5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2013 Ford Focus ST Steeda's CAI install - Project Silver Lining
Freeing up airflow with Steeda’s cold-air intake for the Focus ST
Horse Sense: At the time of our visit, Steeda was in development for its own upgraded intercooler for the Focus ST. Reduced inlet temps are great for power and durability, so we look forward to seeing what develops.
If you’ ve been following along, I picked up my 2013 Focus ST because I wanted a fun, practical daily. Of course, even a daily driver can be even more fun than stock. As such, we picked out a short list of mods to amplify the fun factor without degrading its driveability.
When we last left Project Silver Lining, it had picked up some power with one of Steeda’s high-flow, catted downpipes. To continue that theme on the inlet side of the turbo, we chose Steeda’s cold-air intake (PN 555-3169; $349.95).
The factory airbox looks like a well-engineered piece that draws in air from the grille, but history has shown that open-element filters and smoother induction tubing is worth some power. In the case of the Steeda kit, it features an aluminum heat shield, a billet-aluminum velocity stack, and an open-element conical filter.
Moreover, the Steeda unit is designed to improve performance without requiring an updated calibration, so I decided to install and test it as such to see its individual merits. A performance calibration is part of the plan down the line, so we can all see what each mods is worth. While the induction system was disassembled, it was also an opportune time to install Steeda’s new oil separator (PN 555-3714; $59.95). This unit reduces oil contamination in the inlet air, which is beneficial as oil can cling in places it shouldn’t and even increase the chances of detonation.
So keep reading and see how Steeda’s Steve Chichisola revamped PSL’s induction.
On The Dyno
In case you missed our last installment on Project Silver Lining, we are including the results from that modification, the Steeda downpipe, along with the latest piece, the Steeda CAI. As you can see, both helped our cause of making this driver more fun to drive daily.
In the case of the CAI, it really delivered, especially considering that PSL is still running the factory PCM calibration. While the peak-to-peak gains seem modest at 4.23 horsepower and 8 lb-ft, if you look deeper into the numbers you’ll see that it really thundered at the bottom of the curve with gains of 12.34 horsepower and 24.92 lb-ft of torque. It tapered off with modest gains in the midrange, and picked up strong again with double-digit gains of 11.97 hp and 10.84 lb-ft at 5,800.
So with two bolt-on parts, PSL is pushing nearly 250 horsepower at the wheels. Moreover, it feels and sounds faster thanks to these additions, and it’s just as driveable as when it was stock!
So far, so good. Next up are suspension mods, and then we’ll move to a full after-cat exhaust and tuning to top off this combo.