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Old 10-22-2007, 05:15 PM   #22
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What I Drive: 2002 RED SVT Focus

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Originally Posted by pelotonracer2 View Post
So... considering a car that weighes 2,683-ish pounds and has 170 hp... the power to weight ratio is 15.78 pounds per hp. A VW GTI weighes 3170 (base, with no options) and comes out to 15.85 pounds per hp. Granted, it has 207 pft of torque (at the engine), but the hp is very close. Why is the SVT so much slower than cars with poorer power to weight ratios??? I'm guessing the lack of torque really hurts the SVT as well as inferior gearing.

Here's where I am going with this....

I plan on taking as much weight out of my '03 SVT as it is humanly possible. I'll buy another SVT as my daily commuter.

I'll get a FULL carbon fiber hood, OEM look carbon fiber front fenders, carbon fiber rear hatch, carbon fiber rear wing, remove the back seats, rear seat belts and mechanisms, replace the front seats with lighter racing style seats, install a 7 pound Braille battery, remove the spare, jack and stereo unit, speakers, wiring harnesses etc... remove the power window motors and replace with standard Focus ZX3 window cranks, remove most of the interior including any sound deadner, remove A/C compressor and set up a custom idler pulley, remove HVAC unit, install lighter crank pulley, install aluminum flywheel and Centerforce clutch, install ORP, find the lightest exhaust system on the market, I have 18" OZ Ulteggera wheels that weigh 16.5 pounds each and will couple them with lightweight (19.5 pound per) 215/35-18 tires and remove anything else that's not absolutely needed.... I'll also remove the sunroof glass and motor and replace it with a custon carbon plate.

How much, realistically do you think I could get rid of weightwise doing the above? I realize that's ALOT of work but I would also expect to remove a significan't amount of weight. As far as increasing the power a little, I want to stay NA and plan on Toms tune, SRI, 67mm throttlebody, underdrive pulleys, lightweight exhaust system, MSD coil with wires, new copper plugs, ORP and that's about it. I might consider stroking or big bore kit if it were possible to without robbing a bank AND it could be reliable with the right tuning.

For better handling I'll lower the car some (springs and shocks/struts), add some chassis bracing, install bigger roll bars front and rear, R&R all the motor mounts with better/stiffer ones, install short shifter, remove heat shields...

I'm curious to how removing weight and lightly increasing engine power a little using this platform... will have effect on performance... straight line acceleration AND handling.

Please share your thoughts and ideas...
In reality, you are only looking at saving about 300 LBS and that is on the high end.

Most SCCA race cars are within 10% of their original curb weight.

That said, the delta between you and theV-dub is not that great. The difference in the performance is the engineering, not the weight.

That said, I am not sure that your comment of SVT cars "being so much slower" than other cars is accurate. I think you need to clarify the context of that statement.

On an AX or road course environment, I'm faster than a lot of V8 cars and VW's (depending on the course). There's video on this site to prove that as well.

I say that not to blow my own horn, but rather to speak to the ability of the focus. At the last REDLINE event, there were foci that were turning lap times 2-3 seconds faster than modified STI's. By the way, these cars had full interiors as well and I was the slowest of the bunch.

So, before you start tearing out the interior, you need to ask yourself what kind of racing do I want to do?

Set up the car according to that criteria. Simply lightening the car won't get you there combined with the bolt ons that you mention.

As for handling. Removing the rear seat will DRAMATICALLY affect the handling.

It will handle much more like a Porsche, and not in a good way, if you do that. There are a number of stories about people on this site removing the rear seat and having their hands full as the car tended to oversteer significantly.

With respect to the Lotus. It's not a straightline car. So, it's real merit lies in its ability to carry momentum. While a 0-60 time of 5 seconds is respectable, it really doesn't matter much on an AX or a road course where carrying and maintaining speed are the benchmarks.

Hopefully, I don't sound preachy, just trying to offer perspective.

There are a lot of folks other than myself who can "weigh in" (pardon the pun) who bring a LOT of expertise.

FORMER Avenging Moderator of the Apocalypse and Leader of the Axis of Oversteer

"I live with fear every day and sometimes, she lets me race."

2002 SVT Focus... Stock
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