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Focus RS8
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  Ford Focus RS8

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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:2003
Introduced at:2003 SEMA
Source:Company press release
Last updated:Before December 1st, 2004
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Click here to download printer friendly versionFord Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) used a sport-compact car to display the company's latest addition to an already powerful crate engine line-up - a modified Focus RS converted to rear-wheel drive and V-8 power - with the introduction of the Focus RS8 at the 2003 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show.

Using the European Focus RS as a starting point, FRPP worked its engineering magic to mate its new, all-alloy, 5.0-liter 4-valve 'Cammer' crate engine - cranking out a pavement-pounding 420 Naturally Aspirated horsepower - into the engine bay of the Focus. Although a handful of aftermarket firms have successfully mated Ford V-8 power with a Focus, the RS8 was built to show the versatility of a 'Cammer' crate engine and 'plug-and-play' engine electronics installation in a pure stock-looking Ford Focus.

The foundation of the 'Cammer' crate engine is rooted in the Ford SVT Mustang Cobra 4.6-liter four-valve engine family. However, the crate motor's flanged cylinder liners help provide 94mm (instead of 90.2mm) cylinder bores, creating a full 5.0-liters of piston displacement. And while the motor employs the 2003-04 SVT Mustang Cobra 'Terminator' forged crankshaft with six-bolt mains and Manley 'H-Beam' connecting rods for superior strength, the block itself is specially reinforced in the crankcase web areas for high torque loads.

One look at the RS8 would suggest that its transformation from a production front-driver into a rear-drive pocket rocket was a study in simplicity. But in reality, Ford Racing engineers had their work cut out for them from the start. Beyond fitting the drivetrain, there was the challenge of designing new suspensions front and rear. FRPP engineers put together a prototype setup inspired by Kugel Komponents up front, and a rear unit locating a Ford Racing 8.8-inch differential while offering adjustable ride height using Multimatic dampers. The newly-designed rear-wheel drive conversion kit will be sold through the FRPP catalog.

Outside, the RS8 turns heads, thanks to the handsome European Focus RS styling cues and shimmering Blue Pearl Coat exterior paint treatment. Inside, the Focus RS provided the seating while Ford Racing chipped in with its Focus A-Pillar Gauge Pod and a full complement of Ford Racing Gauges. Also installed were a Harmon/Becker Traffic-Pro, a Sirius Satellite Radio system and Infinity amps and speakers - just to make sure the tunes are powerful, too.

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  Article Image gallery (6) Specifications User Comments (3)