Rear-Wheel Drive, V8-Powered Ford Focus Is A 700HP Sleeper

American enthusiasts are finally getting the latest and greatest when it comes to hot hatchbacks. But this 2004 Ford Focus with a V8 under its hood has to be the craziest hot hatch we’ve ever seen.

Currently on sale on Street Car Market, this Focus may not seem like a hot hatchback, but it’s hiding a very potent powertrain. The bland exterior, especially when compared to the Honda Civic Type R’s radical design, doesn’t point to anything exceptional, but one look under the hood changes that.

That’s because Ford’s hatchback is powered by a 5.3-liter LSx V8 engine that makes more than 700 horsepower. In other words, this little hatch is more powerful than Ford’s upcoming Mustang Shelby GT500. That’s a whole lot more than the 130-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder that the Focus ZX3 originally came with.

Stuffing a V8 into the Focus’ tiny engine bay is impressive on its own, but the power-hungry owner decided that the motor needed more power and bolted a 76-mm turbocharger from Master Power onto the engine.

Now, 700-hp is clearly way too much power for a front-wheel drive car. Heck, even the raucous, 350-hp Ford Focus RS is all-wheel drive. But this ’04 Focus sends its power to the rear wheels through a TH400 automatic transmission gearbox.

The listing claims that the vehicle weighs only 2,300 lbs, which makes it lighter than one of our favorite convertibles, the Mazda MX-5. With that kind of power-to-weight ratio, this Focus is probably a riot to drive.

The exterior makes this Focus the textbook definition of a sleeper, with nothing but wider tires, different rims and a large cutout in the front bumper hinting towards its power. There aren’t any photos of the interior, but the listing claims that there’s a roll-cage in the cabin. The rear seats probably had to be removed to fit the cage into the cabin.

The price isn’t too bad either, considering all of the custom work that’s gone into the vehicle. The Facebook listing claims the car is located in Kansas City, Missouri, and has an asking price of $14,000. That’s a lot cheaper than a Focus RS or Civic Type R, which it will gladly smoke if they ever come next to it in a red light…

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  • Christian
  • Bullitt2605

    Two years ago up at the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup I got to ride in a Focus with a Cobra motor in it around the auto cross track. What a blast! I have no idea how much power it was putting out but it was fast. I also have no idea how he got that motor in there.

    • Ilbirs

      By what I know there are V8 conversion kits for the Focus Mk1, like this one from Kugel Components. As can be seen, it’s a well made device that use mounting points that already exist on the body and allow to use even some very space taking powerplants:

      https://www.engineswapdepot.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/RWD-Ford-Focus-with-V8-02.jpg

      This kit includes engine cradle, transmission mounts, suspension crossmember, front steer and hub kit, sway bars, rack and pinion kit, transmission cover, fuel tank, headers, diff crossmember, 4-bar kit with shocks and springs, meaning that the guys behind it studied meticulously the Focus’ body and how to stuff an engine this size. These kits were even officially sold by Ford, as can be seen in this link from 2003.

  • Bo Hanan

    At full cantor the torque steer must completely jerk the car around in the opposite direction.

    • Matt

      No torque steer on a RWD car.

      • Bo Hanan

        Converted RWD. Which isn’t much better than a FWD converted to AWD,

        • Polyester Poontang

          WTF are you talking about. You don’t know shit from shinola.

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