Block STyle: Praise The Lowered
Along with everyone else who’s driven the Focus ST, we love the way the car handles. In our opinion its fun-loving handling traits are what separates it from all the other hot hatches on the market today, and in fact, for the vast majority of buyers out there we’d say the car is damn near perfect just the way it’s delivered from the factory. Still, this particular Focus is destined to be Ken Block’s daily driver, and, well, we don’t have to tell anyone he’s not among the vast majority of any group.
While KB has one set of standards for his race cars, he clearly understands that building a daily driver requires an entirely different rulebook. Certainly, we want to improve upon the stock car’s performance, but with Ken Block’s daily driver we do not have the luxury of throwing out the window concerns for ride comfort and adequate ground clearance, so with that in mind we’ve chosen a prototype Eibach coil-over kit that is soon to be added to Ford Racing’s performance catalog.
Being in the aftermarket game since the mid-’90s, we’re no stranger to seeing good stuff from the friendly Germans at Eibach, so this upgrade was one we were really looking forward to. Designed to Ford Racing’s specs and manufactured and assembled in California by Eibach, upon visual inspection we were impressed by the quality components. For the average ST owner this FR/Eibach R1 kit might be a bit hardcore, but for anyone thinking about attending a track day or two, or anyone who wants ultimate control of their ST’s suspension set-up, this kit is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Besides being adjustable for ride height and corner weight, this fully stainless steel-bodied kit also allows for single adjustable rebound and compression rates. Pillow-ball upper mounts provide that extra bit of control, and even the Eibach ERS springs can be chosen based on desired spring rates. We’ve gone with a combination that will allow the Focus Block STyle to maintain a comfortable ride, while allowing Ken the ability to set up the car more aggressively any time he wants.
Installation was straight-forward and handled by our German-born and raised head-tech, Marcel. Ride height was initially set to approximately 1.5″ lower than stock, but those specs (along with alignment) will be tweaked as soon as we get the car on a set of scales. Both Ken and we are aware that today’s scene often calls for max-lowering, but since KB is more about max performance, our goal with his car is to cater to a better look but without compromising function. Besides, when it comes to attaining maximum scene points, that’s what the Focus Stanced build is all about.
We’ll be adding updates regarding corner weight and alignment results, and we’ll also be offering firsthand impressions from the Focus Block STyle’s eager namesake.
Up next: Wheels and tires.
More pics from the install can be found HERE.