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Old 11-02-2013, 10:08 PM   #1
Redivivus
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Hypothetical Top Speed calculations

Hey guys, sorry if this has been a similar question in the past. I tried to search the forums for a similar post. Anyhow, for the last year, I have been just entranced by the idea of running in the Texas Mile, or a similar event. I have seen many purpose built cars break the 200 mph barrier, and that just has me intrigued. Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I do not suspect a Focus can break the 200 mph barrier. At least in a stock type layout, retaining a factory option motor, FWD, blah, blah, blah.

I have, however, been messing around with top speed calculators on the 'net, and by using the factory specs as far as gear ratios, drag coefficient, and all the like available to me, have come to the conclusion that a reasonable top speed of 168.82 mph is theoretically, on paper, a possibility.
Here is how I come to this conclusion.. using the following links:

http://www.csgnetwork.com/speedcalc.html

max safe engine speed 6000 rpm
tire size diameter 27.7 inch (using
Pilot® Sport 3 245/45ZR19)
diff ratio 3.82
transmission ratio (5th gear) 0.767
potential vehicle top speed 168.82 mph

Now, as for what hp numbers may be needed to overcome aerodynamic drive, I found this link..

http://www.wallaceracing.com/Calcula...or%20Speed.php

Drag coefficient .32, frontal area of 26.33 square feet
Using your vehicle Speed of 168 MPH takes
272.73 HP to overcome air drag.
Rolling resistance is 15.64
For a total of 288.37 HP to run 168 MPH.

In conclusion, using the stock 5 speed tranny and gear ratios, a very light weight 19 inch wheel/tire combo, and building a ~300 HP engine (which certainly seems feasible, based on what I have read so far on this forum), is this a possibility? Can a Focus withstand a full mile WOT run to make this goal? Oh, and I want to do it with my 4 door, not a SVT or hatch.

Is this a pipe dream, or could this be pulled off? I know speed=money, but built over a course of a few years, it seems viable. Any thoughts or anything I failed to consider?


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Old 11-03-2013, 01:41 AM   #2
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I doubt you could get to 168 in perfect conditions. I had a 5.4 F250 Superduty with ported and polished heads, Edge programmer, headers, Gibson exhaust, K&N intake, TPS mod and removed the top speed limiter. Best I could ever get is 128 mph. 0-60 time was 6.6 seconds and a 1/4 mile of 14.86 seconds @93 mph.

I bet 130mph is more realistic.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:15 AM   #3
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Not with 288hp he'll go way faster than that trust me, look at the top speed of a factory SVT focus which was if remember right 143mph.


Now before everyone starts spouting off their tops speeds, let me remind y'all of the rules about posting

1) Location and Speed reference are NOT to be posted.


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Old 11-03-2013, 02:28 AM   #4
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165 is really fast in a street car.
Many cars get un-steerable at the speed due to aero issues lifting the front end.
Most drivers will nearly crap themselves.
Also, it may take a lot more road (and time) to get there than the track can provide.

Shop I used to work at, we built some cars for "The Silver State Classic" open road race in Nevada. They all had the power and gearing for 200 mph, none of the drivers pushed past 165 on the big straight. Pucker factor get really high over 140. I personally haven't pushed past 160, and that was driving cars that could do 125 in the quarter mile in road race trim. They could charge to those speeds pretty quick, if the speed gains are slow, you'll come to your senses long before you run out of gears or hit very high speeds if the car doesn't pull hard over 130.

For comparison, those cars will hit 160 down the main straight at Willow Springs, so having two more miles of straight track to stay on the throttle didn't make it any easier to drive them any faster.

No, I don't think you will get to 165 in a Focus with 300hp.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:33 AM   #5
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Few things of note:

• a 19 inch wheel with a 45 sidewall is ALOT bigger than the factory tire size. You are putting alot more load on your transmission, which will change the efficiency of how you put down power. This doesnt even consider whether or not you could even fit a 19" wheel with a 45 sidewall.

•The focus platform is not intended for high speeds. Its not a very long wheel-base, and the aerodynamics (even on the sedan) create some pretty nasty vortexes. What these web calculators don't account for is the actual shape of the front end. While we can calculate the frontal surface area, aerodynamics aren't quite so simple.




I don't doubt that its possible, but in all honesty, I wouldn't bother trying. Not only is the car simply not designed for it, you will also need conditions that are hard to find, such as a straight-away long enough to allow it.
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Old 11-03-2013, 07:04 AM   #6
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If your wanting to do so speed runs, I'd start out w/ a different platform, like a LS powered Firebird, instead of a Focus. You have to think cost vs performance.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:36 PM   #7
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Why bother attempting to use a tire with a diameter nearly 4" larger than stock? Why limit an engine built for 300hp to a maximum of 6000rpm? Why use the shortest Focus MTX-75 final drive ratio?

My math shows that it wouldn't be hard to build a Focus with a theoretical (gearing/rev limited) top speed of ~200mph...At which point it's simply a game of sufficiently increasing power and decreasing drag to reach whatever your desired top speed would be.

However, you also seem to be confusing two different kinds of events. Land speed racing is where you would attempt to creep up on the maximum possible speed the car is capable of, where as the cars doing the standing mile are still accelerating as they cross the finish line.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:41 PM   #8
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You do not want to be doing 160MPH in a street car, it is just plain stupid and unsafe. Not saying it cant be done, I am saying the way back down to a "safe" speed is the scariest damn thing in your life. (Dumb Experience)

Your car will shake, wonder all over the place, completely unstable, little control of your fate.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreySkorpion View Post
I doubt you could get to 168 in perfect conditions. I had a 5.4 F250 Superduty with ported and polished heads, Edge programmer, headers, Gibson exhaust, K&N intake, TPS mod and removed the top speed limiter. Best I could ever get is 128 mph. 0-60 time was 6.6 seconds and a 1/4 mile of 14.86 seconds @93 mph.

I bet 130mph is more realistic.
Your comparing one damn dog of a truck, that has a huge wind resistence to a car that is much more aero dyanmic. I know exactly how your truck felt though, it felt GREAT! I had a 2004 (Heritage, so old body style) Single cab, short bed, XL with the 5.4. I did 4.10 gears,headers,heads,tuned,full exhaust thing moved for a truck.
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:35 AM   #10
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The best Focus to even attempt a top speed run would be a 2003-2004 Duratec Wagon. The wagon has the lowest CD of all designs (0.30 vs 0.31 of the sedan vs 0.36 of the hatchback), and the 2003-2004 have a 3.41 final drive. However, you will still need a large amount of power to get it up there.
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