September 26, 2022

A modified Ford Focus RS Mk2 might by no means be referred to as a sleeper, however with round 600bhp hiding beneath the subtle-looking exterior, Ian Morris’s stunner packs extra of a punch than you may assume.

Characteristic from Quick Ford journal. Phrases Simon Holmes. Pictures: Ade Brannan.

It’s straightforward to overlook issues have come a good distance within the tuning scene during the last 20 years. There was a time when 600bhp in a street automotive was just about unparalleled, with these sorts of ballistic figures reserved for out-and-out race vehicles, costly supercars or big-budget JDM builds.

However now we’re seeing a brand new wave of modified vehicles on the streets that not solely produce severe energy but additionally look so understated that anybody could be laborious pushed to guess what they had been able to.

Ian Morris’s clean-cut modified Ford Focus RS Mk2 falls firmly into that class, as with only a handful of small modifications on view from the skin, solely the eagle-eyed will discover the large brake setup, which hints on the automotive’s large efficiency. Positive sufficient, the additional stopping energy is required as a result of this unassuming Focus RS is at the moment producing 600bhp on a light tune, with lots extra to come back.

Making a delicate however severe street automotive like it is a little bit of an artwork, nevertheless it helps that Ian is aware of his means round a extremely modified Ford. His first was a Mk4 XR3i again in 1995, which developed right into a extremely modified ’90-spec RS Turbo reproduction, full with 1.9-litre American tall-block CVH, massive turbo, fifth injector and many extra. Since then, he’s owned a number of different Fords, together with a rear-wheel-drive Sierra Cosworth and a four-wheel-drive Sapphire Cosworth that had been each placing out properly over 500bhp.

Recaro Bucket Seats on Modified ford Focus RS Mk2

This isn’t Ian’s first Mk2 Focus RS both; earlier than proudly owning this instance he had a Efficiency Blue mannequin that he purchased almost new and owned for six years (take a look at our Mk2 Focus RS purchaser’s information). That automotive was used as a daily-driver however Ian had plans to closely modify the automotive and was within the technique of starting the event when he got here throughout this Frozen White instance on the market.

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With a complete checklist of modifications already in place, Ian realised he can purchase a automotive another person had already spent their money and time on, particularly because the tech spec appeared to incorporate nearly each modification he meant on finishing up on his blue automotive.

Ian says, “It made sense to part-exchange my automotive for this one; my blue automotive was simply too mint to tug aside. The story I used to be informed was the earlier proprietor had it constructed to this spec however solely had it about an hour earlier than he bought caught racing in it by an unmarked police automotive. I’m not completely positive it’s true, however he needed to promote the automotive regardless.”

No matter its historical past might have been, it had been constructed by Sitech Racing in Scotland and appeared to tick all the fitting bins because of an engine construct with cast internals and an enormous turbo. Plus there was the Revo massive brake package, which options Alcon six-pot callipers and big 380mm floating discs to assist maintain a rein on issues, in addition to light-weight wheels to cowl them and uprated Eibach uprated springs and dampers.

However the automotive wasn’t fairly the simple buy-and-enjoy possibility he hoped for, as inside a few weeks there have been indicators it wasn’t wholesome.

“It was utilizing extra water than oil, so I despatched the automotive to Matt Lewis Motorsport and this was the primary one they fitted with uprated liners,” says Ian.

The results of the improved reliability modifications has been a bulletproof mixture that Ian says has confirmed its price, having coated round 8000 laborious miles to this point. He’s understandably very proud of it.

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In present kind, Ian says the automotive makes 600bhp with a comparatively delicate tune, however because of the linered block, uprated engine internals and GT30 turbo with the bigger exhaust housing, there’s loads of potential to show it up.

Rear shot of modified ford focus rs mk2

Ian says, “It’s one of many quickest vehicles I’ve owned, and is just like the big-power Cosworths I’ve had up to now. It’s at the moment on Revo Stage 5+ software program. I used to be going to change to Syvecs however for now I’ll depart it as it’s. I can get in it, give it dying and it simply does what it does. I like it.”

Regardless of the vary of modifications and big headline energy determine, Ian has labored laborious to verify the Focus seems understated from each angle, which is why you received’t discover lairy graphics, giant wings or brightly colored wheels.

Ian says, “I wished it to look delicate, identical to a typical automotive. I’ve additionally painted some engine bay components in black so it seems extra unique.”

Because of this, even with the bonnet open on the modified Ford Focus RS Mk2, it seems comparatively customary; the OEM plastics are nonetheless in place, and the large turbo is hiding behind the engine. Even the screamer pipe is angled on the ground, relatively than out of the bonnet as we’re changing into used to seeing.

It’s the same story inside too, the place the unique seats and trim have been left simply as Ford meant, which helps maintain a low profile.

Ian says, “I’m not shy of driving it, so it will get pushed laborious. It drives very properly, and the brakes are superior.

“The clutch might be laborious work at instances, however I don’t use the automotive on daily basis as I’ve a Mk3 Focus ST diesel for that.

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“I primarily use the RS as a toy to have enjoyable with, together with common blasts out with my mates and some exhibits and meets too.”

Interior of modified Ford Focus RS Mk2

Having created the proper package deal of massive energy, reliability and under-the-radar seems, Ian solely has a handful of plans for the long run, which embrace a tubular manifold and maybe an ECU change, as there’s little holding the modified Ford Focus RS Mk2 again from making some significantly monstrous energy figures.

However then, 600bhp continues to be quite a bit in a street automotive, and it’s straightforward to take that without any consideration.

Tuned Focus RS pictures

Tech Spec: Modified Ford Focus RS Mk2


2522cc Duratec I-5 turbo, Wiseco cast pistons, K1 metal conrods, Westwood cylinder liners, mildly ported and polished head, port-matched Sitech Racing inlet manifold, Garret GT30.76 Gen II turbo, exterior wastegate, screamer pipe, Forge Motorsport Stage 2 intercooler, Spec-R massive enhance pipes, 3.5in Sitech Racing downpipe, Scorpion Crimson Energy exhaust, Satan’sOwn water meth injection package, Deatschwerks 1000cc injectors, Bosch 044 gas pump, one-litre gas swirl pot, new gas traces, NGK Racing spark plugs, Innovate Motorsport enhance controller and AFR gauge, Turbosmart adjustable gas regulator


600bhp (proprietor’s estimate)


Focus RS six-speed guide gearbox with factory-fitted Quaife ATB limited-slip diff, Helix Autosport six-paddle ceramic clutch, Sitech Racing super-light flywheel


Eibach Professional-Equipment reducing springs, poly bushes on entrance finish


Entrance: Revo/Alcon six-pot callipers with 380mm floating discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads; rear: Focus RS discs and callipers with Ferodo DS2500 pads

Wheels & Tyres:

8.5x19xin Autec ClubRacing alloys in black, 5×108 PCD, ET52 offset, with 235/35/19 Michelin Pilot PS4 tyres


Focus RS physique, bumpers, and spoiler, rally-style mud flaps, black bonnet vents, black-wrapped roof, purple badging, wind deflectors


Authentic Focus RS