5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2013 Ford Focus ST Exhaust System Install and Test - Project Silver Lining
Installing and testing Ford Racing’s Focus ST exhaust system
Horse Sense: In addition to the exhaust and cold-air intake, Ford Racing Performance Parts (www.fordracingparts.com) offers a number of upgrades for the Focus ST, including a short-throw shifter, lowering springs, several wheels, and even the ST2-spec Recaro front seats with Ford Racing logos.
Making a car your own means making a few crucial decisions. Choosing new wheels can make or break your car’s look, and choosing an exhaust can enhance or detract from your driving experience. Both are important, but the wheels aren’t always in view, however, you will hear the exhaust every time you’re behind the wheel.
When it came to Project Silver Lining, I was looking for an exhaust that would give the car some personality, but not drone on unbearably. Ideally it would announce itself when the pedal is to the floor, and retreat to the background the rest of the time. This is, after all, my daily driver.
To meet those requirements, I chose Ford Racing Performance Parts’ ’13-’14 Focus ST Cat-Back Exhaust System (PN M-5200-FST; $995). From a sound perspective, it suited my preferences to a T. It offers a slightly more prominent note at idle and around town, but really sings at wide-open throttle.
Not sure of what to expect in the way of a performance improvement, we headed out to the SIM Tech Center in Tampa to photograph Tech Center Manager Darrell Kunda performing the install. Then we put PSL on our in-house Dynojet to see what the exhaust had to offer. The results were a pleasant surprise, so keep reading to see what we gained.
If you haven’t been following along, Project Silver Lining, my daily driven ’13 Focus ST, already wears a Steeda cold-air intake and a Steeda/Magnaflow downpipe with a high-flow catalytic converter. As such, the stage was set for it making the most out of a the larger-diameter, freer-flowing FRPP exhaust.
The results from the exhaust swap came as a welcome surprise. While the peak-to-peak gains were in the high single digits, it was at the top of the tach where the freer-flowing exhaust really let the Ecoboost 2.0-liter work, with gains of 33.33 hp and 28.69 lb-ft gains at the front wheels.
These gains were impressive, but even more so when you consider that so far PSL is still running on its factory calibration, so these gains are unaided by any tuning trickery.
Scoop It Up
After adding the exhaust, I also added the scoop from FRPP’s new ’13-’14 Focus ST Cold Air Intake Kit (PN M-9603-FST; $299). I didn’t install the rest of the kit, which is essentially just a high-flow filter, as the car is already wearing Steeda’s CAI. However, the scoop in the FRPP kit appears a much better solution to feeding fresh air to the air box than the simple flange on the core support opening that comes from the factory.