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Livernois-Tuned Focus RS vs. Shelby GT350 Drag Race

Discussion in 'Front Page Articles' started by EditorTurner, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. EditorTurner

    EditorTurner New Member Established Member

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    [​IMG]

    Close Call
    A Livernois-tuned Focus RS hangs with a stock Shelby GT350 on the drag strip
    By Steve Turner
    Photos courtesy of Livernois Motorsports

    If you own the top dog Shelby GT350 Mustang, you might immediately dismiss that Focus RS staging next to you at the drag strip. Well, you might want to think twice if your Shelby is stock, because a tuned Focus RS recently held its own against a stock Shelby GT350 at a private track rental in Michigan.

    The proud owner of Ford Performance’s hottest hatch recently brought his car out to a Livernois Motorsports track rental to test out his freshly tuned EcoBoost machine. He invited his pal with a shiny new GT350 to come along and the two lined up for a little friendly competition. While the Shelby was totally stock, the RS sported Livernois’ new E30 calibration in the PCM.

    Using launch control set at 5,000 rpm, the Focus RS used its all-wheel-drive grip to get the jump and hang with the Voodoo-powered Mustang—12.88 vs.12.64. (On the next pass—not seen here—the RS actually edged the GT350 with a 12.7) You can watch the friendly race right here…

    [video=youtube;aQ_4XEVqj3Y]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ_4XEVqj3Y[/video]

    “Well, while I am quite pleased with the results from the RS, there definitely was a driver advantage on that front too, as you see in the video, the GT350 didn't put on its best showing versus the RS, but that’s also a reality most people would face,” Andy explained. “The RS, with its all-wheel-drive setup, and launch control is going to be tough for the average driver on street tires to challenge and come out on top.”

    The performance calibration is definitely working at the drag strip. To see exactly how well that it works, you can watch it run on the dyno in Livernois’ development RS…

    [video=youtube;SpEbHq2U800]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SpEbHq2U800[/video]

    “So far the Focus RS has been fantastic for us. We were able to quickly utilize our company-owned development car to aggressively tackle the tuning,” Livernois general manager Andy Ricketts said. “Our Stage 2 tune offered great performance gains, while keeping peak boost levels very similar to stock (1-3 pounds higher) but having a nice, solid boost curve compared to the OEM’s tapered boost. This allows for quite tremendous gains in the mid- to high-rpm range and the car really shines up there now.”

    Obviously, Livernois is in the early stages of developing its tuning and modifications for this new platform. However, based on the early returns, the potential for owning a really quick, mildly modified Focus RS is definitely in the cards.

    “Well, my crystal ball's view is a little cloudy right now as we are still trying to test components and ensure they actually make a real difference rather than just being different than stock,” Andy said. “But, based on the EcoBoost Mustang, I think we should be able to see a bottom 12-second, or even a high-11-second pass on these with a stock turbo. Quicker yet with some mineshaft air and a pro-level driver.”

    We can’t wait to see how far Livernois pushes this platform, so stay tuned for further developments.

    [​IMG]
    Livernois Motorsports has been hard at work developing modifications and tuning for the new Focus RS. The dividends of that work have shown up with big gains on the dyno and impressive runs at the drag strip, where a customer car with its calibration was able to keep pace with a Shelby GT350 on the quarter mile.

    [​IMG]
    As you can seen in the dyno graph from its shop car—which is running the company’s EvenFlo thermostat and an E30 calibration—the Livernois Focus RS picked up over 55 horsepower and 70 lb-ft of torque on 93 and over 63 horses and 92 lb-ft on E30 versus the stock baseline run.
     
  2. fivelitrecobra

    fivelitrecobra Active Member Established Member

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    Impressive for the Focus, but the GT350 needs the driver mod.
     
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  3. mustangmanjeff

    mustangmanjeff Active Member Established Member

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    yeah thats pretty bad 12.6 with a 500hp car
     
  4. black99lightnin

    black99lightnin CTSV > C63 Established Member

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    Not impressed with either car's times. What was DA on that day?
     
  5. Rubenk

    Rubenk Wasn't me. Premium Member

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    Interesting test, and love how the RS's are coming along!

    The howl of that voodoo on the back stretch though! Music to the ears!
     
  6. Livernois Motorsports

    Livernois Motorsports Authorized Vendor Authorized Vendor

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    ~2600-3000. Obviously it got better as it got later.
     
  7. black99lightnin

    black99lightnin CTSV > C63 Established Member

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    DA was pretty high. How were the tuned SHO's running or did any show up? Trying to get an idea how the RS stacks up against other tuned EB's.
     
  8. Livernois Motorsports

    Livernois Motorsports Authorized Vendor Authorized Vendor

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    There are always SHO's that regularly attend our events. The quickest ones unfortunately did not attend, but due to the DA most ran in the 12.8-13.2 range.
     
  9. bpmurr

    bpmurr Active Member Established Member

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    I ran 12.4 at 119MPH in my stock (including stock tire s) GT350 a few weeks back during a test and tune session. The driver needs some work, but to be fair it's a tough car to launch. I know I need work as well!
     
  10. 2011 gtcs

    2011 gtcs GT500 poster Premium Member

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    I'm liking these RS's more and more
     
  11. black99lightnin

    black99lightnin CTSV > C63 Established Member

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    I think the DA was hurting numbers.
     
  12. 99saleenspeedster

    99saleenspeedster Active Member Established Member

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    I was impressed with that car and this F150 which consistently ran high 12's

    [video]https://youtu.be/ucZkJbgs0D8[/video]
     
  13. capnkirk52

    capnkirk52 Eat more POTATOES!!! Established Member

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    The DA affected the Shelby but should have had little to no effect on a tuned turbo car. Maybe if it was Colorado 10,000+ but I doubt it made a 1% difference on the turbo car at 2500ft. Isn't the rule 3% for every 1000ft of DA? So the Shelby was down 7-10% on power.
     
  14. twistedneck

    twistedneck Active Member Established Member

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    it is? please explain how..

    3800lb car, manual trans, guessing DA is about 2500 (typical Michigan summer). Combine that with zero drag strip optimizations in the Mustang - same with the Z28 it was based on.

    also don't forget its 526 flywheel HP - more like 450HP to the wheels on a great day, probably 420HP in the stick Michigan heat / wet / thin air.. this summer was very bad. Anyway, it adds up to a weak quarter mile performance.

    I'm giving you credit that the GT350 would not have a traction issue because of the 305 hides in back, but reality is those are not optimized for drag launches.

    Now do you see why 12.6 is actually damn good? Over raters extraordinaire Road and Track and their super great air very sticky 1/4 mile rated the GT350R at 12.2 sec. do you think 100lbs of weight savings and wider tires would equate to 0.4 seconds of improvement over this GT350?


    Again, this shows why that time is just about perfect.

    With all due respect to the Focus ricer wana-be.. great car, but anyone and I mean ANYONE can make power with turbos.. they sound like shit, are laggy as ****, and lets face it the power band we dream about in the NA v8 is gone in favor of the lovely woosh of turbos. not horrid, but missing something grand.
     
  15. capnkirk52

    capnkirk52 Eat more POTATOES!!! Established Member

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    I was with you until your last sentence. These turbo cars murder the V8 Powerband and the new EB motors have very little lag.
     
  16. twistedneck

    twistedneck Active Member Established Member

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    Ahh yes a good debate to start :) - Turbo cars even new nice ones like the Subaru WRX have pretty annoying lag and when they come in they hit too hard, then they tend to go flat and even drop off. Nothing good there from a power band perspective.

    I agree, the newest EB motors are spectacular - heavy but excellent... in order to do that right you need an unusually light electric motor with very exotic controls and caps capable of supplying enough current to zip them to 100,000 rpm in 0.5 seconds.. too expensive now but when it comes it is the future of turbos..

    If you live in a high altitude state Turbo is mandatory. If you have a small engine that needs more than the usual NA tricks then a supercharger is best for no lag but if you need to make big power and you cannot build a mountain motor - then a turbo is for you just deal with the strange surge and dead spots.

    If you want gas mileage with an acceptable torque and HP, in a small package - that is where turbo's shine.. and they are getting forced down our throats on race cars like the McLaren's V6. They are now in the bad boy Mustang and the Focus RS. Even the Carerra 911S - traditionally a normally aspirated car now has twin turbos - all in the name of fuel economy.
     
  17. Dusten

    Dusten Well-Known Member Premium Member Established Member

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    Weird, don't tell my buddy. I watched his car run 9.4's at 700 ft DA and 9.7's @ 2600 ft DA with no other changes. Single turbo fox.
     
  18. twistedneck

    twistedneck Active Member Established Member

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    This always is hard to understand but its turbo system dependent. some systems that are at or near the max efficient and HP for that turbo will benefit greatly or get hurt bad by DA changes.. if you have an oversized turbo system it will almost not even notice the DA. That is after all why they added it to the Merlin superchargers - cause like Normally Aspirated, a supercharged engine can't re-invent itself to adapt to thin air.
     
  19. capnkirk52

    capnkirk52 Eat more POTATOES!!! Established Member

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    Your case is not on the same track, same day, how bout same driver? There are way too many other variables in that equation though. I also said I doubted it made a 1% difference and .3 is close to 1% in this case.
     
  20. BlackMachWon

    BlackMachWon WTF? Established Member

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    Does anyone know what the mph of those runs? I'll guess the 350 had 9-10mph trap speed on the RS.
     

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