After finally finding the car of his dreams, Ceri Morgan set about tuning it – and he didn’t stop until he’d created this 826bhp monster!

*Feature first appeared in October 2018 issue

Words & Photos: Davy Lewis

Sourcing the perfect car can be a nightmare. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have a list of things that it must have, from a specific colour, to particular options and if you do manage to find something that ticks all the boxes, someone else will get there first. But sometimes, the moon and stars align and things are meant to be.

“I’d always thought the Focus RS Mk2 would be a dream car, right from when it was first launched,” says Ceri Morgan. “I said to myself that one day I’d own one, so four years ago, when I had the money, I started looking for one.” A man with very specific requirements, it proved tricky to find the right car. “It had to have Alcantara Recaros, sat nav, and, ideally be in white, but I couldn’t find one anywhere,” he explains. Then, while out at work on a recovery and with a lorry in tow, fate stepped in. “I was driving past a BMW dealer, when I spotted a white Focus RS for sale,” smiles Ceri. “I pulled over and went inside for a look. It had all the options I wanted and was up for £22k with just 15k on the clock, so I said I’d give them £21,500 right now and they agreed.” With the deal done, he jumped back in his recovery truck and finished his day’s work – although this time, with a big smile on his face.

“I picked the car up a few days later, which happened to be my birthday,” says Ceri. “It was a cracking present to myself,” he laughs. “It’s funny, because I almost bought a blue one the week before, but something stopped me – it was clearly meant to be.”

Aside from being in a mint condition, the RS benefitted from a Mountune MP350 package. “It lasted about a week before I decided it wasn’t quick enough,” smiles Ceri and after doing some research, he plumped for a Revo 400 set-up. “I went to RS Direct to buy the hardware and then fitted it all myself.” But the newfound power upgrade didn’t last very long…

“A few people suggested I get the engine forged, especially if I was looking to get more power in the future (which he clearly was), so I called BD Performance and they asked what my plans were. I said I’d like to go for 500bhp one day and they replied, ‘why not do it now?’” Ceri continues, “The next thing I knew, I had a fully built engine with a GT35 and 600bhp!” Ok, it didn’t happen quite as fast as that, but he certainly didn’t hang around.

Now, this was around two-years ago and since then Focus RS power games have become a little more intense. “I spoke to BD Performance and said I’d like to go for 700bhp. They told me I should go for a ‘sidewinder’ manifold,” he continues. “I wasn’t sure at this stage as it involved cutting the battery tray to make it fit, but before I could say anything Scott sent me a photo of the tray cut in half, with the caption ‘Whoops!’” All joking aside, the sidewinder made perfect sense and with a mighty Precison 6466 turbo strapped to it, things were shaping up nicely.

“At this stage the only thing holding us back was fitting a big-valve head, so once this was completed, the car went to Horsham Developments.” Says Ceri. “I asked them for 800bhp and they came back with 826.4bhp – I was blown away,” he adds.

Now, Ceri is the first to admit that this is the full-fat ‘dyno queen’ number that was achieved at 2.4bar of boost, on race fuel. For day-to-day use he runs it at 2bar to give 670bhp on its high boost setting (“which shreds the front tyres”) and a medium 1.8bar setting, which still gives a healthy 550bhp and is more than enough to worry pretty much every supercar he comes across.

Part of the appeal with this Focus RS is that Ceri has the kept it relatively stock looking on the outside. Ok, it has a few tasty additions such as the Triple R splitter and Monkey Wrench headlight conversion, but in a world filled with extreme looking RSs, this one is very sedate by comparison. Which is exactly how Ceri likes it. “I always thought the styling was bang on with the Mk2 RS, so I didn’t want to add a fancy wrap or bodykit. I like the fact that others see it as a nice car, but don’t realise it’s got so much power.”

Key to the success of this big-power build is the Syvecs management; which Ceri can’t rate highly enough. “It’s got rolling anti-lag, launch control, flat shift – the lot.” It’s a significant investment, but really does a fantastic job. With so much power available, the next step is to convert this fierce front-wheel drive into awesome all-wheel drive. “We’re working on a Volvo-based system, but it’s all top secret right now,” smiles Ceri. “We already have the donor car, but there’s a lot of custom fabrication required. I love the rolling acceleration of the car, but I miss that off-the-line standing start, which the all-wheel drive system will fix.”

Aside from the savage power, Ceri has focused on the interior. It’s been finished in Alcantara and really lifts the quality of the inside. Everything has been covered in the soft-touch fabric and complemented by a cool blue stitching. The classy cabin is finished off with some tasty gauges including a Toucan touchscreen for the Syvecs.

So there we have it. A chance spotting during a day’s work has led Ceri to create the Focus RS he’d always dreamed of. It’s immaculately presented, looks stunning and has savage power. All that’s left now is the four wheel drive conversion, and he’ll be untouchable.

 

Tech spec

Engine

2.5 5-cyl Durance, polished and ported big-valve cylinder head, double valve springs, oversized valves, Stage 2 Newman cams, polished and ported lower inlet, fully forged bottom end, Westwood liners, ARP studs, Mahle pistons, K1 rods, balanced bottom end, King racing big end bearings, King racing main bearings, 1300cc Bosch injectors, brushless external fuel pump and swirl pot, upgraded internal fuel pump, braided fuel lines, Fuel Flex system, custom BDP sidewinder manifold, custom 4in downpipe, screamer pipe, Syvecs engine management, Precision 6466 turbo, Turbo Smart 50mm wastegate, custom 3.5in BDP turbo back exhaust system with 5in tips, Airtec inlet plenum, 70mm throttle body, custom enlarged boost pipe kit, modified Pro Alloy oil breather with braided pipes, Setrab oil cooler, Airtec Stage 3 ‘Gobstopper’ intercooler, BDP air filter, Pro Silicone hose kit, Turbo Smart rec/bov valve, under bonnet mirrors, AS engine dress up kit, hydro dip in skulls

Power

826bhp (on race fuel at 2.4-bar)

670bhp (high boost at 2-bar)

550bhp (low boost at 1.8-bar)

Transmission

TTV twin plate clutch, Vibra Technics torque mount, Powerflex engine mount, Powerflex gearbox mount, Collins Performance quick shift

Brakes

6-pot AP Racing calipers with 365mm front discs and Ferodo DS2500 pads, braided brake lines

Suspension

BC Racing coilovers, Whiteline rear ARB, anti-lift kit, Eibach wheel spacers (20mm rear 15mm front), Summit front and rear strut braces

Wheels

Stock Focus RS in gloss black

 

Exterior

Triple R front splitter, Maxton side and rear splitters, bonnet lifter kit, Monkey wrench bespoke headlight conversion

Interior

Full interior re-trim in Alcantara with blue stitch, Toucan touch screen control unit (Syvecs), Little Devils triple pillar pod with boost, oil pressure and temp gauges, custom gauge faces

Thanks

BD Performance (build), Horsham Developments (mapping), Crystal Clear auto detailing, Krislyn Motors (transport and recovery), and my wife Josie for putting up with my obsession

 

DRIVER SPEC

Ceri Morgan

Age: 31

First Ford: A battered Mk3 Fiesta

Favourite mod: The Syvecs management

Favourite Ford event: Isle of white takeover

Track day or show and shine? Show and shine

Sierra RS500 or Focus RS500? Focus

WRC or BTCC? WRC

Any lessons learned from the project? Don’t be a sheep, go your own way

What’s next? An AWD conversion

 

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