Tuning company makes the fastest Ford go even faster

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.

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Lord only knows what it’ll do to the Focus’s already prodigious appetite for tyres, though.

Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

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jerry99 30 December 2009

Re: Ford Focus RS 370FR GGR

Any powerful front wheel drive car is going to spin its wheels easily when moving off. What the revo knuckle does is to reduce the torques steer effect inherent in MacPherson strut suspension to manageable levels.

These engine modifications are aimed at improving engine breathing and therefore in gear pick up and overtaking ability. This is readily deployed when already moving not when pulling away from a standstill.

I would suggest that this Focus is fast enough to pull out from a side road cautiously change up a gear and than accelerate hard without getting in anybody's way. Driven in this way it appeals to those who value interactivity in their car and do not want the extra weight, friction and complexity that come with all wheel drive.

Hurdy1 28 December 2009

Re: Ford Focus RS 370FR GGR

Yes the RS is good standard, but aren't we are talking about paying for modifications to an RS here as well?

I'm merely stating that for the same money you could have bought a new Edition 30 (when it was new like mine), and then modify it to a higher level than the offering from GGR.

So I'll let the readers decide if it was a valid comment!

Nigelo 24 December 2009

Re: Ford Focus RS 370FR GGR

Hurdy1 wrote:
My MKV Edition 30 with DSG makes more than 370bhp and more torque. Also has a Quaife diff fitted and is lighter and cheaper than the RS

Either you bought the most cheapest, poverty spec Ed30 in the world (ie without anything but a driver seat) or you are comparing a 2nd hand price with modifications to a retail price on a new car.

One is pointless, one is rubbish. You decide.