The Graham Goode Racing kit makes the fastest Ford go even faster
The modifications are all to the engine and, at over £4000 fitted, they’re expensive
The kit reveals its best on smoother roads and at higher speeds
Overtakes are a doddle and you find yourself swapping cogs in the ‘box less frequently
The upgraded AP Racing brakes are unimpeachable
The GGR modifications feel thoroughly developed and well sorted
There's plenty of lime green trim inside
Power is up to 368bhp and torque to 339lb ft
A one-year/30,000 mile warranty comes with the conversion
First DriveIt's finally here: after a long, long wait, we've driven the all-new 345bhp four-wheel-drive Ford Focus RS on UK soil; it is a masterclass
First DriveFast, usable, temptingly priced and huge fun to drive, the new Focus RS isn’t just the affordable driver’s car of the moment, it’s also probably the best
What is it?
Depending on your outlook, it’s a way to either a) liberate the potential of or b) ruin a perfectly good Ford Focus RS.
The GGR370FR is an aftermarket kit for the Focus by Graham Goode Racing, which takes its power to 368bhp and torque to 339lb ft.
The modifications are all to the engine and, at over £4000 fitted, they’re expensive but they do run deep. The air inlet is upgraded (to twice its original size), as are the intercooler, some hoses and turbo pipes and the front section of the exhaust. Boost levels are allowed to run a wee bit higher, the ECU has been remapped and, crucially, the fuel injectors are new – they can inject up to 25 per cent more fuel than the standard car’s.
GGR also offers a brake upgrade, available separately at around £2300, which comprises AP Racing callipers and discs.
What’s it like?
Faster. To put it in perspective, the GGR Focus makes only seven fewer horsepower than a Ferrari F355.
GGR doesn’t quote a revised 0-60mph time, but the regular Focus RS’s 5.7sec is limited as much by traction as it is by power and the same still applies – especially in the conditions in which we drove the car. If it’s at all slippery, you’re looking at a car that can spin its wheels in the middle of third gear.
It’s a pleasing power delivery, though. Because it’s allowed to breathe more easily, the GGR RS’s engine has, if anything, a smoother, more predictable response than the standard car has. Power builds quickly but linearly. The response is such that, at four- or five-tenths, I found it easier to drive smoothly than the regular car.
If you’re going flat out, the regular car again becomes the easier one to drive quickly. With the power hike, torque steer on the GGR has inevitably increased and, on bumpy roads, it struggles to transmit all its power, tugging the wheel right and left as the limited-slip differential apportions torque between the wheels.
The GGR kit, then, is a modification which reveals its best on smoother roads and at higher speeds, where it troubles the front wheels less and where the fat slug of wallop makes itself a remarkably charming companion. It gets going sooner and keeps going for longer than the regular RS, so overtakes are a doddle and you find yourself swapping cogs in the ‘box less frequently.
Otherwise the RS is the same as usual: firm ride, superbly adjustable handling and enough grip to cock an inside wheel in the air even in the damp. The AP Racing brakes are unimpeachable, but the standard ones would’ve been untroubled in the conditions we tried the car too.
Should I buy one?
It still depends on your outlook.
If you’re not into modified cars, that this one invalidates the Ford warranty (a one-year/30,000 mile warranty comes with the conversion) and adds more than £4000 to the Focus’s price are virtues that are unlikely to win you over.
If, however, you like a spot of unique fast Ford action, the GGR modifications feel thoroughly developed and well sorted, and make more special what is already one of the fastest point-to-point cars on the road.
Lord only knows what it’ll do to the Focus’s already prodigious appetite for tyres, though.
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