Rally Innovations pulls out the stops on Focus ST

A friend who’s in the new-car shopping mood and I were on our way back from lunch recently when she spotted a shockingly bright yellow Ford Focus ST in the next lane. The ST is the factory-built hot-rod version of Ford’s compact sedan.

While my friend has yet to test-drive a Focus, let alone the ST, I have been behind the wheel. And the ST is, indeed, a real blast, whether on the street or while carving through the cones on an autocross course.

But there are Focus STs and there is this 2015 Ford Focus ST which has been modified by Rally Innovations of Anaheim, California.

“The theme of the Rally Innovations 2015 Focus ST project vehicle is ‘The Future of Rally’,” it said on the display board next to the car at the most recent SEMA Show, the automotive aftermarket equipment producers annual showcase.

“Being the dominant force in the Global Rally Cross and the seasoned veteran champions in the WRC, Ford continues to set the pace and raises the bar for the other manufacturer contenders,” the sign continued.

“With the rise of the Japanese sport-compact performance cars and tuner market, Ford answers their call with the introduction of the Focus and Fiesta STs and their EcoBoost platforms. Using the 2015 Focus ST platform, with the support of our Japanese aftermarket affiliates, we will create our futuristic, robotic-like performance hatch that will set the trend in the cross-over JDM to USDM market. Welcome — Gundam Style!”

A couple of definitions before we continue: JDM is short for Japanese Domestic Market and Gundam refers to a Japanese science-fiction anime television franchise which features giant robots wearing armor.

In other words, the Rally Innovations Focus ST is a mechanical object that’s ready for battle. Should it inspire you to start modifying your own Focus, here’s an inventory of features Rally Innovations gave to the car:

■2.0-liter EcoBoost engine with Greddy Airinx intake system, Greddy Supreme SP exhaust, Greddy 24LS intercooler and Cobb Tuning Accessport V3.

■RS-S Sports-i coilover suspension, R1 Concepts custom brake rotors, Whiteline brake caliber adjustment bushing kits, Cobb Tuning adjustable shift plate Rays 57 Xtreme 19-inch graphite wheels with Nitto NT555 tires.

■Baja Designs 20-inch stealth light bar and cornering lights, Beat Sonic Blaid antenna, JDM aero hood latches, House of Kolor “Sno White” pearl and “Blood Red” paint with Anaheim Rod & Custom three-color (red, white and gray) application. In addition, there’s Rally Innovations’ own three-piece front splitter, aluminum side splitter, wheel diverters and Gundam-style vented hood, rear hatch spoiler, wide-body fenders, side moldings, roof scoop, camera mount and graphics.

■Rally Innovations roll cage, Cusco/Bride Euroster II+C adjustable racing seats with Cusco 4-point harnesses, Sony 401A upgraded sound system and red LED lighting accents.

Oh, and if a Focus ST doesn’t fit your style or travel needs, Rally Innovations also has modified a Ford Transit Connect van.

For more information, visit the www.rallyinnovations.com website.

Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at ledsall@cox.net.