Ford Focus, V8 RWD

Discussion in '2002 Honda Civic Type-R' started by SeansVette, Oct 4, 2002.

  1. Something I thought might be of interest to you Honda tuners.

    As you know the Ford Focus has been competing for attention in the compact tuner market. In this arena Honda already has the market cornered in popularity. In my opinion Ford has done a great job with some of their designs, such as the SVT Focus, Focus RS, etc.

    But this trend has never really appealed to me because I'm a V8 RWD kind of guy. In my opinion it's just too impractical to slowly chip away at 16-second quarter mile times, and I don't like having a FWD handicap. I'm also just not a fan of inline four bangers, but that's just my own taste.

    That being said, take a look at this! JD Motorsports is currently doing complete overhauls of the entire Focus. They converting them to rear wheel drive, dropping in a 300+ horsepower V8, changing out the entire drivetrain and transmission. The reportedly car has BETTER weight distribution and only weighs 2500 lbs! And when I say 300 "plus", I do mean PLUS. They're currently swapping for the 5.0, 4.6 and soon to be available 4.6 Cobra engine. All of these choices will come tuned by JD, and I believe the 5.0 will be the lightest of the bunch. I've heard the conversion is very reasonably priced, but I'm going to call on Monday to get a real quote. I'll come back and give you the real dollar figures involved.

    Guys, a know it's common for Hondas to swap engines with many designs that start with "B". But you have to admit, a beefed up V8 Focus with rear wheel drive will be VERY hard to compete with.

    Motortrend has the exclusive on the up and coming road test. Pending the results, you have to think back to the old phrase "there's no replacement for displacement"

    The funny thing is us domestic car fans LOVE our V8s, and we always find a way to use them. Even if the V8 Focus dominates the tuned compact scene, I seriously doubt Honda tuners will start to use them. It would force them to eat many of their own words, and heck, there just isn't very many Japanese V8s to CHOOSE from.

    NOW: This is not intended to be a flame thread or to bash Honda tuners. I'm only interested to hear what you all have to say. If I were a Honda tuner, I'd sure as hell raise an eyebrow to this one.
  2. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Ok. First off, unless they come V8 from the factory it isn't a Focus. Changing the engine, tranny drivetrain etc. why not just do up a Mustang? Why change everything and pretend it's a Focus? This is exactly like these import clowns who think that they drive a civic when there isn't one civic component under the hood. If you swap an integra motor into a civic it's a friggin Integra. I would be more impressed to see an original 1.6L civic done up with a quarter mile of 11 seconds than a "civic" with a turbocharged nitrous Integra motor passing at 9 seconds.
  3. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    So by that logic is a Saleen Mustang S351 no longer a Mustang? How about an old Camaro 302 that's been converted to a 396? Is that no longer a Camaro?

    OK, say I buy a 2001 Ford Focus. And say I have JD Motorsports do the V8 conversion. YOU say, it's no longer a Ford Focus. Well then why don't you enlighten us... what type of car is it? I'm just interested to hear which year/make/model it becomes.

    And the point of the V8 Focus is not to impress YOU. The point is to have every advantage of a muscle car hidden in a harmless looking Focus.
  4. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    The Saleen S351 at least still has a V8 it's just been modified by Saleen. With the Camaro 302 to a 396 conversion are you swapping from an I-4 to a V8? Didn't think so. But a Ford Focus is an I-4 and to say that it still is a Focus after jamming a V8 into it, well that's like saying I have a Corolla with a Toyota GT-One motor. You wanted to know hwhat type of car it is?
    Year: whatever car the engine came from
    make: who the make of the engine is
    model: irrelevant at this point. If someone asks, well then you can pretend it's whatever you want it to be or be honest and say I have a V8 in what used to be a Focus or I didn't have the know how to produce more power from a small displacement vehicle.
  5. Re:

    First of all, the Ford Focus is not really an American car, it's designed in Europe, really, it's an "European made American car." The Focus is really a great car, it has great handling plus it's not too expensive, Ford really did a great job. In my opinion, Ford doesn't really need to make a RWD V8 Focus, the Focus Cosworth is already powerful enough and has 4WD.
    I think Ford wants to put a V8 into its Focus is becuz Americans like V8 power a lot.

    It's pretty hard to fit a V8 into a small car like teh Civic, it also makes the weight disturbution worst, a big engine is always heavier than a smaller one. I would rather turbocharge a Civic than having a big V8.
  6. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Wrong, my friend. The Saleen S351 started out life as a V6 Mustang and the engine was swapped by Saleen. That is a FACT, and you can check with Saleen if you don't believe me. It wouldn't make sense for Saleen to pay for a V8 and swap out the entire engine and drivetrain. The Saleen S281 and S281-E are both modified V8s. They both have the same engine that came stock from Ford.

    The S351 from Saleen is an engine swap from V6 to V8. The V8 Focus from JD Motors is an engine swap from I4 to V8.

    And doing a V8 engine swap in a Focus does not mean you don't know how to modify an I4. Surely if you have the mechanical skills to make that conversion, then you know to modify an engine. What it does mean is that you don't WANT to modify an I4. I personally prefer to have a V8.

    The name of the game is how fast can you go. If a modified FWD I4 Civic gets beat by a RWD Focus with a V8, it still gets beat. You choose. Do you want to win races, or have an excuse for losing?
  7. #7 SeansVette, Oct 6, 2002
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Re: Re:

    I do believe you're wrong about where it's made. I'm almost certain if you buy a Focus in the US, it was manufactured here as well. Either way, if it says FORD I consider it to be American.

    And the Ford 302 V8 is very compact and lightweight. You can see some pictures and details here. Just look at how much room there is left over in the engine bay.

    They claim BETTER weight distribution and that the entire conversion only weighs 2500 lbs. With major magazines scheduled to test them, and with all the media attention I doubt they can blatently lie about that.

    You would rather have a FWD Turbocharged I4 than a RWD V8, why? Clearly it appears that weight isn't a problem. Fresh out of the box they come with at least 300 horsepower, and of course it only goes up from there. Just emagine the possibilities when you start with a V8 platform and add forced air or a nitrous kit. Then emagine a very lightweight car with RWD. You do the math.

    By the way, the V8 Focus isn't stock from Ford. It's from JD Motorsports, just like Saleen and Lingenfelter.
  8. #8 Honda rulez, Oct 6, 2002
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Re: Re:

    Ok, the Focus is built in Europe. Here's my proof:

    Also, the Civic Si is also built in Britain.

    I'm not doubting about the V8 FOcus that ur talking about, I'm just saying it would be pretty hard to fit a V8 into a Civic.

    I believe a I-4 engine with turbo takes less space than a V8, i mean, it's a V8, it has 4 more cylinders than a I-4, it's just common sense that it takes up more space. The otehr reason why I like Turbocharged I-4 is becuz I like high revving engines, and I like the feeling when the turbo kicks in. a really good example of a turbocharged I-4 is a Lancer Evolution VII Extreme, which makes 350hp.

    But no doubt, a RWD V8 Focus sounds really interesting, but how much will it cost?
  9. Re: Re:

    you can have a 4 cillinder that is larger than an 8 cillinder.
  10. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Honestly I do not know enough about American cars to debate whether an S351 started life as a V6 or not. But mustangs do at least come in a V8 model. The Focus does not. The debate here really is not the fact that one might be able to accomplish a proper swap but rather if performing the swap of a motor of completely different class and size really exhibits performance tuning. If weight were an issue why not build a tube frame chasis? I like American cars. I like the fact that a Mustang can run 7's and still be streetable but you have to ask whether swapping a V8 into a bay that originally was built for an I-4 is really tuning or just an attempt to be unique. If the Focus was stuffed with a V8 for a racing series to compete with other Focus' also running V8's ie. in Australia, then that would be fine.
  11. #11 SeansVette, Oct 6, 2002
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2016
    Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Although putting together a V8 RWD "KIT" is an accomplishment in itself, the original intent was not to display tuning prowess. The one goal in mind is to develop a very fast Focus. The ultimate sleeper car if you will. I personally think that having all the bennefits of a muscle car underneath a Ford Focus chassis is very cool.

    For those of you who question the size and weight of a Ford 302, I encourage you to check out the pictures and specs here.

    The Focus does not have a huge engine bay, and look how much room there is.

    As far as overall cost goes, I'm going to find out on Monday and let you all know. The only thing I could find was the entire conversion kit minus the engine (about $4000). My guess for the entire conversion including engine and labor is around $10,000.

    The smart way to go would be to find a very used Focus with tons of miles since you're going to replace everything anyway.
  12. Re: Re:

    Yes, but i'm talking about the lancer evolution engine, which is a 2.0L I-4 turbo.
  13. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    I dun't think it would be cheap, cuz a Focus RS with about 220hp already costs Euro$20000, when compare to Civic Tyep R's $15000.
  14. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    But you see, the V8 Focus is NOT an optioned model. It's an aftermarket KIT that converts a standard Focus into a V8 machine. The overall cost depends on a lot of variables, such as which focus you choose, which engine, which transmision, weather or not you buy the focus and/or V8 engine new or used, etc.

    The smart thing to do is start with a very used Focus with tons of miles. The entire powertrain is going to be replaced anyway. So figure $5000-$7000 for the used Focus. $4500 for the entire kit. And then $1000-$6000 depending on which V8 engine you drop in.

    I called a guy at JD Motorsports today, and his best "guess" right now would be $6000 for the SVT Cobra motor. Or you could probably pick up a used 5.0 engine for about $1000. They also offer some Ford racing crate motors but smog might be a problem with those.
  15. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Oh ic, i thought it's a whole package. In Japan, many aftermarket tuners offer kits for Civics such as the one ur talking about.
  16. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    They offer V8 rear wheel drive kits? I highly doubt it.
  17. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    No no no, not RWD, but kits that make the Civic super fast with super handling.
  18. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Almost every performance minded car has aftermarket kits out there. But the V8 RWD Focus kit is very, very unique.
  19. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    In opinion, i think V8 and RWD wrecks the Focus's originality. The Focus is supposed to be a FWD hot hatches, and it's unique for its great handling for a FWD, if u chaneg it to FR and V8, it's just like a Mustang GT with different styling and less weight. I prefer the original Focus, afterall, this is my opinion, as someone may like to be unique.
  20. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    There are two factors that make the V8 Focus attractive. It's the ULTIMATE sleeper car, and there's a humor aspect to it. The rumble that a Cobra makes is awesome, especially with an H-pipe. Can you emagine that sound coming from a tiny little Focus?
  21. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    I guess it's more like ur personal taste, some people may like the raw power and sound of a V8, while some people, like me, like teh screaming sound of a high revving inline 4.
  22. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    me too
    and out of paris, is the new Mazda 2.3L DI Turbo engine giving off 280HP... and possible replacement engine for the Focus SVT as well i nthe near future. and yes, the engine is fuel efficient as well.
    it does sound exciting.. at least better for the car, than a v8
    for a high power v8, you also got the ford falcon
  23. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    Are u talking about the Mazda Atenza MPS?
  24. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    i would like a focus RS
  25. Re: Ford Focus, V8 RWD

    The RS costs as much as a WRX though.

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