Since the initial release of the Focus RS, Livernois has continued to evolve our ability to add power while maintaining safety. — Andy Rickets, Livernois Motorsports
When the Ford Focus RS made it much anticipated debut here in the US last year, there were only a handful of lucky tuners that were able to get their hands on the hot hatch at launch. Livernois Motorsports, was one of the first shops in the country to receive and tune Ford’s hottest hatch and the results were quite impressive.
The company’s initial Stage 2 Focus RS tune produced peak-to-peak all-wheel-drive gains of up to 55 horsepower and 70 lb-ft of torque with gains as gains as 68 horsepower and 90 lb-ft in spots on an otherwise stock vehicle. Recently the company showcased an updated tune to the hot hatch that is said improve upon thos initial gains by 20 more horsepower and 30 more lb-ft of torque.
We had the chance to talk to Andy Rickets, Vehicle Operations Manager at Livernois Motorsports & Engineering to find out what makes the updated tune so unique.
Livernois Ford Focus RS initial Stage 2 tune produced peak-to-peak gains of up to 55 horsepower and 70 lb-ft of torque, with gains as high as 68 horsepower and 90 lb-ft of at the wheels at some points, on an otherwise stock vehicle.
“While we can’t go into specifics, since the initial release of the Ford Focus RS, Livernois Motorsports has continued to evolve our ability to add power while maintaining safety,” said Andy. “We continue to further our experience with the RS and are adding in new changes in a myriad of aspects of the engine and torque controls within the vehicles calibration. This has allowed us to add usable power while maintaining the same level of durability for which Livernois Motorsports is known.”
Andy went on to explain that both new RS owners and owners already running the original Livernois tune will be able to upgrade to the latest version. “Anytime we release a new tune, we recommend that customers upgrade to the new one as we feel every time we revise our offering, it enhances the enjoyment of the vehicle without changing durability.”
For RS owners that are concerned about possible head gasket failures when installing an aftermarket tune, Andy said they had not seen any changes in the frequency regardless of what tune you are running.
“As far as head gasket failures on RS engines, we simply have not seen a change in frequency regardless of what version tune you are running versus the stock calibration,” he explained.
Livernois latest tune can be configured for customers that are already running aftermarket bolt-on performance parts including aftermarket intercoolers.
“We have options available for many common intercoolers on the market, and we ask our customers to provide us with a full list of modifications for the vehicle to ensure the proper tune is built for the car,” Andy said.
Livernois also added updated features to its calibration in the form of flex-fuel support on applications upgrade with the company’s 2.3-liter EcoBoost Firestorm High-Pressure Fuel Pump.
“As with all EcoBoost engines, the factory fuel pump is insufficient even at stock power levels,” Andy explained. “Tuning these engines for more power always results in a loss of fuel pressure. Our calibrations have a plethora of safety factors built into them to prevent engine damage due to this issue, and will even pull power out as it approaches dangerous levels, but these are workarounds to address a factory shortcoming.”
Livernois recommends upgrading to the new fuel pump even when using premium unleaded as there is a safety advantage and the increase in flow is enough that you are now able to run ethanol-blend fuels on these cars.
The new Firestorm High-Pressure Fuel Pump Upgrade kit for the Focus RS supplies up to 40 percent more fuel than the factory high-pressure fuel pump.
“To take advantage of that newfound fuel flow, we developed a flex-fuel tune that allows for the customer to never have to worry about what percentage the ethanol content is as it will autodetect this and adjust the tune accordingly,” he added. “No more sampling fuel and adjusting the tune based on how potent the E85 you’re running is, no worries about not being able to find E85 in your area.”
This Focus RS tune now is available through Livernois Motorsports and it is a free update for RS owners who have already purchased the preceding tune. For more information on all the available options for the Ford Focus RS, click on the company’s official website here.