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Monday, August 8, 2016

Here’s how to turn the Ford Focus RS into an even hotter hatch

With 350 horsepower on tap, the Ford Focus RS is one of the hottest hatchbacks ever produced. That’s not enough for Mountune, so the British tuner is developing at least three performance packages that promise to make the new RS faster, more powerful, and more dynamic to drive.

Fairly mild, the first kit — appropriately called Phase One — includes relatively basic components like new hoses, a bigger intake, and suspension upgrades. The Phase Two kit kicks performance up a notch by adding a high-flow air filter, more durable hoses made out of silicone, an upgraded air recirculation valve, and a remapped ECU.

The modifications bump the turbocharged 2.3-liter, four-cylinder engine’s output up to 370 horses and 376 pound-feet of torque. The extra grunt allows the RS to hit 62 mph from a stop in 4.5 seconds — about half a second faster than a stock model — though top speed remains pegged at 165 mph. To put that into context, the Mountune-tweaked Focus RS is about as fast to 62 mph as a base Porsche 911.

The Phase Three kit is currently being developed, so we’ll have to wait a few more months to find out what it consists of. In the meantime, Mountune offers a large catalog of aftermarket performance parts that includes a specific spoiler, alloy wheels, a bigger intercooler, and a quick-shift device. These add-ons are designed to complement the performance kits.

Read more: Hennessey celebrates 25 years with a Ford Mustang that hunts Hellcats

All three tuning kits were developed jointly by Mountune and Ford Performance, the Blue Oval’s racing arm. That means they can be installed by any authorized dealership and, unlike many other kits, they don’t void the RS’s factory warranty. There’s better news: Mountune has confirmed on its official website that the performance packages will be available in the United States, though pricing and a release date haven’t been announced yet.

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