As you can see from the photos, I’ve been back to Tarnock Garage in the RS, this time armed with a box of H&R springs I’d ordered online and collected from my local Euro Car Parts. Regular readers may recall that my Focus has already got lowering springs fitted, offering an aggressive and purposeful stance with a drop of about 25-30mm. But, since fitting them almost three years ago, a couple of things have changed, the main issue being an influx of speed bumps and ‘traffic calming measures’ near where I live recently, meaning I quite simply can’t get in or out of my house without smashing or scraping the front of the car.

Therefore, the only real option was to change the springs and opt for something that offers a tad more clearance, especially at the front end. Completely contradictory to what we would normally do, I know, but needs must. Thankfully, after an afternoon browsing the internet, I found a solution while looking at H&Rs on the Euro Car Parts website. I’ve heard great things from people about H&Rs on the Mk3 RS and the specs suggest they offer 20mm lowering as opposed to the 25-30mm springs already on the car. That 5-10mm may not sound like a lot, but it would be the difference between me just hitting those speed bumps or just clearing them, so I thought I’d give them a try – as editor of the UK’s number one Ford tuning mag I should sample as many different products as I can, right? Well, that’s what I convinced myself as I clicked the ‘add to basket’ button on ECP’s website. I then popped to my local branch and collected them, before setting off to get them all fitted.

When removing the previous lowering springs I was pleasantly surprised by their condition­ – aside from a little dirt they are still as good as new. No wonder they are offered with a five-year warranty! I hope the H&Rs stand up equally as well, but with their corrosion protection and TUV approval I’m confident they will. With the car back on the ground it was time for the moment of truth… approx. 8mm higher at the front edge of the splitter. Perfect.

After clocking up several hundred miles back and forth to shows and events since fitting the H&Rs, not only can I confirm have I reinstated some of the clearance at the front end, but the ride quality and handling properties are just as good as before. In fact, personally I find the H&Rs slightly more comfortable to live with too. They do feel a bit stiffer and harsher over smaller bumps but not quite as ‘jumpy’ over prolonged uneven surfaces such as the painted lines approaching roundabouts on dual carriageways, for example. I look forward to seeing what they can do out on track at some point during the summer, but for now I’m happy that I can get in and out of the estate I live on without scraping the front end!

 

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