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Km3 Focus – Global Trending (Part 1)

1/13/2015 6:16:09 PM
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Think the Mk3 Focus is the sole preserve of us Brits? Then think again, because these ones come all the way from Canada…

It’s a well-known fact that, in days gone by, the performance Fords we all know and love were pretty much reserved for the Great British public. It’s true, of course, that some did make it overseas, especially in competition Cosworth trim, but as a rule, if it had XR, RS or ST on the back of it, then the chances are the steering wheel was on the right hand side.

Description: The bold red ST badge promises a more colorful driving experience, as proof that the Focus ST meets strict performance-enhancement targets in power, stopping distance and more. It does it all with efficiency in mind – best-in-class manual fuel economy too.

The bold red ST badge promises a more colorful driving experience, as proof that the Focus ST meets strict performance-enhancement targets in power, stopping distance and more. It does it all with efficiency in mind – best-in-class manual fuel economy too.

This all changed, however, with the arrival of the Mk3 Focus and the Mk7 Fiesta, cars that represented Ford’s plan to make its cars all share ‘global’ platforms and one that resulted in the world’s best hot-hatches muscling in on markets that would have traditionally been dominated by big V8s or Japanese imports. And, when you’ve got the likes of Ken Block giving the Focus and Fiesta STs the seal of approval, it’s perhaps not surprising that they’ve become increasingly popular with petrol heads from all four corners of the globe.

Take these two Mk3 Foci for example, which belong to Canadians Bill Mackenzie and Mario de Roza. The pair are obviously good mates, but it was 22- year-old Bill who got his Focus first, and just in case you’re thinking that North America got an ST version of the four door sedan, we should point out that his car is actually the naturally aspirated 2-litre SE model that makes around 160bhp, albeit one that does a very good impression of its more powerful stable mate thanks to the genuine ST front end and side skirts.

Description: The entry-level manual 2.0-litre SE saloon model costs from $35,600 and emits 155g/km of CO2, climbing to £30,760 for the 2.0 T XWD automatic saloon, with 206g/km.

The entry-level manual 2.0-litre SE saloon model costs from $35,600 and emits 155g/km of CO2, climbing to £30,760 for the 2.0 T XWD automatic saloon, with 206g/km.

“I had actually set out to buy a DC2/4 Acura Integra but after months of searching and never being able to find a suitable base, I turned my attention to new cars instead,” said Bill. “Working at a Ford dealership I had spent lots of time with the then brand new generation Focus and was really impressed with them. I ended up getting the SE model because at the time it was the only way to get one in this colour with a manual transmission.”

After previous experience of modifying his 1992 Pontiac Grand Prix, Bill knew he couldn’t leave the brand new Focus standard, although he admits that he had to wait for quite a while before decent aftermarket parts became available. However, after playing around with small tweaks such as tinted fog lights, a new gear knob and whatever he could find from the Ford parts catalogue, the aftermarket eventually started to pick up and Bill was able to start adding upgrades such as a carbon lip spoiler, rear anti-roll bar and more besides. By 2013, the Focus was starting to take shape and by spring this year it had been treated to the full ST makeover, coil overs and those cool looking Fifteen52 Tarmac alloys.

Description: Very smooth ride and wind won't boss you around. This car is not a toy. At 3,300 lbs, gusts of wind on a bridge do practically nothing. After driving this car for a week, I cannot drive a regular car again without thinking it is a toy!

Very smooth ride and wind won't boss you around. This car is not a toy. At 3,300 lbs, gusts of wind on a bridge do practically nothing. After driving this car for a week, I cannot drive a regular car again without thinking it is a toy!

While it might not have the power of a full fat ST, there’s no denying that Bill’s car certainly stands out from the usual Mk3s that we see in the UK, and while we hope it provides some inspiration for Focus lovers closer to home, Bill reckons it’s also made quite an impression in his native Canada.

 
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