As we mentioned in the teaser, we’re approaching the STanced version of Project ST with two main objectives. First, and as the name clearly implies, we’re out to build a Focus that will look right at home at any of the major stance shows around the world. In years past that would have meant finding a set of height adjustable coilovers that enabled the car to sit as low as possible, yet still be, um, drivable. But it’s late 2012 and air suspension is the name of the game.
Air suspension – when the objective is optimal stance – is really impossible to beat. It offers the slammed look people want, while removing most of the drivability compromises presented when using ultra-low coilovers. Sure, technically-speaking coilovers are also height adjustable, but the process is far from being a quick one, and even today using coilovers to achieve a “show drop” is still for some reason frowned upon. Pressing a button to drop your car on the ground and then pressing it again to achieve a preset drivable ride height is simply the way to have your cake and eat it too.
The second objective, and without a doubt more challenging than the first, is to do all of the above without compromising Ford’s hard work in making the Focus ST such a great handling automobile. Non-static ride height, “spring” rates, compatible dampers, alignment spec – these are all important issues that will need to be carefully considered and developed.
Performance-capable air suspension systems are not at all a new idea, and in fact there are several examples currently in production, but we know for a fact that even among our Project ST followers there is quite a bit of doubt regarding what’s actually possible. And this is where our chosen project partner comes in; with their expertise in the field we hope to build a Focus that will “hard park” with the best of them while still keeping all the best parts of its ST DNA.
In addition to its air suspension set up, Focus STanced is due for a complete makeover. We have some cool exterior changes planned, the interior is due for a full re-trim, there’s a set of very special fifteen52 wheels still to mount, and we’ve got some subtle but effective performance mods up our sleeves. We’ll be taking this car to various stanced-themed events around the country and we promise we’ll look look right at home at any of them.
We’d usually conclude an intro like this with an offer for readers to follow along, but we have a strong feeling most of you don’t need a formal invitation…
This is going to be interesting.
– Project ST