Reader’s Ride: Bill MacKenzie’s 2012 Focus STedan
You gotta love what the ST models have done for the Ford brand overall. By creating such fantastic all-around cars, Ford has elevated ST to much more than just the next trim level above SE. ST has become an aspiration, and for some folks who purchased a non-ST Ford the pull is just too strong to resist. Take Canadian Bill MacKenzie and his 2012 Focus SE sedan as an example.
Bill bought his Yellow Blaze Metallic sedan before there was even a Focus ST to consider. “I bought it as a daily-driver/winter car in order to save my other car from the harsh Calgary conditions, but it wasn’t too long before I bought a pair of yellow fog light covers, and well, that’s how these things begin,” Bill explains with a laugh. Yes, Bill – we know how those things go.
The Focus ST hatch launched soon after Bill bought his SE, and the rave reviews and enthusiast’s response didn’t escape his attention. Knowing that the car he owned shared much of the ST’s basic DNA, Bill started plotting a plan for some serious Ford family cross-pollinization. Fortunately for him, the Focus sedan and hatch are fairly identical from the front doors forward, at least as far as the chassis is concerned, and the wheelbase for each body style is identical. What this meant was that swapping an ST front bumper and side skirts would be basically bolt-on processes. To the rescue came RDC and their ST sedan rear valence, then bit of work to a stock ST center-mount rear exhaust and boom! – Bill’s got himself an ST sedan (STedan?).
Of course the ST’s main appeal for most is what’s under the skin, and Bill isn’t sleeping on plans to add some mechanical upgrades to the mix. At some point a 2.0 EcoBoost and 6-speed trans will make their way under the hood of his sedan, but for now Bill is making due with some simple bolt-on upgrades, such as an FSwerks intake with K&N filter, Ford Racing ST air snorkel, and a Mazdaspeed3 rear engine mount.
Suspension upgrades consist of a set of KW’s ST coilovers, Steeda rear sway bar, and an upgraded OEM upper strut bar. A stock Focus sedan is a fine-handling car, and head and shoulders above most of its peers. With just some simple upgrades the car is now a serious performer.
Wheels and tires have a bit of a story behind them and it’s one that’s both near and dear to our hearts. The 18×9.5 fifteen52 Tarmac wheels were purchased used from Project ST contributor Dallas Hinman. Dallas is a bit of a legend in ST-land, not only because his car is always on the cutting edge of all things ST, but he was the first to take the plunge and try to fit 9.5″-wide wheels under stock Focus arches. Most people (including us) would have bet against them fitting with no fender mods, but Dallas proved us all wrong, and Bill couldn’t be happier as a result. Shod with Dunlop Winter Sport tires in OE sizing, Bill’s Focus STedan has what we’d call a close-to-perfect stance.
Bill has added a bit more fifteen52 flavor in the form of a set of front Cup Spoilers with a custom front splitter below. OEM ST darkened headlights were a no-brainer mod, and color-matched roof rail and wiper squirter nozzles help smooth the overall appearance. The rear end of the STedan wasn’t neglected and in addition to the previously noted RDC valence, a 3D Carbon rear trunk spoiler nicely matches the added subtle aggression of the front Cup Spoilers.
Interior mods were also kept pretty basic, with a Blox 490 shift knob taking center stage, a yellow-face gauge set, Redline upgraded Alcantara shift-boot and leather armrest cover, and a Boosted Designs dead pedal rounding things out.
Though the car isn’t finished, Bill is rightfully pleased with where things stand so far. “I love the car’s stance and how the exterior has come together,” he tells us, “and though I’m biased of course, I think the ST styling looks even better on a sedan body and the car looks really aggressive overall.” Would he have done anything differently? Not really, he says, “I think I planned the mod progress pretty well and avoided having to do a bunch of things twice.”
The ST community is growing every day and enthusiasts have embraced the car wholeheartedly. Bill’s car gets its proper share of love and for him that’s one of the best aspects in building and owning the car. “Driving it always puts a smile on my face and seeing the odd person on the sidewalk or in another car flashing a thumbs-up is great,” he says. “It’s a constant reminder of all the fun times I’ve had with my friends as we worked on it and hung out at shows, and I’m very proud of how far it has come.”
You should be proud, Bill – your Focus STedan is awesome.