As we’ve already made clear in the intro article, the highlight of the ST STanced build will be the air suspension set-up. We knew from the beginning that air suspension would get us the look we want, and our existing relationship with the main project partner, AccuAir Suspensions, for this build gave us the confidence to believe we could also stay faithful to the performance nature of the Focus ST.
Because the 2013 ST is so new, there are not yet any air spring solutions available to simply bolt-on. This gave AccuAir the opportunity to develop their own front and rear air springs, brackets, and damper solutions from the ground up. AccuAir started the process by using their in-house test equipment to baseline all of the factory ride characteristics of the vehicle including spring rate, ride rate, and damping characteristics. This baseline became the building block necessary to maximize the air suspension dynamics and achieve the aggressive performance requirements that Ken Block and fifteen52 were looking for without straying too far from the factory characteristics of the car. Reno summarized for us: “When Ford suspension engineers get out of this car after a test drive, we want to see a smile on their faces because we didn’t take away from what they spent years fine tuning.”