How to make a Ford Focus ST even quicker | Buyer's Guide

By Staff Writer
Nov 16, 2022 | Ford, Focus, Buyer's Guide, Focus ST, ford Focus ST | Posted in Buyer's Guides | From the June 2017 issue | Never miss an article

Photography Courtesy Ford

Story by Ed Higginbotham

[Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Grassroots Motorsports, back when Mueller Motorwerks was still operational.]

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Armitage HalfDork
7/12/17 2:01 p.m.

I've put just about 1200 miles on mine and am loving it so far. Loads of praise to give this car and only a few minor complaints.

CobraSpdRH Reader
7/12/17 3:19 p.m.

Great timing for this article. I see TONS of these popping up for sale used around me in the ~$15-18k range. Even new 2017's seem to be getting heavily discounted.

I would imagine it is best to find a stock one and then build on that with the bolt-ons and tunes that are readily available.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
7/12/17 4:00 p.m.

I'm seeing these cars everywhere, too. Tempting. Very tempting.

cmcgregor Dork
7/12/17 4:19 p.m.

These tech tips articles are great. Unfortunately, I think that my FoST will soon be leaving my driveway, but I was very tempted to make some....improvements when I saw this.

Armitage HalfDork
7/12/17 5:11 p.m.
CobraSpdRH wrote: Even new 2017's seem to be getting heavily discounted.

They have $3500 in cash incentives right now which nudged me in the direction of new vs used. It sounds like they're really close to a redesigned 2018 model so it might pay to wait a bit and see if even better discounts come along.

GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
7/12/17 9:46 p.m.

In reply to Armitage:

Is there such thing as a 2018 Focus?

mck1117 GRM+ Memberand Reader
7/13/17 1:30 p.m.

In reply to GTwannaB:

There is such thing as a 2018 Focus, but it won't be the same as the 2012-17 Focus, and it will be made in China.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
9/22/22 11:04 a.m.

I remember when it seemed like everyone who worked in automotive journalism (or anything closely related) drove Focus STs.

I don't seem to see them as often now, though.

CyberEric Dork
9/22/22 6:05 p.m.

Agreed. I wonder where they are going? Getting crashed, perhaps? Blown motors from too much boost?

Tk8398 HalfDork
9/22/22 7:27 p.m.

I remember seeing one that was used for 5 years of autocross and it was already rough and smoked/sounded bad.  I just don't think they lasted long.

GTwannaB GRM+ Memberand Dork
9/22/22 9:29 p.m.

I think they are all sitting on Craigslist with insanely high asking prices. At least near me.

darkbuddha HalfDork
9/22/22 11:43 p.m.

The Focus ST community is very much a mixed bag, but it's a very active and big community still.  As for current prices, like all cars, their values skyrocketed during the plague.  But seems like the ST has seen a bit of growth in popularity among younger hot hatch buyers in recent years.  Whatever the case, prices tend to be high and buyers young. Good news is there are lots of bigger power builds now, big aftermarket supply, lots of styling options, and lots of development over the last 10 years on the platform.

As for mine, I bought it new in November 2012 after ordering it the first week orders opened. It's been a solid daily for the last 10 years, with some minor issues, mostly resolved under warranty and recalls.  Maintenance has been relatively minimal really (brakes, dampers, filters, etc.).  I'm just approaching 100k miles and the only "major" mechanical maintenance I've done is front wheel bearings.  Still on the original clutch too. No misses, no smoke, no other drivability issues/concerns currently, and I beat on it plenty. I did have to recharge the a/c this year finally, and it goes through tires every couple years. BTW, only mods are a cat back exhaust, lowering springs (and Bilstein B8 dampers), and wheels/tires (down-sized to 17s).

Honestly, it's been a solid car, and I think the styling has held up well... after all, the current Corolla still reflects many of the same styling cues.

CyberEric Dork
9/23/22 9:24 a.m.

That's good to hear.

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
9/23/22 11:46 a.m.

I have kinda forgot about them. I liked the dynamics of them on the track but I've not seen one in a long time TBH. 

NickD MegaDork
9/23/22 11:57 a.m.

I drove one at an autocross and much, much preferred it to the Focus RS (I was faster in one run with the ST than I was with 8 runs in the RS!) but around here, within a year or two, they already had rust starting in the quarter panels. I always wished that Ford would have released a version that was a step up from the ST to fill the gap between it and the RS. Like, an ST with 15 more horsepower and bigger brakes and a true LSD.

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