Custom project on performance hatch gets a steady dose of upgrades

The SEMA Auto Show is just around the corner. That means a number of different things for a number of different automakers, specifically the Toyotas, Ford, and Hondas of the world. The Blue Oval is a regular presence at SEMA, and this year’s no different, as the company is planning to unleash as many as 50 different custom projects at the event. One of those projects is this Ford Focus RS, which comes to us by way of Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil.

It’s hard to escape the long name of the custom Focus RS because of the companies involved in its creation. What’s really cool about this project though is that it doesn’t straddle the line between realistic and overbearing. It just sits on the lawn of “realistic” comfortably, and that itself may be it’s biggest strength because Focus RS owners won’t have to worry about others thinking they’d lost their minds on a gaudy custom project. That’s not to say that it’s lacking in kits because it has its fair share of them. They’re just subtle enough that the identity of the Focus RS is still intact, as opposed to getting drowned by some overbearing custom work that’s too difficult to even stomach.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Ford Focus RS by Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil

  • 2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    350 @ 6000
  • Torque @ RPM:
    350 @ 3200
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    165 mph
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil
- image 738196
It’s called the Axalta Pennzoil yellow paint finish and it just so happens to be the biggest contribution of Pennzoil to the cause

There’s not much in the way of modifications in this section, though, somewhat ironically, the most eye-catching of all is the car’s body color. Officially, it’s called the Axalta Pennzoil yellow paint finish and it just so happens to be the biggest contribution of Pennzoil to the cause. Not that it matters because the color itself bursts out of the body panels, giving the custom Focus RS is most identifiable feature. Complementing it is a carbon fiber aerodynamic body kit that you can see with the presence of a lip spoiler, side skirts, and a rear spoiler. It’s not clear if the spoiler is made of the same good stuff, though it wouldn’t be surprising if it is.

2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil
- image 738195
The tuners opted to use a set of 19-inch Rotiform wheels that are wrapped in a set of 245/35-series Falken FK150 tires.

Last but certainly not least is the wheel-and-tire, two-hit combo. For this particular project, the tuners opted to use a set of 19-inch Rotiform wheels that are wrapped in a set of 245/35-series Falken FK150 tires.

Interior

2016 Ford Focus RS Interior
- image 615129

Note: Standard Ford Focus RS pictured here.

There are no photos of the interior as I write this, but it is known that the program will feature a bevy of interior upgrades. One of the most prominent of these mods is a Ford Accessories kit made up of carbon fiber bits and pieces, including a carbon fiber shift knob, instrument cluster, and window switch cover. The tuners also threw in audio components from Kicker because no self-respecting, SEMA-bound project car is complete without some modification to the car’s audio system.

Drivetrain

2016 Ford Focus RS
- image 702708

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

The team went to work by adding a new exhaust system and upgrading the shifter with a short throw system

To be clear, the modified numbers brought about by all the drivetrain modifications have yet to be announced so, at best, we’re speculating on how much power this particular Ford Focus RS has under its hood. What we can tell you at this point is that the tuners opted for the version of the Focus RS that’s carrying a 3.0-liter EcoBoost I4 engine mated to a six-speed transmission. With these pieces in place, the team went to work by adding a new exhaust system and upgrading the shifter with a short throw system. A new intercooler with new piping from FullRace were also thrown in, as was a new intake from the same source to go with an Optima Battery. To help maximize the hot hatch’s potential, the tuners also added new coilovers from BC Racing and brakes from Baer, specifically six-piston caliper’s with rotors.

Altogether, these upgrades should be enough to help the Ford EcoBoost see an improved output that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 horsepower. It’s not much of a mental upgrade by tuning standards, but it should be more than enough to turn the Focus RS into a full-fledged sports car hiding inside a hot hatch body.

Conclusion

2017 Ford Focus RS By Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil Exterior
- image 738194

I like what I’m seeing from the work of Universal Technical Institute, Tjin Edition, and Pennzoil. I’m not blown away by it, but I appreciate how the tuners resisted from turning the Focus RS into something more than it probably should be. As a result, they were able to implement their modifications effectively without getting rid of the hot hatch’s identity. I get the urge to simply go all-out on a car like the Focus RS and, while it works on some occasions, it’s not a blueprint that has proven to be effective on a car like this.

References

Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 664701

Read our full review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

2016 Ford Focus RS – Driven Exterior High Resolution
- image 718773

Read our full driven review on the 2016 Ford Focus RS.

What do you think?
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