STanced: Project Partner Intro
Focus STanced is already in lots of little pieces, but before we give you the play-by-play we want to introduce our main project partner for this build: AccuAir Suspensions. Known for their segment-smashing air suspension management systems, AccuAir is also an engineering powerhouse. What that means to Project ST is that they’re suited to be our one-stop shop for pretty much everything suspension related for the STanced build. Reno Heon and his staff will be our go-to guys here and from the beginning we’ve set them up with a pretty lofty assignment: build us an ultra-sophisticated air suspension system that lets us drop project STanced on its belly one minute and then the next minute raise it up to a ride-height and geometry that will make the car a blast to drive in the twisties. So far, the boys at AccuAir have yet to flinch.
Before they got into tearing down our Focus STanced, we asked the staff at AccuAir to spend some time with the car in stock form and then let us know their thoughts. They did exactly that and their words follow below.
The automotive enthusiast market is alive and well. Automotive companies like Ford are finally listening to the enthusiast market with the introduction of the Focus ST. Yes, it’s front wheel drive, and yes it’s based off the Focus platform, but that’s where the compromises seem to stop for the ST.
We have had some extensive time behind the seat of the 2013 ST, and we couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised. Being a company made up of enthusiasts who firmly believe in displacement over forced induction, we held little hope for the 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder. To our chagrin, this Focus ST packs a hell of a strong punch.
Besides the more aggressive exterior styling cues that Ford has given the ST, in our opinion the most noticeable improvements are without question within the interior. The cabin is appointed with firmly shaped Recaro seats, a thick euro-style steering wheel, and overall ergonomics that make us feel like someone actually considered our comfort when designing the interior. At AccuAir we’re total tech geeks and we like how the technology side of the cabin with Microsoft’s Sync system is as intuitive as it is useful.
So this all brings us to the handling of the car which we will admit is pretty damn impressive from the factory, but that isn’t going to stop us from improving on it. Air suspension has come a long way from just making cars travel up and down with questionable reliability. Through our proprietary leveling air management system, aptly named E-level, AccuAir has been able to not only bring reliability to the air suspension market, but incredible function and truly engineered handling characteristics.
AccuAir has created the ultimate marriage between function and form when it comes to the suspension and general handling of the enthusiast geared vehicle, and it’s the prime reason we got involved with the Ford ST project presented by fifteen52.
When we were asked by fifteen52 to be involved, it was hard to say no. They have demonstrated their ability to be on the cusp of style since introducing their wheel, the Tarmac, on Ken Block’s Gymkhana Ford Fiesta. The combination of a motorsport line of wheels with the most advanced air suspension solution on the market converging on one of the hottest new enthusiast-based automobiles seemed to us a recipe for utter face-melting hoonage.
AccuAir believes that when you surround yourself with success and innovation it cultivates more of the same. It is with that in mind that we are proud to be associated with fifteen52, Ford, and Ken Block on Project ST. We are quite confident in the Focus ST’s future success in the enthusiast market and are excited about Ford’s current direction in building some of the best cars on the market.
Please visit Accuair at www.accuair.com