September 26, 2022

Jamie will get behind the wheel of Hendy Efficiency’s 500bhp+ tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3, the eye-catching #HP500 growth automobile.

Overview from Quick Ford journal. Photographs: Jason Dodd.

As a tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3 proprietor, I spend loads of time behind the wheel of the latest Rallye Sport mannequin. In actual fact, it was my very own Focus RS that I took to Hendy Efficiency HQ to check the staff’s #HP500 demo automobile.

Hendy’s #HP500 isn’t precisely a newcomer to the quick Ford scene, and avid Mk3 followers have little question already seen movies on the web of YouTubers and different RS fans giving their suggestions on the big-turbo bruiser.

However, till lately, the completed product hadn’t been obtainable. Till now. I used to be fortunate sufficient to be driving the eye-catching growth automobile after its most up-to-date spherical of updates, which the fellows at Hendy declare have completely remodeled the tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3 from its earlier setup.

The venture started a few years in the past, when Hendy’s staff bagged themselves a fully-loaded Nitrous Blue Mk3 Focus RS to make use of as a growth car to showcase the efficiency upgrades on provide. As Mountune sellers, the staff shortly fitted a raft of efficiency upgrades from their mates in Essex. These included absolutely cast engine internals, BorgWarner EFR-7163 turbo, Piper Stage 2 cams and comes, ARP head studs, stability shaft delete, baffled sump, Mountune V3 exhaust with sports activities cat, Mountune intercooler, Mountune consumption package, and an Xtreme DI gas pump.

As well as, the Hendy staff additionally added a Quaife ATB, fitted Eibach springs, had the cylinder labored on by Ian Howell at Space Six Motorsport, and labored intently with Motorsport Developments to develop a set of multimaps purely for this automobile – the primary is 445bhp/405lb.ft, slot two is 475bhp/480lb.ft, whereas slot three serves up the full-fat 520bhp/550lb ft – therefore the #HP500 tags.

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However simply because the venture started, the world was struck by the Coronavirus pandemic, which restricted travelling from Southampton to Blackpool, so the primary levels of software program have been written in line with knowledge log information despatched forwards and backwards between Hendy and MSD.

Kevin, Hendy Efficiency’s technical supervisor, describes the method: “The primary file was developed utilizing information MSD already had from equally spec’d vehicles on their dyno, however we carried out numerous knowledge logging and Stu at MSD would make tweaks to enhance issues. For instance, one revision noticed us set up considered one of MSD’s new 4-bar MAP sensors, and there have been 4 or 5 updates to the software program since then too.”

Kevin goes on to clarify that the automobile hasn’t but been absolutely completed as he tosses me the keys to the tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3: “Now, with practically 20,000 miles underneath its belt (thanks partly to Covid-delays) we’ve been in a position to finalise the settings and all that continues to be to do is the ultimate setup on MSD’s dyno once we can stand up to Blackpool – it’s a very completely different beast to drive now.”

Tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3 wheels

Regardless that I take the time to pattern all the ability slots, you’ll not be stunned to be taught that I spend most of my time within the full-power 520bhp setting.

Regardless of this, as I make my method out of Hendy’s HQ and head for some open roads, I’ve to admit its highway manners when sitting in site visitors and cruising alongside the motorway at regular speeds are the identical as with all different Mk3 Focus RS I’ve pushed; definitely, it has the identical factory-feel that I love about my very own automobile. The wrap does get some seems although.

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Earlier than lengthy, I flip off the M27 and begin searching out some good roads within the New Forest Nationwide Park…

My goodness! This automobile comes alive if you enable it to stretch its legs.

I’d learn a number of the critiques and watched a number of the movies on the #HP500 earlier than I received likelihood to drive it, and one frequent thread was the elevated quantity of turbo lag. A trade-off for a much bigger turbo is historically at all times going to be some improve in response time, however I need to admit I haven’t actually observed it. I don’t know why; maybe my driving fashion is healthier suited to the automobile? Or the truth that I personal an RS myself means I’m extra accustomed to the ability supply? Or, extra possible, the latest updates have made vital enhancements to the automobile since these critiques have been made.

If something, I feel the larger turbo and slight improve in lag truly helps this tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3; it means the ability is launched in a extra linear style, and that makes it extra manageable… As a result of when the increase kicks in, all hell breaks free!

You actually wouldn’t need 550lb ft of torque kicking in at 2000rpm (the place the usual automobile makes its peak 350lb ft as a result of it will simply be a wheel-spinning monster.

As a substitute, with full increase not coming till you’re above 3000rpm, you’re already transferring, and traction is usually much less of a problem earlier than all of that increase is unleashed.

However that’s to not say it gained’t nonetheless gentle the tyres up for those who aren’t on prime of your recreation – on slippery, slim, stone-covered roads like these you have to have your wits about you if you wish to poke this specific RS with a stick; it desires to poke you again…

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And for me that’s the most effective issues about it. The explanation we love quick Fords over different marques is as a result of they’re filled with character. Sure, there are many quick (quicker, in lots of instances) German and Japanese machines obtainable, however they will are inclined to really feel a bit soulless as compared. Quick Fords are speculated to excite and make you’re feeling alive, and boy does the #HP500 try this in spades.

I stick with it having fun with the B-road blasts till I run out of gas. I simply don’t wish to give it again.

The draw back, as is so typically the case, is that the {hardware} necessities wanted to take pleasure in all this further energy – notably the solid engine internals – provides considerably to the price of the improve. From a bone-stock automobile to full-fat #HP500-spec you’re a minimal of £10,000.

However these upgrades don’t all should be executed without delay, so talking of which, anybody know the place I can get me a deal on some RS cast rods and pistons…?

Need a Mk3 Focus RS? Take a look at our purchaser’s information. For those who’re an proprietor on the lookout for modifying recommendation, try our Mk3 RS tuning information.

Tech Spec: Tuned Ford Focus RS Mk3 from Hendy Efficiency

Mk3 Focus RS, Mountune/Mahle pistons and Carrillo conrods, BorgWarner EFR-7163 turbo, Piper Stage 2 fast-road camshafts and valve springs, ARP head studs, Mountune V3 exhaust with sports activities cat, Mountune intercooler, Mountune consumption package, Mountune onerous pipe package, stability shaft delete, baffled sump plate, Xtreme DI gas pump, ported and polished cylinder head, 4-bar MAP sensor, Motorsport Developments MSD500 software program (multimaps), Quaife ATB, Eibach reducing springs, customized #HP500 wrap