July 3, 2022

It could share a storage with a purple 1010bhp Focus, however this yellow wide-arch Focus RS Mk2 is not any shrinking violet. In reality, with a track-focused spec and show-car seems, it truly is boxing intelligent…

Characteristic from Quick Ford. Phrases: Daniel Bevis. Photographs: Ade Brannan

This wide-arch Focus RS Mk2, vivid and vibrant acid-yellow as it’s, goes by the nickname Shadow. It would sound like an incongruous and weird title for one thing that’s so in-your-face it would as effectively have spilt your pint in your first post-lockdown pub journey, however the reality is that it comes from one other age.

This Focus wasn’t at all times this boisterous, and it was at all times assumed it could stay within the shadow of its extra raucous stablemate.

This isn’t the one Focus RS that its proprietor, Grant Butler, has lavished nice care and a spotlight upon. The opposite is a automotive chances are you’ll effectively pay attention to – it’s deep purple and has 1010bhp, so you’ll be able to think about what a game-changer that was when he pulled off the covers. How might some other RS match as much as such Veyron-shaming energy? After all this Focus was going to stay in its shadow.

Or, at the least that’s what Grant thought. However the passage of time can change all issues. And if there’s one factor any Focus RS isn’t, it’s a shrinking wallflower. These are shouty, aggressive vehicles. They refuse to be consigned to the shadows. They at all times discover a technique of punching their manner out.

You see, time has a behavior of altering our perceptions. Take the Escort RS Cosworth for example – in 1992, the thought of a household hatchback with four-wheel drive and 227bhp was one thing to get enthusiastic about. However in the present day, circa-220bhp is the form of energy you get from a mainstream heat hatch, together with a prolonged guarantee, no turbo lag and a few spectacular mpg figures. Do the outdated Group A homologation fashions now appear a bit garbage?

After all not. The Cossie is anchored in its personal period, nevertheless it’s nonetheless simply as a lot of a scintillating, scenery-blurring thrill-ride as ever. You’ve simply bought to take it for what it’s.

The stress pushes on the RS badge itself as effectively. Having dominated just about each rally they entered within the Nineteen Seventies, and created all method of hairy-chested street vehicles, Ford’s old-school RS fashions set fairly a precedent for Rallye Sport machines of the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties. And when the Mk2 Focus RS arrived in 2009, constructing on the respect for the mould-breaking Mk1, it actually got here out swinging: large engine with a juicy turbo, clever chassis, the components have been all good.

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It’s no shock that this accessible hyper-hatch has change into a staple of the modding scene. Proper out of the field, the Mk2 RS supplied 301bhp and 325lb.ft from its brawny 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo motor, with a quoted prime pace of 163mph.

Underneath the pores and skin was a Quaife LSD and Ford’s super-brainy RevoKnuckle suspension, and the outside was amusingly aggressive. It was, by any measurable customary, a hilarious machine – and, as Grant’s 1010bhp mission keenly demonstrates, the aftermarket for the RS is huge and extremely developed.

Wide-arch Focus RS Mk2

So why did he determine to construct one other Focus mission, having arguably already achieved the last word instance of what these vehicles might be?

Nicely, the easy reply is that he can’t sit nonetheless. There’s an entire assortment of sizzling Fords within the Butler storage (together with a mint-green Sequence One RS Turbo, a Mk1 Focus RS, a Sapphire RS Cosworth 4×4, and varied others; the following mission is an Escort RS Cosworth), and he’s at all times bought his eyes open for alternatives.

He says, “I had a white Focus ST-3 and a lad with a inexperienced Focus RS actually needed it. His automotive was broken within the rear quarter, so I struck an excellent deal in my favour and traded the automotive in for it. Right away I purchased a set of Compomotive MO6 alloys; the plan was at all times to construct it as a observe automotive, however I can’t assist myself. I at all times have to change my vehicles to look completely different.”

So, this was how the mission would slot into the portfolio: whereas the big-power RS was a showcase of how far the engine could possibly be taken, in addition to presenting a trophy-winning show-car end, Shadow was at all times meant to be a observe hack. A automotive to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and abused.

With the bodywork repaired, KW Kustoms helped the automotive to suit into its new nickname by wrapping it in a delicate and understated shade of 3M matt gray, and for the following couple of years Grant loved thrashing it on observe days at Knockhill and elsewhere.

With the engine constructed as much as a strong and dependable 400bhp due to a full suite of Airtec upgrades, an Anembo billet plenum, a full Milltek system and a remap, it was each inch the usable and exploitable RS.

However destiny had a shocking hand to play at this level. Do not forget that bizarre incident again in 2005 when pop-loon Brian Harvey managed to run himself over together with his personal automotive after reportedly consuming too many jacket potatoes? Yeah, that’s kinda what Grant did. Besides it wasn’t spuds that have been guilty right here, however a tow-hook mishap.

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He says, “After loading the automotive onto my transporter, a rookie mistake noticed me pull it up by the tow hook, which snapped, sending the automotive rolling down off the truck, operating over my leg and dragging me down the road after making an attempt (and failing) to leap in and pull the handbrake.

“As soon as I used to be in a position to stroll once more, it was right down to fixing the automotive and getting it wanting mint.”

And with a sure sense of inevitability, this was by no means going to be a case of merely patching the Focus up. No, when there’s work to be carried out, you would possibly as effectively improve and enhance as you undergo. That’s simply widespread sense, proper?

Wide-arch Focus RS Mk2

Grant explains, “The automotive needed to be repaired on the again finish, so the gray wrap was taken off for the work to be carried out. I stated the automotive was at all times going to be purely for the observe after that, and a rebuild of the bodywork commenced with Airtec’s wide-arch equipment and entrance bumper, so it could look extra aggressive on observe.

“However it shortly spiralled uncontrolled, and the RS quickly began to change into one other present automotive – completely completely different from what I normally construct my vehicles into. It’s secure to say it most likely received’t see the observe now…”

The makeover has been complete, not simply including that balls-to-the-wall wide-arch equipment, but additionally including a full package deal of Maxton Design aero extensions and a bunch of carbon components from Kuro.

Monkey Wrench is the go-to title for customized lighting in terms of modern-era Fords, and the agency created some superior one-off headlights and mirror repeaters for this mission.

The carbon roof is a reasonably hardcore addition. However the one factor you actually can’t miss is that, effectively, it’s not precisely whispering ‘shadow’ now, is it? Extra like screaming ‘Aceeeeeeeed!’ like a Nineties’ rave casualty, it’s now wrapped in a super-acidic tone entitled Hexis Metallic Gloss Yellow, expertly utilized by the workforce at KW Kustoms.

The yellow theme is all-pervading too, from the various hydro-dipped engine covers to the harnesses draped over these Recaro Pole Positions. It’s a full-on present automotive, all the pieces impeccably chosen and introduced.

However it’s nonetheless a observe automotive beneath. Always remember that. The chassis spec is brutal, with the total Swave under-bracing equipment and Powerflex poly-bushing working with BC Racing coilovers and a meaty AP Racing six-pot calliper improve.

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That engine isn’t messing about both. The entire Airtec gear is very developed, all the pieces beneath the bonnet is optimised for optimum assault.

Wide-arch Focus RS Mk2

Grant assures us, “Though it’s not (but) bought large energy and a great deal of underbonnet bling like my purple one and another RSs on the market, the construct on this one was purely a few dependable observe Focus. And any good tuner will inform you that the usual RS at 400bhp on the inventory turbo is an effective strong base earlier than forging…”

See what we imply after we say he can’t sit nonetheless? What began out as a observe automotive grew to become a present automotive, and but it’s persevering with to develop alongside each of these various forks to change into maybe the last word fusion of present and go.

One factor’s for certain: it could share a storage with a 1010bhp Focus, however this yellow peril definitely doesn’t stay in anyone’s shadow.

Tech Spec: Huge-arch Focus RS Mk2

Engine:

2522cc five-cylinder Duratec turbo, Airtec Stage 3 intercooler, Airtec massive increase equipment, Airtec alloy radiator with twin followers, Airtec oil cooler, Airtec crossover and Group A filter, Airtec billet air-con delete equipment, Anembo billet plenum, Excessive 400bhp map, recirc blanking plate, Milltek high-flow downpipe, Milltek de-cat, Milltek non-resonated again part, all plastics hydro-dipped in Lightning Yellow

Transmission:

Focus RS Ford/Durashift M66 six-speed guide gearbox, Quaife ATB, Sitech billet gearbox aspect spider mount, Vibratechnics decrease gearbox mount, Airtec quickshift equipment

Suspension:

BC Racing coilovers, full Swave under-bracing equipment, full Powerflex poly bush equipment

Brakes:

Entrance: AP Racing six-piston callipers with 365mm discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads; rear: manufacturing unit Focus RS discs and callipers with Ferodo DS2500 pads; braided brake strains all spherical

Wheels & tyres:

9.0x18in Compomotive MO6 wheels (powder-coated in Kandy Bronze) with ET50 offset, 255/35R18 Toyo T1-R tyres

Exterior:

Mk2 Focus RS, wrapped by KW Kustoms in Hexis Metallic Gloss Yellow, Airtec Clubsport wide-arch equipment, Airtec Clubsport entrance bumper, Maxton Design spoiler, aspect skirt and rear bumper extensions in gloss black, Kuro carbon rear diffuser, Kuro carbon wing mirror covers, Kuro carbon bonnet vents, Monkey Wrench bespoke wing mirror repeaters, Monkey Wrench bespoke headlights, customized eyebrow covers, Zunsport prime and decrease badgeless grilles, carbon roof

Inside:

Recaro Pole Place seats, TRS yellow harnesses, all inside plastics flocked in black by Get to Flock, Momo suede steering wheel with snap-off boss equipment, customized Alcantara armrest, gear lever and gearknob by Inside Modz, carbon cluster and increase pod faces, Wiechers bolt-in roll cage, rear strut brace, customized inner bonnet launch