Tech Time - Garrett Intercooler for 13-18 Ford Focus ST
In March of 2019 a new intercooler was brought to market for the Focus ST. This time it wasn't another rebranded Chinese knock-off, this intercooler was made by Garrett. Yes, the company made famous by their legendary turbochargers had just released a new intercooler option for the Focus ST. As soon as we found out, we had to get our hands on one and check it out. After our first install, we knew we found a winner. The intercooler provides fantastic quality, great fitment, and performance is exactly what you would've expected from a company like Garrett. These are among the many reasons why Garrett is our favorite intercooler option for the Focus ST.
There are plenty of reasons to love the Garrett intercooler, aside from its performance. One of those reasons is the fact that they are readily available so we can provide them to our customers in a timely manner without having to worry about a backorder. One of the reasons they are so readily available is due to the sheer size of Garrett and their manufacturing capabilities. Since their release earlier in 2019 we have experienced minimal lead times, especially compared to some other popular Intercoolers on the market. However, during the height of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we experienced longer wait times than normal due to the compromised supply chain and raw material shortages that the entire world experienced. This short lead time helps get the product into the customer's hands faster and only adds to the reputation that Garrett has spent years building. With short lead times and very minimal backorders, Garrett is able to beat out their competition when it comes to availability.
Another reason we love it so much is the factory-like fitment. No modifications beyond removal of the active grill shutters are needed for the intercooler to be installed properly on any year Focus ST. On top of that, they use OEM mounting locations to ensure the best fitment possible. Unlike some other intercoolers on the market, the Garrett has virtually no sag.
Something else to consider when buying an intercooler is price. You work hard for your money and want to make sure you are spending it wisely. When you consider the price of performance with quality and availability, the Garrett intercooler is hard to beat. On the rare occasion something is defective, Garrett provides excellent customer service to make sure you are properly taken care of. You can currently pick one up from pandamotorworks.com for $599.99. When you consider all these variables, it is one of the most well-rounded intercoolers currently on the market.
Garrett uses a tried and true bar and plate core that is rated up to 670hp and provides exceptional temperature reduction pull after pull. Heat soak is a very common thing in the OEM unit, but that is not the case for the Garrett intercooler due to its larger core. In fact, the Garrett core is 115% larger than OEM. We have compiled data showing the difference in volume between OEM, Garrett, and a few other top competitors and presented it in the graph below.
Aside from volume, other factors should be considered. One big thing to consider is the charge temperature delta, or commonly referred to as "degrees over ambient". The delta refers to the difference in charge air temps compared to the ambient temperature. For example, charge temps from a stock Focus ST Intercooler were 72 degrees over ambient resulting in a Delta of 72. The lower the delta, the more efficient the intercooler is. A delta of 72 on the stock intercooler is a big indication of a choke point, especially when you consider the fact that a good intercooler will have a delta under 10. The graph provided below shows only a marginal increase in temps compared to the stock unit. This is evidence of the Garrett intercooler doing its job in preventing heat soak. Now let's see how it stacks up to the competition.
All the data provided in this article has been pulled from various datalogs from customers. We found the average delta temps and presented them to you here within the graphs. These results may shock you a bit when you consider the price tags associated with some of these intercoolers.
While the Garrett Intercooler may not have the absolute lowest delta out there, we stand behind the fact that it is the best overall package! It comes highly recommended from us because it is readily in stock, provides excellent fitment, and is neck and neck with its competitors when it comes to performance. Quality is unmatched and backed by Garrett, one of the biggest names in the turbo industry. On top of everything, it is rated to perform effectively all the way up to 670hp making it the last intercooler 99.9% of people reading this will ever have to buy. When you consider every aspect that goes into an intercooler purchase, the Garrett intercooler really does shine!