Block STyle – Spoiler Alert
Not gonna lie to you; we wanted Ken Block to choose a bronze finish for his Focus Block STyle’s 19″ forged Tarmac F40 wheels. We were well on our way to making it happen, too, until KB decided he’d let his Facebook followers decide by way of a poll. He would list some color choices and sit back and let the masses sort it out. We figured unless one of the color choices was “go back to Subaru” this idea had disaster written all over it, but at the end of the day things went smoothly and as far as choosing a winner was concerned, it wasn’t even close. Between the choices for black, gunmetal, and bronze, Ken’s followers chose black. By a landslide.
We can’t honestly say it was a surprise to learn that we’d be powder-coating KB’s Tarmac F40s black. After all, it wasn’t too long ago that he gave us the keys to his Mk2 Focus RS to use for a week, and that car most definitely had black wheels. To be honest we really like the look of black wheels against a bright paint color. There’s a subtle and somewhat mean look to that kind of combo, and the fact that black wheels don’t need to be cleaned as often as lighter colors really appeals to the slacker in us.
Ken’s an extrovert behind the wheel of pretty much any race car, but for his personal daily driver he likes a more subdued approach. Considering how, for his Focus ST, he chose a paint color named Tangerine Scream perhaps the preceding sentence should be taken with a grain of salt, but before a final color choice was decided we’d gone ahead and mounted his Tarmacs in a completely raw state. Billet 6061 aluminum after fine machining is pretty shiny, and while we thought the raw wheels looked pretty cool mounted to Block STyle, KB wasn’t a fan. “They almost look polished from a distance,” he said, “and I don’t do polished.”
The wheels on his RS were gloss black and Ken didn’t want to go that route again, so we showed him some matte black color samples and he approved. The matte finish is even more subtle than a gloss black finish and in our opinion it’s got a great motorsport vibe to it. Combined with the BlockSTyle’s Tangerine Scream paint work we all like the effect quite a bit.
When it came to major exterior changes to the Block STyle, we knew from the beginning there wouldn’t be any. Ken’s daily driver needs to be a car he can just get in and drive and not worry about a lot of custom stuff. Sure, we’ve made some functional mechanical upgrades, but on the outside KB isn’t looking for any big changes. So we’ve improved the lighting (more on that soon) and added a pair of our front cup spoilers. Because we like them. Because we think every Focus ST should have them. In the Focus STanced article from last week we touched on our thinking behind the goals for the front cup spoiler design first seen on the TrackSTer. As mentioned, we wanted to create a pair of easily installed pieces that would emphasize certain design elements we really like, while creating a better profile image for the car by leveling out the bottom of the front bumper with the side skirts.
Originally these spoilers were to be one-offs and used only on the TrackSTer. We wanted that car to stand out against the other two STs as the most aggressive. But when we added the ram-air intake, brake ducts, and lower splitter to the front end of the TrackSTer we realized those mods were more than enough to set it apart from the other two cars and we’d go ahead and add the cup spoilers to them as well. For low-volume body pieces it’s most efficient and cost-effective to work with a semi-flexible composite material (vs. urethane or ABS plastic, for example). To make additional pieces we took the TrackSTer’s spoilers and used them to create left and right molds. Our friends at Ranz Motorsports used the molds to make the two additional sets we needed, and in this article you see Ranz Motorsports taking care of the install for us. For more photos from the install check out the picture gallery.
While the quality of the pieces directly out of the molds is excellent, the nature of the material (and how the molds work) means there is still some finishing work needed in order to achieve the best fit. While we strongly recommend the parts be adjusted before paint, here you see the boys from Ranz doing it backwards. We needed these parts last-minute for a recent event and had no time to pre-fit and adjust them before painting. With some love from Ranz the cup spoilers were installed and the fit is excellent and the mounting solution should prove extremely durable.
We’ve still got some minor detail work before we deliver the car to KB, but that hand-off is coming soon. The jury is still out on whether or not he’ll keep the Focus Block STyle in Park City, Utah (his hometown) over the winter, but we kind of hope he does. We’re happy to throw a set of Pirelli Winters on those F40 ‘macs and watch him do a little local snow-hooning with the ST.
With the new wheels, spoilers, and HID lighting recently added, we figured it was time to get our local photographer bud, Brian McGee, in to shoot some new glamour pics. Enjoy the photos…