Viper Ruining Ford Focus, Available NOW.

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, May 21, 2003.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    (22:41:28 May 20, 2003)
    From Nose to Tail - ATI's Focus strikes like a Cobra: Fast and Hard

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    By ANDREW LUU

    Despite a shared love affair with “more power,” there has always been some animosity between muscle car enthusiasts and the sport compact tuner crowd. Even though many pocket rockets thrashed V8s on the road and at the track, their tuners would inevitably hear the argument: “There’s no replacement for displacement.” So here’s a replacement with displacement.

    Accurate Technologies Inc., based in Wixom, Michigan, took delivery of a Focus SVT and started asking the “more power” question. A stock SVT is an entertaining package with a high-compression 2.0-liter inline four with 170 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque.

    That’s great for the class but sedate even when compared to the base V8-powered, 260-hp and 302-lb-ft Mustang GT. ATI sales manager Richard George said exceeding those figures would stretch the four-banger’s limit. The company built one Focus with a supercharger, but ATI also wanted something that would be more special.

    Accurate Technologies does a lot of Ford work, so the natural thing to do was swap in Ford’s most powerful engine: the SVT Mustang Cobra’s 390-hp, 390-lb-ft, supercharged 4.6-liter V8.

    Problem solved—and then some. The result is called the Terminator Focus.

    With custom stainless-steel headers, a larger single-blade throttle body and a smaller pulley on the supercharger (to increase boost pressure), George says this V8 now boasts upward of 500 hp and 500 lb-ft. Coupled with a curb weight of about 3200 pounds, it doesn’t take an engineer to put two and two together and figure out what that does for Focus performance.

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    Yes, that’s the underside of a Focus. There is so much space for the driveshaft, ATI believes this is no coincidence.

    This strategic move also silences another frequent criticism of pocket rockets: that true sports cars are rear-wheel drive. Yes, this baby lights it up out back. And if you’re consoling your big block by thinking this is just another “project” car, think again because ATI offers this Frankenstein transformation to the public, along with a two-year/24,000-mile warranty.

    The 4.6 fits snugly in the engine bay without any compromise to the firewall (and the stock hood still slams shut), so the only significant modifications necessary were to spread the suspension strut tower mounts outward a little and then widen the front of the exhaust tunnel to 18 inches to house the tail of the Cobra’s T-56 transmission. The driveshaft installs cleanly through the existing exhaust tunnel, which is so spacious that George believes Ford already had plans brewing to power the rear axle in an all-wheel-drive model.

    ATI also beefed up the suspension with a racing-style tubular K-member, adjustable struts and springs, and a Cobra antiroll bar and steering rack up front. In back, the Terminator gets adjustable shocks and the Cobra independent rear suspension, all in an effort to maintain the Cobra’s handling geometry. Taking no chances with the increased power, the subframe has been reinforced and deceleration chores are delegated to Cobra brakes and calipers with Performance Friction brake pads, enhanced with driver-adjustable brake bias.

    Turn the key and the familiar Mustang burble brings the Terminator to life. As soon as we graced open roads, we drove cautiously, short-shifting the six-speed into second and third. Once in third we felt confident that it would be safe to just plant the throttle on the floor—wrong.

    Instantly the Terminator leapt forward with the front hopping from the thrust, the rear tires spinning for 25 feet and the rear wagging all the way as we wrestled with the steering wheel.

    That shouldn’t have come as a surprise, thinking about the Viper-like power. Perhaps our perception lapsed, because aside from the 18-inch rims, the appearance is all stock SVT Focus, complete with a/c, stereo and factory gauges. The only hint of the massive power is the super-wide rear 295/30R-18 Michelin Pilots. It’s a classic wolf in sheep’s clothing, with little to give away the power that lurks beneath.

    George estimates that, as equipped, this baby will tackle the quarter-mile in high 11s. There’s so much power that, when we lined it up for a photo, he cautioned, “If you want to do a burnout, use second gear. It’s much easier.”

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    Surprisingly, the SVT Cobra’s V8 fits snugly in the Focus engine bay, transforming it into a rear-wheel Viper fighter.

    So we did and it was like child’s play. The power caused the rear to pivot violently and we had to aggressively countersteer to keep it from snapping around. When we got sick of inhaling burnt rubber, we drove around trying to envision this beast as a daily driver.

    Apart from a clutch stiffer even than that on the SVT Cobra and the firm ride that you’d expect from a tuner car, you could make runs to the grocery store. Even though the battery is relocated to the trunk, ATI preserved all the Focus utility by fabricating another trunk floor—although it does have a tad less space. The rear seats still fold down and the performance suspension all bolts into the existing tire wells. Just keep shifts around 3000 rpm and things are fairly civilized.

    Most of the Focus’ neutral handling is intact, but take a tight right-hander with a decent dose of throttle—like we did—and the rear will step out in no time. Despite the extra front weight, steering is extremely quick and it is easily controlled. The ample torque also allows for further throttle manipulation. Just don’t open it too much
    or the laws of physics will take precedence.

    Owning this rear-wheel-drive sleeper of a Focus would certainly be a blast—from drifting through corners to sending stoplight shivers down the spines of both muscle and sport compact car drivers. But, as in other areas of life, there is a big price to be paid for extreme individuality. The fully souped Terminator Focus tested here costs
    $69,500, plus the donor Focus
    .

    A huge burn in the pocket, but you could do worse searching to squeeze the same output from the stock engine. If you already own a SVT Focus (or find a used one), you could probably sell off the SVT engine, transmission, suspension, rims and tires to some ZX3 driver and recoup some of that cost.

    However, consider this in the words of a popular TV commercial: Custom 18-inch HRE rims, $4,500; Eibach springs and performance suspension, $5,200; SVT Mustang powertrain swap, $35,000; pulling into a weekend import tuner car meet, dropping the clutch, mashing the throttle and seeing all those puzzled faces—priceless.

    CONTACT:
    (248) 848-9200
    www.atimotorsports.com

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  2. Guido The Penguin

    Guido The Penguin Hi, I'm here for the gang bang.

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  3. 00soul

    00soul halfsharkalligatorhalfman

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    holy jesus thats pretty damn cool.
     
  4. pimp97max

    pimp97max Guest

    yeah...spend all the money on a focus...what a waste
     
  5. chrislehr

    chrislehr * from home

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    WOW - I want a vid! I dont even like focus's but thats cool.
     
  6. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The ownage possibilities are endless. :eek3:
     
  7. 93ex

    93ex New Member

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    tghat is fuckin hot
     
  8. murph38_99

    murph38_99 OG Silver Member

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    my mustang weighed in at 2750..
     
  9. TerryMathews

    TerryMathews Guest

    $69.5k + the cheapest focus you can find is like $80k, right? Good gawd man, I don't care if it's got eleventy billion HP, you still just spent enough for two Corvettes or SVT Cobra Rs, or one sweet Viper, on a Focus.
     
  10. PurEvl

    PurEvl going out gassed and not half assed...

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    high 11's PLease!!!!! If it did 8's maybe.
     
  11. Praezision

    Praezision Guest

    drive around the country making bets and you would have it back in no time
     
  12. chrislehr

    chrislehr * from home

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    Glen, Ill throw my EJ20 further than your 5.0!
     
  13. Sonic

    Sonic Live every day to the fullest, for yesterday is go

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  14. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    HPA Motorsports Twin Turbo VR6 Beetle > that.

    www.hpamotorsports.com

    HPA's been doing that with MKIV VW's for years. And they can be serviced at any VW/Audi dealership because they use all factory parts and configurations. You keep your interior too. And you can get a Twin Turbo Beetle (or Jetta, or Golf/GTI, or TT) that'll outrun that thing all day for 60K. Including the price of the car. I think they have a Golf that runs 11.1. . . .
     
  15. SycoPhant

    SycoPhant Get out my way

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    I have 3.
     
  16. SycoPhant

    SycoPhant Get out my way

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    I think they should have called it the Focus Magnifier
     
  17. ihateloops

    ihateloops fuck it up pigface

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    $69.5k for 11 second 1/4......not quite worth it at all....
     
  18. twistid

    twistid Banged By Super Models Moderator

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    great :cool: factor, but the cost puts out the fire in my pants.
     
  19. Melvin_91GT

    Melvin_91GT New Member

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    Leave some of the excess crap off of it, such as the HRE wheels, and you'll get a better price out of it.

    Still, that's extremely bad ass.
     
  20. VBGOD

    VBGOD Guest

  21. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    Okay, so then it's 77K instead of 80. :greddy:
     
  22. $69,500, plus the donor Focus. sorry ill take a fucking used 355 over that
     
  23. Platinum_Thunder

    Platinum_Thunder Reliability for life and liberty

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  24. FryingPan

    FryingPan Certified Thread Killer

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    You can almost get a brand new one for that.
     
  25. Melvin_91GT

    Melvin_91GT New Member

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    $5K for wheels, and who knows what other garbage you could leave off. If it'd outrun a Viper, it'd be worth it to spend that much money (if you were going to buy a Viper anyway).
     

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