Originally Posted by amoosenamedhank
The beauty of this car being so similar to the MS3 is a lot of knowledge can be gleamed from that market. The MS3 is an enthusiast car. Once again, if you take a few seconds to page through different MS3 forums, there are a large number of people who are seriously modding the car. Not just adding 'drop-in filters' or 'engine mounts'. These hot hatches have proven time and time again they are successful platform to build parts for.
I can't seem to find much information on Ford projected ST sales, but it seems to be selling pretty well so far. There isn't a doubt in my mind that a very large portion of those owners will be heading to a forum to start learning about modding that vehicle.
If you've spent any time on here, you'll notice there is a select crowd of people who will seriously pony up the cash to buy mods, then a larger portion of people who just talk about it but more than likely wouldn't take the plunge.
Reading through threads in the MK3 sections, you see most people are either complaining about their transmission, trying to figure out the best octane fuel for MPG or basically just talking about modifications that do nothing for performance. So even with in the population of the MK3 owners on this forum, I don't see that many people who would truly go to those levels.
Since the ST comes factory turbo charged, they will benefit greatly from a tune straight out of the box. That's where this business model doesn't make much sense for the N/A market. The tuning gains on a N/A engine are going to be minimal, and I for one can't justify spending $500 to tune for such minimal gains. Maybe if I intended to turbo this car, but that's not likely.
Per Lisa Schoder the Ford Focus ST marketing manager:
Schoder says Ford already has 2,000 pre-orders for the ’13 Focus ST. She anticipates U.S. sales of 8,000-10,000 units and 50,000-60,000 globally, but notes the auto maker will build to demand.
So 8-10k units in the U.S. as compared to a population of approximately 222k cars already sold this year alone in the U.S.
Now I'm not so sure the car is maxed out in stock form given the 12:1 compression and the twin independent variable cam timing and only producing 160 horse power and 148 ft-lbs of torque. I know you can get more power out of the engine, simple bolt ons have shown some gains, although perhaps not as well as they would if we could actually tune it.
However I understand that just demanding something based on this doesn't make it so, which was why I wasn't demanding anything personally, just trying to find the logic behind the decision.
If even 4.5% of the current N/A people wanted a tune that would have been as many as the higher estimate for total ST production assuming you had caputured 100% of the STs at one tuner. It would be unlikely for one tuning house to gain 100% market share however.
The ST gains only 92 horse power stock vs stock because of the lowered compression ratio down below 10:1 (9.3:1 for the ST vs 12:1 in the GDI).
Without tuning just bolting on exhaust headers and changing the air flow has already brought cars up to the 160-175 whp mark, from the 130s-140s that the car was stock, so to say that there are no gains to be had from a good tune is not necessarily valid.