From Photoshop inspiration to four-wheel-drive, load-lugging masterpiece, Shan Kahn has created the Ford Focus RS property that Ford failed to provide. And it’s a 420bhp, drifting, donutting wagon-weapon.
Characteristic from Quick Ford. Phrases: Dan Williamson. Pictures: Ade Brannan
One illustration. That’s all it took. One Photoshop rendering, and it introduced us one of the vital inspirational quick Fords in years; a automobile that’s so good it ought to have been a mass-production mannequin; a automobile that’s the genius work of Shan Kahn and his mate Terry.
Whereas nearly all of us with a ardour for sporting wagons gazed at X-Tomi Design’s visualisation of a Ford Focus RS property and willed Ford to construct it, Shan noticed the CGI and made it occur.
Shan recollects, “I noticed the image of the idea, and knew it needed to be carried out. It needed to appear to be Ford had constructed it, and it had to stick with the unique color.”
Happily, it wasn’t the primary time Shan had performed with a quick Ford. Removed from it: Shan has purchased, mounted and flogged dozens of critically attractive automobiles – from XR2s and RS Turbos to ST225s and 5 Focus RS Mk3s – and his present fleet consists of an RS500-kitted three-door Cosworth, an S1 undertaking, a Transit MS-RT limited-edition (in Magnetic Gray, with Brembos, 20s and Sparco bucket seats), and a 1.0 Focus hatchback transformed to full RS spec.
“It’s working 400bhp however mad torque,” says Shan. “We constructed it three years in the past utilizing a broken donor. I’ve obtained just a little yard, and I decide up salvage for lots of merchants, so I can get entry to components in trade for favours.”
Shan’s plan was to create an RS Join van, so he’d begun the method of amassing parts for his subsequent conversion. He says, “When you’ve carried out one, you understand what’s what. The ST entrance panel is identical because the RS, the facet skirts are from an ST-Line, and loads of the loom is comparable – though it’s completely different for the engine and adaptive suspension.”
However Shan isn’t solely a fan of sporty Blue Ovals. He owns a 700bhp Mitsubishi Evo, and was daily-driving a Golf R property alongside a Mk3 RS. The VW was quick however uninteresting: “It was 415bhp, however there’s no thrill, and it was no enjoyable on a rustic lane. An RS property is the perfect of each worlds,” he says.
That’s when Shan’s mate, Terry, stepped in. Terry’s an impartial Ford specialist, and it was his concept to get a Mk3 Focus property on the ramp and measure the floorpan to check it with an RS.
Shan grins, “Terry gave me the thumbs up, so I used to be wanting on Fb that night, and noticed an ST rolling shell marketed for £1250 – a giveaway. Somebody had hit the facet of it and broken to the doorways, so it was written off as a Cat N.
“I went the following morning and gave full asking worth. It was a no brainer, even when the undertaking hadn’t labored out.”
Shan strapped the property to his restoration truck and dashed to fulfill Terry on the unit.
“I used to be buzzing,” says Shan. “It was on the ramp right away, we took all of it aside and began with the components I’d already purchased for the entrance, then labored our approach again.”
Shan makes it sound straightforward – sliding the center from a smashed RS into an ST engine bay is just about plug-and-play, he says – however even he groans at getting the all-wheel-drive transmission system stuffed into the property construction. As a result of the Focus wagon performs so equally to the hatch, you’d count on the automobiles to be equivalent beneath, however that’s removed from the case; the property’s rear subframe and damper mountings differ from the hatchback’s to be able to maximise load area, and the RS sacrifices a spare wheel to make room for a rear differential.
Shan’s resolution was to chop the boot ground out of his property, then purchase the again finish of a wrecked RS and mix the 2 collectively.
He says, “It took loads of measuring. We needed to minimize into the chassis rail, bend it just a little, put within the additional help and lengthen the suspension mounts. The RS additionally has an additional strengthening bar spot-welded behind the again seat, so we added that as nicely.
“We obtained all of it tacked into place, put the automobile onto the lorry and took it for laser-alignment to verify it wouldn’t be crabbing. Consider it or not, we weren’t even a millimetre out.”
Again on the unit, Shan and Terry secured and sealed the welding, then started the rebuild. From beginning in February 2021, they toiled till 11pm nearly each evening to good the undertaking. Some bits had been easy – the propshaft, for instance, slotted into the present Focus Mk3 tunnel and wanted solely threads Helicoiling to bolt up – however the gasoline tank was a ball-ache, and primary brackets might take an entire day’s fabrication.
Shan provides, “We needed to flip the filler neck round. We’d make one thing, go up the street and listen to it rattling, then come again and do all of it once more.”
But even that wasn’t essentially the most irritating ingredient of the construct: Shan had tried to construct a again bumper utilizing ST facet sections and a real RS centre, however the best way it sat was by no means going to look proper. He’d already bought an RS-style wagon rear wing from SS Tuning in Ukraine, so he settled on shopping for the agency’s diffuser too.
Shan groans, “SS gear is sweet high quality but it surely’s exhausting work speaking with the corporate. It took three months to get my stuff, and I needed to get my very own courier. It was so irritating as a result of the remainder of the automobile was able to go. It took solely every week to get the engine in and rolling, however I used to be held up by simply the bumper.”
Chances are you’ll discover the manufacturing facility Focus RS has a single round reversing lamp, but it surely’s absent from Shan’s property. That’s as a result of Shan opted as a substitute to make use of the wagon’s normal lights within the tailgate; only a case of plugging them in, proper? Nope: the RS loom wanted extending, then programming to the automobile’s ECU.
Terry took care to make sure each module works precisely as an RS ought to, together with the adaptive suspension, driving modes, sat nav and start-up display screen with RS brand. Sync 3 was even mated to a manufacturing facility Ford subwoofer within the boot ground; just like the RS, the ground has to sit down greater to just accept the 4×4 transmission, so Shan coated it in carpet for an genuine really feel.
The cabin was handled to pukka shell-backed RS Recaros, matching rear seat and door playing cards – which match neatly into the property – plus an entire set of latest black plastics and ST headlining from the native Ford dealership.
“If Ford had constructed it, that is how it could be,” says Shan. “I can leap in and go wherever. I’ve used it for journeys to the dump, but it surely drives precisely the identical as any RS. Stick it in Drift mode, throw it right into a junction, catch it excellent and powerslide right into a donut. When you’ve mastered it, you are able to do it wherever.”
Seeing a lot smoke billowing from this property’s tyres, it’s exhausting to imagine it’s working solely Stage 2 and round 420bhp, however Shan’s already chewed up a inventory RS gearbox together with his drifting antics. As a substitute is the ‘field and ATB diff from a written-off RS Version, which Shan had been saving to enrich an engine construct from Matt Lewis Motorsport.
He says, “I purchased a 2.0-litre block as a result of it’s meant to be stronger. We’re utilizing a 2.3 crank and a pair of.3 head, Mahle pistons and rods, ARP studs, Piper fast-road cams, and a much bigger turbo. It’ll be good for 600bhp-plus, and I additionally desire a switchable map and meth injection.
“It was the primary RS Property on this nation, and hopefully the quickest on the earth.”
As Shan admits, a undertaking is rarely completed, and since this property hit the street, he’s already added carbon inside goodies and steering wheel. He’s additionally swapped the wagon’s wheels to solid RS rims as a substitute of its preliminary 20-spoke Pink Version alloys.
He says, “The solid 19s go well with the automobile and look extra aggressive. However, personally, I desire the primary kind.”
After all, Shan’s not fallacious. Sticking with Spirit Blue paintwork was a nod to the unique Photoshop illustration (to not point out the insistence of Shan’s missus), and the wheels seal the deal. Certainly, his load-lugging masterpiece appears even higher within the metallic than the much-admired idea on which it was based mostly – and Shan’s crowd-pleasing powerslides full the image.
Ford Focus RS Property Mk3 – The Construct
Tech Spec: Ford Focus RS Property Mk3
Focus RS Mk3 2261cc turbocharged four-cylinder 16-valve DOHC EcoBoost with Airtec intercooler and exhausting pipes, Mountune induction package, Stage 2 remap from The Tuner, Scorpion sports activities cat, Scorpion non-valved exhaust system with twin-exit tailpipes, hydro-dipped engine covers
420bhp (proprietor’s estimate)
Focus RS Mk3 four-wheel drive transmission with Getrag Ford Durashift MMT6 six-speed handbook gearbox, Quaife ATB differential, normal RS propshaft and rear differential, Xtreme twin-plate clutch
Entrance: Focus RS adaptive suspension with Eibach 15mm reducing springs and 12.5mm spacers; rear: Focus RS adaptive suspension with Eibach 20mm reducing springs and 12.5mm spacers
Entrance: Focus RS Brembo four-piston callipers with EBC Yellowstuff pads and 350mm drilled/grooved discs; rear: Focus RS callipers and 302mm discs with EBC Yellowstuff pads
Wheels & tyres:
Focus RS Mk3 8x19in Dicastal solid alloys with Michelin Pilot Sport 4 235/35×19 tyres
Focus RS Mk3 entrance bumper and facet skirts, customized SS Tuning rear bumper diffuser and RS-style tailgate spoiler, ST Spirit Blue paintwork
Focus RS Mk3 Version Recaro shell-backed entrance seats, carbon fibre gauges, steering wheel, handbrake, gearknob and door handles