John Hennessey and his company, Hennessey Performance Engineering, have made names for themselves over the past 25 years by cooking up some of the fastest, most potent road cars available, mostly by tuning formerly-stock vehicles like the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette, and Dodge Viper.
Recently, the tuning firm welcomed the all-new Ford Focus RS to its portfolio as well, wasting no time at all bringing out the “HPE400” performance upgrade package. Using nothing more than an engine management software upgrade, Hennessey was able to bring the peak output of the Mk III Focus RS up from 350 horsepower and 350 lb-ft to about 390 horsepower and an awe-inspiring 445 lb-ft. The package costs $695, and ships with a handheld programmer, “Hennessey” and “HPE400” exterior badges, and nothing else.
Naturally, you might wonder to what extent extra power and torque could really transform the experience of driving a car. That’s why company owner John Hennessey shot the above video evaluation of the HPE400 Focus RS. After driving it around a decent set of back roads near the firm’s headquarters outside of Houston, Texas, he concludes that the Hennessey upgrade package takes the car from maybe a 6.5/10 in terms of fun factor to something more like an 8.5 or a 9 out of 10.
“The HPE400 package for the Focus RS transforms this car from a fun car to a stupid-fun car,” says Mr. Hennessey. (Note: He may be biased.)