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A Ford Favourite

January Car of the Month 2024


Jade McQuiston | 27 | Ford Focus ST | @thatstgal

Photos Courtesy of: Jack Elliot | @media28

We're well into the new year and already January proved to be turbulent to say the least. War in Gaza, an earthquake in Japan, and consistent political failures on home soil plunging the country into another recession, it's safe to say that 2024 has started badly. February appears no different, simply picking-up the torch and trail blazing through the year. Well, to bring some much needed light to the doom & gloom comes the return of our monthly awards, and here is your first winner of 2024.

"I got the car from KMS Scotland who are Ford specialists so I know it was well looked after. The car was standard looking when I bought but was running a stage 2 map from WR Tuning, and a Mongoose exhaust. The car was mechanically sound but the body work was showing sounds of age."

Fending off the likes of a bagged Silvia S15, decked Audi S3, classic Datsun 240z, and a whole host of super tasteful Golf's, Jade and her Focus ST took the top spot with 18% of the overall vote. Sitting pretty on HSD Coilovers, the 19" Rotiform KB1's meatily fill out the arches, providing an aggressive, race-ready stance. With a stage 2 tune already present, the ST was performing well so Jade set-about addressing the ageing body work by adding some additional flare to match the heightened performance.

"After buying the car I instantly added an RS Replica spoiler and Maxton diffuser, before going for a KMS Thunderstorm exhaust that my partner fitted for me. I decided that the WR Tuning Map was a bit flat and so went for a KMS Stage 2 with overrun and kept it like that for a little while.

I then got it into KMS Scotland to get it fully polly bushed alongside a few other mechanical things, then took off my RS spoiler and added the spoiler risers with the Maxton lip and loved the look of it over the previous RS style.

The car then went to OFFSET Autohaus for the HSD Coilovers but unfortunately the arches got worse with rust so I got the car in with Car Repair 24 in Ayrshire who fully restored the arches so it was in good shape to head to KW Kustoms in Kilmarnock for some little touches. Badgeless grilles were fitted, low-line kit, underglow, HD kit, aftermarket steering wheel, chameleon tint, back window decals, front window Street Kulture sticker (a Facebook car group I am the admin of, holding massive car meets in Ayrshire), and finally fog lights fitted and wired-up".

So with a whole host of work completed to set this Focus apart from the rest, Jade was getting ever closer to fulfilling her younger-selfs dream.

"I have been into cars since I was very young. My childhood consisted of just me and my Dad growing up so I have followed in his footsteps as he had always been into his cars & motorbikes. I passed my test in 2015 and that's where it all started. My first car was a Mk6 Zetec Fiesta (had to be a Ford), had a few car in-between and then got a Honda Civic EP3 and started modifying it. That's where I knew I wanted something faster and something Ford as I've always been a Ford girl!"

Combining her love for speed and Ford's meant that the only sensible option was to go for a Fast Ford. Boy, is this Ford now fast. A KMS Stage 2 tune, combined with stage 3 Airtec Intercooler and Ramair Induction Kit, mean Jade's ST is now pushing 313bhp - a significant uplift on 221bhp this rolled out of the factory with. In actual fact, this is even 13bhp more than Jade's beloved Ford dream - the Focus RS.

"I had always loved the MK2 Focus ST / RS' but an RS was out of my budget at the time".

Not too dissimilar from your younger brother suddenly hitting the gym and taking martial arts lessons, Jade's ST will now be able to bring the fight to any of its bigger RS siblings. It's a bruiser, but one that's happy to be as soft as it needs to in order to carry out the daily chores that life brings. 5 seats for the school run, a large boot for the weekly shop, and a comfortable interior for a bit of solace when you get a moment alone - it's dependable and functional. Come the weekend, it's a car that can be thrashed down B-Roads whilst driving peril into the hearts of onlookers with the ferocious roar from the 2.5l 5-pot beating heart.

"I use this car as my daily, it turns a lot of heads as you can hear it before you see it. At shows and car meets I don't think it gets the attention it deserves because it's not in your face or a bright colour, but I love the idea of less is more and to keep it clean and subtle looking. It's a great car to drive. It's very loud and the coilovers make you feel every bump in the road, but all that can be changed to make it more comfortable. Not a day goes past where I don't drive it and have a smile on my face".

No, the weather is not carefully studied by gazing at the clouds and monitoring wind direction before the covers are caressed from the body, in a private garage, with fine Ford paraphernalia adorning the walls, before this car sees the light of the day. It is instead, treated like the rest of us going about our daily duties and therefore there will be challenges.

"I've come across a few hurdles with this car. Slight issues with coolant leaks, misfire (coil pack), and slight wear & tear and servicing etc but nothing that the teams at ARC Performance or KMS Scotland can't fix. The car is 17 years old and other than all the little things that have been fixed, the car never skips a beat and is very well looked after - full service history and every receipt!"

You can tell this car is one that has been cared for. The paintwork is clean & crisp, the performance is strong, and better yet, the wheels are just how they should be - in immaculate condition!

"I really love my wheels. They're KB1's and they're kind of unique. Until they were on my car I had never seen any ST have them but I'm starting to see them a lot more now".

The reason the Rotiform KB1's work so well is because they are almost reminiscent of those chunky, gridded rally-spec wheels. The outer squared design adorning the thick angled 6-spokes hark back to Focus' inclusion within the WRC through the uber cool, Mk1 Focus.

Whilst most of us will imagine the likes of the Subaru Impreza or the Mitsubishi Evo when we discuss rallying, I have always had a fondness for the likes of hatchbacks in rallying. The classic Lancia Delta, wide-bodied Peugeot 206, and even the Citroen DS3, all taking to the winding gravel tracks, competing for greatness.

The Focus, however, competed and received much success. In a career spanning 11 years, the Mk1 Focus went on to take part in 173 WRC rounds, winning 44 of them, and landing on the podium a whopping 142 times!

Therefore it's clear to see why the Focus has such a cult-like following within the UK and why Jade has been smitten with the Ford name for as long as she can remember. The most treasured memory for a Ford enthusiast? Well, arriving at the Mecca for the UK's Ford scene itself...

"Attending Ford Fair, which was a 7 hour drive for me but was one of the best shows I have ever attended with the Fast Ford Team. It was an amazing experience and everyone was so welcoming".

Taking the 7 hour pilgrimage to the Ford haven is almost a right of passage for any enthusiast. With the very best blue ovals from across the land on display it's the perfect place to connect and gain inspiration from other owners and builds alike. Whilst Jade's ST may not grab your eye initially in a see of Fords, as it's not dressed in Ford Blue or the Kermit-like Green found on the Focus RS, it would instead, sit patiently for your arrival and suck you in the longer you admire it. Its subtle, muted styling heralding to the Focus' past motorsport pedigree being the perfect aesthetic for the then explosive noise and performance hiding within the tuned 5-pot engine.

"It's amazing to be one of the monthly winners! Some of the cars that were on the lineup were amazing builds. I'm so happy the Focus won as social media puts out a bad thing about Ford Focus' & Fiesta's but they are really, really good and lovely cars once modified, so it's great my car got the attention she deserves".

Spec Sheet:

Power Output: 313bhp

Suspension Setup:

  • HSD Coilovers

  • Fully Polly Bushed

Wheels & Tyres:

  • 19" Rotiform KB1

Performance Modifications:

  • Stage 2 KMS Remap

  • Ramair Induction Kit

  • Stage 3 Airtec Intercooler

  • Short Shifter

  • RS Clutch

  • Yellow Stuff Brake Pads

  • KMS Thunderstorm Exhaust

Exterior Modifications:

  • Maxton Low Line Kit

  • Spoiler Risers & Maxton Lip

  • Rear Wiper Delete

  • Carbon Mirror Caps

  • Canards on Bumper

  • Vortex's on Roof

  • Aftermarket Headlights w/ Eyebrows

  • Zunsport Badgeless Upper Grille

  • Zunsport Lower Grille

  • Aftermarket Fog Lights

  • Underglow

  • Sunstrip

  • HID Full Conversion Kit for Headlights

  • Engine Bay Tidy-Up Kit

  • Maxton Rear Diffuser

  • Rear Window Decals

  • Chameleon Tint

  • RS Style Reiger Front Bumper

  • Restored Arches

Interior Modifications:

  • ST3 Spec

  • Full Leather Recaro Seats Front & Back

  • Keyless Entry

  • Custom Steering Wheel


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