November 27, 2022

Two vehicles. Eight pushed wheels. Over 1000bhp. Every of those fabulous AWD Focus ST builds are 500bhp, driveway-DIY creations that units the bar for homebuilt heroes.

Characteristic taken from Quick Ford journal. Phrases: Simon Holmes. Pictures: Jason Dodd.

We’re at all times amazed by what folks handle to construct at house of their garages and on their driveways. We’ve seen all types of creations over time, and simply once we assume we’ve seen all of it, one thing new comes alongside that leaves us blown away.

These two vehicles are the most recent within the line of jaw-droppers – house owners Sam Harrington and Sean O’Connell have created these heavily-modified Focus ST builds, every placing out over 500bhp, and every fitted with all-wheel drive working gear to benefit from it.

However whereas they share the identical technical upgrades, one is a show-ready street automobile and the opposite is a stripped-back observe weapon.

Sam’s AWD Focus ST

Sam is the proprietor of the white AWD Focus ST, and his is the automobile almost definitely to be discovered on observe. His AWD Focus ST is stripped for weight discount and contains a stronger engine construct and bigger turbo than Sean’s automobile, however he has had longer to develop it, as he purchased the automobile as naked shell practically 4 years in the past.

Sam explains, “I discovered it on-line for £500 however it had no inside, engine or wheels. Initially I used to be simply planning on retaining the engine inventory and working an RS turbo, however that plan didn’t final lengthy.”

That is the second Ford Sam has owned, after his earlier Mk6 Fiesta Zetec S, however the years of growth on the driveway have seen it rework from a shell right into a massively succesful observe automobile, thanks largely to a uncommon and revolutionary all-wheel-drive conversion.

Sam says, “Sean and I had been speaking concerning the all-wheel-drive Volvo V50 being primarily based on the identical platform because the Mk2 Focus, so we each thought it should be doable.”

Positive sufficient, it was doable. And after loads of analysis, the result’s a mix of Volvo V50, S60R and Ford Kuga working gear, all managed by a customized Haldex controller often suited to all-wheel drive VW/Audi setups. It interacts with the ECU for torque–break up changes, additional helped by Quaife LSDs back and front to enhance mechanical traction.

“It makes an unbelievable distinction to the uncooked efficiency and total drive of the automobile, giving the utmost grip on observe,” Sam confirms. “The setup can be extraordinarily good at launching from standstill. I’ve carried out back-to-back testing in FWD and AWD modes, and the quarter-mile drops from 12.6 to 11.2 seconds, whereas 0-to-60mph goes from 5.0 seconds to three.1 seconds.”

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It does assist that Sam’s engine construct options solid pistons, metal rods, Stage 2 camshafts and a Garret G30-660 turbo on a customized sidewinder manifold to see an estimated 540bhp on the present gas system. It’s spectacular for a real house construct that delivers an exhilarating driving expertise.

Engine bay of Sam's AWD Focus ST

“The engine was constructed contained in the storage at house after which the entire automobile was put collectively on the driveway. To drive, it’s just a little loud as a result of lack of sound insulation and carpets, however at full throttle, revving to over 8000rpm and flat shifting brings an unbeatable sound,” Sam says.

To match the efficiency, the automobile contains a purposeful look that’s largely to assist it operate underneath observe circumstances, which is why there’s loads of air flow.

Sam explains, “I’m largely going for an OEM-plus look on the skin with a bigger entrance grille made out of two originals. The bonnet vents are extra about cooling the large quantity of warmth the sidewinder manifold and turbo produce.”

Interior of Sam's AWD Focus ST

The identical function-over-form concept may be discovered inside, the place Sam has chosen to suit a roll cage and bucket seats. With plans for light-weight wheels, polycarbonate home windows and an upgraded gas setup to permit him to open the faucets on the turbo and produce energy to across the 600bhp mark, there’s extra to return quickly.

Sean’s tuned Mk2 Focus ST with all-wheel drive

Sean's purple AWD Focus ST

Whereas Sam’s Focus is a devoted observe weapon, Sean’s purple ST is a lesson in making a well-finished street automobile that ticks all of the bins. His journey with this automobile started two years in the past, though he already had expertise with quick Fords, as he explains: “I had a modified Fiesta Zetec S once I was 17 and that’s what obtained me into the Ford scene. I then owned the unique Focus ST500 press automobile, which I transformed to AWD and was placing out round 370bhp.”

It was having constructed the ST500 that made Sean wish to do one other larger and higher model with extra energy and improved appears, so this time he selected to start out from scratch.

Sean says, “I discovered the automobile on-line being damaged for components, as half of the engine was within the boot and it was partly stripped. I requested if I might purchase the entire automobile, and some hours later I used to be trailering it house.

AWD Focus ST - Sean's Purple car

Losing no time in constructing his imaginative and prescient, Sean’s first buy was a used engine with solid pistons and metal rods. Fitted in place with a solid exhaust manifold and an affordable eBay GT35 turbo, Sean was capable of examine for any clearance points with the Volvo switch field – though he quickly bumped into a few points that will hamper progress and power him in one other path.

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To begin with, the used engine turned out to be a dud, so one other needed to be constructed. After which got here the bodywork.

Sean reveals, “I didn’t intend to change it to the extent it’s at because the bodywork was truly actually clear. Sadly, the bonnet got here up within the wind and bent the corners and smashed the windscreen, in order that’s the place the RS conversion began. All I wished to construct was one thing completely different.”

On the within it’s the same story, as Sean beforehand had Mk2 Focus RS seats fitted. And though he cherished the way in which they appeared, he hated how uncomfortable they had been.

Mk3 ST seats in AWD Focus ST

“As I’m getting older I take pleasure in my comforts, corresponding to heated seats, so the Mk3 ST3 seats supplied further help and had been heated,” he tells us.

Again on observe with the construct, subsequent was the AWD conversion, which Sean explains is a labour-intensive job because the underside of the automobile needs to be stripped down fully.

“There are additionally customized gadgets just like the gas setup and propshaft, plus the exhaust wants making from scratch, so it’s no straightforward job constructing it on the ground in your again backyard.”

As you may think, the results of an AWD Focus ST with over 500bhp is a massively succesful automobile, as Sean confirms.

“It’s completely insane to drive as a result of the turbo isn’t huge, so the automobile is on full increase by 4000rpm, and the way in which it grips and goes is unreal. The all-wheel drive is mapped with the ECU on to the Haldex controller, so you’ll be able to set it up the way you need it.”

Engine bay of Sean's AWD Focus ST

The automobile is especially used as a weekend toy, however Sean does plan on doing a little reveals this yr. And as soon as he will get a special set of ‘extra smart’ wheels, he plans to enterprise out on observe with it.

With each house owners trying to do extra, we will solely think about how these driveway builds will grow to be the best of all home-built heroes. Gripping stuff certainly.

Ensure you examine them out at Ford Honest this August 14, 2022.

Tech Spec: White AWD Ford Focus ST Mk2


2521cc Mk2 Focus ST, Wiseco solid pistons, K1 metal rods, Westwood liners, Newman Cams Stage 2 camshafts, Ecumaster EMU Black ECU, customized sidewinder exhaust manifold, Garret G30-660 turbo, Turbosmart exterior wastegate, customized exhaust system, modified 340lph pump, 4.5-bar gas stress regulator, Anembo Engineering billet plenum, Airtec Motorsport ECU holder, Hardrace uprated engine mounts, Airtec Motorsport oil breather package

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540bhp and 480lb.ft (proprietor’s estimate)


Modified Volvo S60R gearbox, Quaife LSD, Volvo V50 switch case and AWD driver’s-side shaft, V50 propshaft, V50 all-wheel-drive rear subframe, V50 all-wheel-drive gas tank, Ford Kuga diff, Quaife LSD, V50 rear driveshafts, V50 all-wheel-drive rear hubs


BC Racing coilovers, Powerflex black bushes, rose-jointed suspension arms, 24mm anti-roll bar entrance and rear, stable subframe mounts, rear strut brace, Hardrace rear camber and toe arms


Entrance: PB Efficiency six-pot callipers with 356mm discs; rear: normal

Wheels & Tyres:

Unique 8x18in ST wheels completed in gloss black, 5×108 PCD, ET52.5 offset, 255/40/18 Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres


Customized decrease grille, carbon fibre RS bonnet vents, WRC-style bonnet vents, Focus RS-style wing vents, black roof wrap, Focus RS rear spoiler and diffuser


Sparco Grid-Q bucket seats, TRS harnesses, rear roll cage, stripped rear seats, customized dials, gauge pod and auxiliary gauges

Tech Spec: Purple Modified Ford Focus ST225 4×4


2521cc Mk2 Focus ST, block mod, Wossner solid pistons, PEC metal rods, Focus RS compression ratio, Newman Cams Stage 1 camshafts, uprated head bolts, customized tubular manifold, Garrett G25-660 turbo, inner wastegate, 3.5in downpipe and customized exhaust, 1000cc injectors, modified 340lph pump, 4.5-bar gas stress regulator, Anembo Engineering plenum, R-Sport intercooler, alloy radiator, silicone hoses, 2.5in massive increase pipes, RS oil cooler, Ecumaster EMU Black ECU, Haldex controller, engine bay hydro-dipped in carbon fibre, painted engine cowl


550bhp and 500lb.ft (proprietor’s estimate)


Modified Volvo S60R gearbox, Quaife LSD, Volvo V50 switch case and AWD driver’s-side shaft, V50 propshaft, V50 all-wheel-drive rear subframe, V50 all-wheel-drive gas tank, Ford Kuga diff, Quaife LSD, V50 rear driveshafts, V50 all-wheel-drive rear hubs


Modified Focus ST BC Racing coilovers, Hardrace rear camber and toe arms, polyurethane bushes all through


Entrance: Focus RS Mk3 Brembo callipers and 350mm discs with EBC Yellowstuff pads; rear: normal calliper 302mm discs with EBC Yellowstuff pads

Wheels & Tyres:

Entrance: 9x20in Jaguar F-Kind wheels, 5×108 PCD, ET55 offset, 255/35/20 tyres; rear: 10.5x20in Jaguar F-Kind wheels, ET38 offset, 295/30/20 tyres, customized 3D-printed centre caps


Respray in Audi Merlin Purple Pearl, Focus RS entrance bumper, headlights and entrance wings, facelift Focus bonnet and doorways, Focus RS rear quarter panels, facelift tailgate, Focus RS boot spoiler and tail lamps, RSP full splitter package


Mk3 Focus ST3 seats, Mk2 Focus RS steering wheel, gearknob and encompass, Focus RS massive display screen clocks. Little Satan prime pod gauges