full-fledged rally marauder, it’s not far-fetched to think that the Focus RS Rally Revival can go throw down with the best rally cars. That’s the depth of Rally Innovations’ program for the Focus RS. It may sit at SEMA looking all peaceful and contained, but rest assured, there’s a beast lying underneath that modified body, and it’s one that’s itching to get uncaged.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations

Exterior

2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations
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There’s an intensity by which Rally Innovations tackled the Ford Focus RS’ exterior.

There’s an intensity by which Rally Innovations tackled the Ford Focus RS’ exterior. You can see it by how the hot hatch looks post labor and there’s no question that it’s been retuned to fulfill one specific purpose: get down and dirty.

The front section is noticeably different with the addition of aluminum front splitters. You’re going to see this trend in the side and rear too, but its most distinct in this section because of its vulnerability to the elements in rally racing. Notice also the presence of those LED lamps on the radiator grille? Those are Baja Designs 3x3 Squadron Pro & S2 LED Amber and they’re high priority for any rally racer, especially this one. Then there’s the inclusion of the vents on the hood, which Rally Innovations installed in collaboration with Anaheim Rod & Custom.

2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations
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The wheels themselves also benefit from getting diverters and mud flaps courtesy of RS4

The wheels themselves also benefit from getting diverters and mud flaps courtesy of RS4 while the rear section of the newly created rally car is the recipient of an aluminum diffuser and a massive rally wing. Hard not to see that wing even from the angle of the photo.

Stainless steel latches from Sparco complete the functional upgrades on the Focus RS while an Avery Intense Blue and 3M Storm Gray vinyl wrap make up a significant part of the aesthetic enhancements.

Last but not least is the wheel-and-tire set-up. For this creation, Rally Innovations opted for a set of 19-inch OZ Racing Superturismo GT wheels and wrapped them all up in Nitto NT01 tires, 235/35- series tires on all four corners. Shop TPMS tire pressure monitoring sensors and Tred Wear raised white letter tire inserts complete the upgrades for this section of the hot hatch.

Interior

2016 Ford Focus RS Interior
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Note: Standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

Rally Innovations stripped away the rear seats of the hot hatch and put in its own version of a four-point roll cage.

Given that this is a rally car we’re talking about, the objective of the interior upgrades on the Focus RS is to make it as light as possible while also offering enough protection to ensure the safety and well-being of the driver and his navigator. On that front, Rally Innovations stripped away the rear seats of the hot hatch and put in its own version of a four-point roll cage.

Interior panels from R4S and EVO racing seats add to the quality of the custom job on the cabin. The seats in particular should come very useful considering how unforgiving rally terrains traditionally are. A custom R353 steering wheel and globe shift knob are important in their own way, the latter specifically since quick and rapid gear changes are arguably one of the most important skills needed for any full-fledged rally racer. Combine those new equipment with an Omni pod mount and Autometer Cobalt Series boost, oil, air/fuel and Pro Shift light gauges and all the requisite equipment needed to get a full rally run is right in the cabin and within reach of both the diver and navigator.

Last but most definitely not least are the HPI 4-point harnesses. Nobody should be reminded about the importance of safety when racing in a rally car.

Drivetrain

2016 Ford Focus RS
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Note: Engine of t he standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

Rally Innovations took those specs and added a series of refined equipment modifications

Dressing the Ford Focus RS to look like a rally car is one thing. Actually turning it into one is another matter entirely. This is where Rally Innovations’ drivetrain upgrades come into the forefront. The base car still uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged I4 EcoBoost engine that’s paired to a six-speed manual transmission.

Rally Innovations took those specs and added a series of refined equipment modifications, including an upgraded intercooler, a high-flow induction kit, and a Ultra-High Performance Silicon Boost/Coolant hose kit that come by way of noted Ford tuner Mountune. A new CSF triple-pass high performance radiator was also installed and the same goes in the back of the car where a Ford Performance S-Type 3” cat-back exhaust makes its way into the picture. A special COBB Access Port V3 tune round out the drivetrain modifications on the Focus RS.

Neither Ford nor Rally Innovations divulged details on how much power this Focus RS rally car now boasts, but given that the standard version of the hot hatch is already capable of producing 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, there’s no question that this project rally car has more of that on tap.

The likelihood of a significant increase in output is made more evident by the amount of modifications Rally Innovations put into the hot hatch’s chassis and suspension. Suffice it to say; the Focus RS now sits on coilovers (supplied by RS-R Sports-i) at all four corners with upgraded sway bars in the front and rear (courtesy of Eibach), and an adjustable camber kit from Whittling. Throw in the 4000 series front and rear slotted rotors from DBA USA and Rally Innovations’ own intercooler “X” brace, and you have the makings of a custom Focus RS that can can display its newfangled destiny on any rally course in the world today.

Conclusion

2017 Ford Focus RS by Rally Innovations Exterior
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I’m impressed by how this particular project turned out, and not because of the novelty that comes with turning a Ford Focus RS into an actual rally car. We’ve seen that before and we’re likely to see more of that again. What I am impressed with is how Rally Innovations somehow made this project look easy. I’m sure it wasn’t by any stretch, but if we judge the difficulties based on how much work was done and the result of all that work, it does feel like the people from Rally Innovations didn’t have too many sleepless nights working on this project.

The result is exceptional enough that I’m now legitimately curious to see how this rally car can perform when it lines up against its ilk in a race. Maybe somewhere down the road it’s going to happen. But for now, it’s going to be nothing more than a display at SEMA and a showcase of what Rally Innovations is capable of. Seems like a waste of a perfectly solid project car, doesn’t it?

  • Leave it
    • What was once the Focus RS is now all but gone
    • Not for everybody
    • Should be quite a handle on its own

References

Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven Exterior High Resolution
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Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

Press release

A balance of capable performance and aggressive appearance, this Focus RS Rally Revival pays tribute to celebrated rally drivers over the years. An RS-R coilover suspension improves ride quality, performance, and comfort while reducing excessive vibrations from every day driving, as well as minimizing noises from suspension movements. Added Ford Performance short throw shifter provides a more direct and connected feel, giving better feedback while driving whether you’re cruising local streets or pushing the limits on the track.

Base Vehicle

2017 Focus RS
3L I4 EcoBoost engine
6-speed manual transmission

Powertrain

Mountune
High-flow Induction kit & full intercooler upgrade
Ultra-High Performance Silicon Boost /Coolant hose kit
CSF triple-pass high performance radiator
Borla 3” catted down pipe
Ford Performance S-Type 3” cat-back exhaust
COBB Access Port V3
Ford Performance short throw shifter**

Chassis

RS-R Sports-i coilover suspension
Eibach front / rear sway bars
DBA USA 4000 series front / rear slotted rotors
Rally Innovations R4S intercooler “X” brace
Whiteline camber adjustment bushing kit front/rear

Wheels & Tires

OZ Racing Superturismo GT (19”x8”) wheels
Nitto NT01 (235/35/19) tires
Shop TPMS tire pressure monitoring sensors
Tred Wear raised white letter tire inserts

Exterior

Baja Designs 3x3 Squadron Pro & S2 LED Amber– driving/combo & wide cornering lighting
Rally Innovations:
Light plate
R4S aluminum front, side and rear splitters
R4S 1 pc aluminum rear diffuser
R4S wheel diverters & mud flaps
R4S rally wing
Hood vents (collaborated w/ Anaheim Rod & Custom)
Sparco stainless steel latches
Pekok Autobody body finish
Rolotech vinyl car wraps– Avery intense blue & 3M storm gray vinyl wrap with R4S graphic scheme

Interior

Autometer Cobalt Series boost, oil, air/fuel and Pro Shift light gauges and Omni pod mount
Rally Innovations custom 4 pt. roll cage, R4S interior panels & rear seat delete
Sparco :
EVO race seats
R353 steering wheel & globe shift knob
HPI 4-point harnesses

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Press release
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