Those of you with good memories (and even better eyes) will remember that back when we began this Project ST campaign we posted up an image with renderings for the three Focus STs we planned to build. So far, we think you’ll agree we’ve remained rather faithful, and remaining work consists mainly of detail work – things the renderings may not even have depicted.
With the Focus STanced, a quick look at the rendering suggests there is still one pretty obvious detail missing in the car’s current condition. Well, we’ve taken care of that now and we’re here to tell you all about it…
Based on feedback we get from our Facebook and Instagram posts, it seems that many of you still don’t understand what the purpose is behind the STanced build. We get that some don’t like it – that’s to be expected – but as we said, we really feel like some people just don’t understand why this build exists in the first place. There’s a scene out there – a big one – and it revolves around super-low cars (mostly on air suspension) sitting (methodically) on thoughtfully-fitted wheels and tires. In other words, lots and lots of people dig the current stanced trend and as we sit here today it only appears to be growing more. In our opinion the new Focus ST is as much a valid player in this scene as any VW or other make, so with Project ST and, more specifically, the Focus STanced we’ve set out to prove just that.
While some owners simply add air suspension and big-money wheels (rimz, yo) to their cars and call it a day (some even win trophies and get featured in magazines with so few mods), the really serious players in Stance-land take things a bit further. In our opinion, to be considered a well-rounded build, in addition to wheels, suspension, and exterior mods, a car also needs some quality interior work. Swapping seats and steering wheels, changing to an all-dark headliner; these are the usual interior mod strategies. So what to do with a Focus ST? After all, we’re talking about a car that already has awesome Recaro seating, a cool black headliner, and a chunky leather-wrapped steering wheel with about 52 buttons we’d definitely miss if we were to go aftermarket… If we’re honest with ourselves we’ll admit we’re not big fans of the fabric patterns on the ST2 package Recaros. The bright blue inserts work well enough with the STanced car’s white exterior, but in our opinion the color combos (blue, black, and a red ST emblem) combined with the aggressive tire tread seat patterns, make for an overly “boy-racer” vibe inside the car, and with this build we’re definitely thinking clean, Euro-style, and all leather.
Early on we hit up the good folks at Katzkin Leather, Inc., with the hopes they might have a replacement leather kit available for the ST. They told us that while they were working on a kit for the standard Focus, they weren’t planning to offer a kit for the ST. We figure since the ST3 package offers nice black, all-leather Recaro seating with upscale contrasting stitching it was possible Katzkin didn’t anticipate sufficient demand. With that being said, when we described the Project ST campaign and more specifically what we had planned for the Focus STanced build, they didn’t hesitate in offering up their services to put together for us something custom and very cool.
In today’s Euro stanced scene the trend is for clean design with a bright, eye-catching exterior or interior color palette. We knew we weren’t changing the Focus STanced’s Oxford White exterior paint, so from the beginning (again, check the aforementioned rendering) we knew we wanted an interior color scheme that would be extremely noticeable and most definitely polarize popular opinion (most people in the stance scene fully understand that there are an endless supply of haters out there). In choosing the Maize yellow color from the Katzkin leather color palette we’re very confident we’ve achieved those goals.
We brought the car to Katzkin’s Montebello, CA location, and their technicians got straight to work, methodically removing the STanced car’s front and rear seats as well as all four door cards. For a detailed view of the entire process hit up the related gallery (linked at bottom of article), but we can tell you these folks know exactly what they’re doing. From the removal process, to disrobing the seats of the factory covers, to the delicate process of disassembling the door cards, it was a treat to watch Katzkin’s technicians do their thing.
We were in and out in a single day, and that in and of itself is impressive enough. But the finished product, well, we just couldn’t be happier with how it all turned out. The new leather covers retain the factory patterns and fit exactly as well as they would were they part of the car’s original assembly process. Yes, they fit that perfectly. Though the new interior color is rather in-your-face and possibly even a little retina-unfriendly, we think we’ve kept enough of the car’s original black details to still provide a pretty upscale effect, and just the smell of the new leather surfaces is enough to make us happy. No doubt we’ve also provided our critics with even more reason to disapprove, but as mentioned before, we’re quite okay with that.
We still have some non-Katzkin-related detail work before we can consider the STanced interior complete, but obviously the switch to this brightly-colored all-leather Katzkin interior kit will always be the biggest and best interior mod. We mentioned earlier that originally Katzkin had no plans for a Focus ST kit, but now that they’ve gone ahead and made patterns for our car, maybe it’s possible you could buy one too (they might even make a kit in a less obnoxious color if we ask)? Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see what we can do…
Founded in 1983, Katzkin Leather, Inc., of Montebello, Calif., is the leading manufacturer of custom leather interiors. With a nationwide installer base featuring over 2,500 restyling locations, Katzkin has created more than one million exciting vehicle interiors in the past 30 years. Katzkin maintains more than 3,000 interior patterns, 135 colors and materials, and more custom options than any other interior manufacturer. For more information visit Katzkin online at www.katzkin.com or call 800.842.0590.