September 26, 2022

Constructing on a Mk2 Focus mission that he simply couldn’t end, Jason Smith is shifting onwards and upwards with a modified Ford Focus ST Mk3.

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

Many people know that even the best-laid plans can go off the rails. Generally it’s a easy matter of money and time, however usually it’s simply private circumstances.

In case you’re fortunate the possibility can come round to revisit a selected plan and make it proper. Jason Smith is aware of that nicely, as he’s the proprietor of this modified ford Focus ST Mk3 (take a look at our purchaser’s information) that’s hiding a cast engine, which means it’s at present placing out 300bhp with out breaking a sweat. And that’s fairly the distinction to the unfinished plan for his final Focus, as he explains.

Jason says, “I beforehand owned a Mk2 ST a few years in the past and my aim with it on the time was to achieve the magic 300bhp mark. That doesn’t look like so much lately, however again then it was. Sadly, I needed to promote the automobile earlier than I might get it to that degree.”

The explanation for the sale was a well-known one for a lot of, as Jason wanted a much bigger automobile resulting from a rising household, and as he had the four-seater ST-3 mannequin with two sculptured rear seats reasonably than the standard three-seater bench, it merely needed to make means for one thing greater.

A Kia SUV adopted, which made sense as Jason works for the model, however he nonetheless secretly had a gentle spot for the Blue Oval.

Side-profile photo of Modifed ford Focus ST Mk3 outside

“I did my apprenticeship at Ford so I’ve at all times preferred them, and after just a few years I had the possibility to purchase a Mk3 Focus ST,” says Jason.

He positioned this specific instance on Autotrader and it caught his eye because it was well-priced and likewise occurred to have the Mountune MP275 package put in, along with decreasing springs and a cat-back exhaust system. These had been a significant plus, which was why it caught Jason’s eye, as he meant to switch the automobile and the elements would save a superb few quid on its first mods.


Jason explains, “It additionally helped that it was a really clear instance. I’d at all times preferred the Ford Focus ST Mk3 however I’d by no means pushed one earlier than. It was good, however my first impression was that it lacked the noise of the Mk2’s five-cylinder.”

Stock interior of Modified Ford Focus ST MK3

With the reminiscence of his final ST nonetheless clear in his head, Jason wished extra and started modifying the automobile, beginning with some exterior tweaks. The 19in Rotiform alloys helped add to the intense however delicate general look he was aiming for, which had been complimented by the splitter, side-skirt and diffuser additions.

“I wished a clear but aggressive construct, because the entrance of the Mk3 is a bit too rounded and desires that slight aggression,” says Jason.

“The Delta Styling package is my favorite a part of the automobile, because it actually ties within the wheels to assist pull off the look I used to be going for.”

Because the title suggests, the Mountune MP275 package fitted to Jason’s modified Ford Focus ST Mk3 supplied a wholesome soar in energy to round 275bhp from the manufacturing unit 250, due to an uprated intercooler, induction package and remap making for a way more entertaining drive.

So, with the important thing constructing blocks already in place, subsequent got here a lift in energy with a easy Stage 2 remap to ramp issues as much as round 300bhp. But it surely wasn’t that straightforward; after having the automobile mapped, it suffered with boosting points that Jason tried chasing down, and in the end led to catastrophe.

Jason explains, “The Stage 2 map actually modified the best way it drove, however after some time it saved dropping off increase, so I eliminated the symposer, changed the recirc valve and altered the actuator. I then took it down the highway and it lastly hit increase…

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“However then I heard a popping noise and appeared within the mirror and noticed a load of smoke.”

Being knowledgeable mechanic, Jason stripped the engine down and confirmed his worst suspicions: a hoop land had damaged off one of many pistons. However with little spare time to restore it and needing the automobile again shortly, he needed to take it elsewhere, and fortunately Ford specialist PumaBuild got here to the rescue and rebuilt the automobile in simply two weeks.

Having hit the goal 300bhp on his modified Ford Focus ST Mk3 – though briefly – Jason had at all times meant to construct the engine with cast pistons and metal rods to then push for extra energy sooner or later, and so the rebuild mirrored that. PumaBuild fitted Manley Efficiency pistons, Bridgeway metal rods and uprated King bearings, to make sure the a lot stronger construct could be future-proof, for if and when additional modifications would comply with.

Jason says, “It was at all times the long-term plan to forge the engine however I used to be pressured into doing it early. It was dangerous timing in that it occurred simply six months after shopping for the automobile, however it does imply it’s going to go big-turbo when the funds enable.”

On the within the modified Ford Focus ST Mk3 is at present as Ford meant, and being an ST-2 which means the comfortable part-leather Recaros, however Jason tells us there are plans to improve the seats. The one different addition is out of sight, and that’s the meth injection package mounted within the boot with the controller tucked neatly away.

Wheels on Modified Ford Focus ST Mk3

Regardless of the modifications, the Focus continues to be put to make use of as Jason’s on a regular basis automobile, which implies it covers all bases, from being economical to enjoyable.


“The modified Ford Focus ST Mk3 is my every day and I do 50-odd miles a day in it. My Mk2 ST used to common 18mpg however the Mk3 delivers 29mpg, and I can dwell with that,” says Jason. “It’s used because the household automobile too, so it’s good and stress-free to drive on the highway, however it’s additionally actually enjoyable and responsive whenever you need it to be.”

There are nonetheless loads extra plans within the pipeline for the modified Ford Focus ST Mk3, and for the reason that photoshoot the ST’s now sitting on a set of coilovers instead of the decreasing springs, and Jason’s removed from completed with the construct.

He says, “I’d like an LSD subsequent to assist get the ability to the bottom within the decrease gears.”

With that 300bhp field firmly ticked, Jason has met the aim he got down to obtain. However he’s not stopping there, and we’ve obtained a sense there’s loads extra to return from this quick Focus sooner or later.

Tuned Focus ST Pictures

Tech Spec: Modified Ford Focus ST Mk3


1999cc EcoBoost, Manley Efficiency cast pistons, Bridgeway metal rods, King bearings, steadiness shaft delete, Mountune consumption and crossover pipe, Mountune intercooler, GFB dump valve and recirc valve, Turbosmart wastegate actuator, iridium spark plugs, AEM water methanol injection, Pumaspeed throttle physique spacer, vast -mouth cold-air feed, Scorpion Exhausts 3in turbo-back with decat


300bhp (proprietor’s estimate)


Focus ST Getrag/Durashift MMT6 six-speed guide, factory-spec clutch


Eibach -30mm decreasing springs


Unique Focus ST specification

Wheels & Tyres:

19×8.5in Rotiform KB1s in black, ET42 offset, 5×108 PCD, with 235/35/19 Nankang tyres


Focus ST physique, bumpers and spoilers, Delta Styling full lowline package consisting of entrance splitter, side-skirt extensions and rear lip spoiler


Manufacturing facility ST-2 specification