Tech Time - Compliant Power WITHOUT Compromise!
When it comes to the term "EPA Compliance" many things probably come to mind. Fuel economy or something of the sort is likely the top thought, but what about power? For years it has been a choice between compliance and power, but that is no longer the case! Over the past few years there have been many innovations in the "green" performance space, and at Panda Motorworks we are no exception. Over the past 2 years, we have been anticipating some serious changes to the tuning landscape so we got on board early so we could deliver the best experience and products to our customers. We started by getting our hands on some of these “green” products to see if its actually worth your hard earned money and if they are actually as efficient as they say they are. In this time we have done many things our competitors have not, even if it costed us in the short term. We started by removing all catless and non-EPA compliant downpipes from our website. We followed it up by discontinuing calibrations that defeated OEM emissions equipment. To further understand what that means, every PandaTune in the past two years has been delivered with our new emissions standards, meaning that it is tuned as if the factory emissions system is intact. We continued by auditing other products that may or may not go against EPA standards, which includes turbo kits. If a turbo kit includes a downpipe and that downpipe is not fitted with a GESI cat, we would no longer offer it for purchase. In light of Cobb Tunings recent Green Speed update, we can safely say that the impact to our company is minimal as we have been preparing for this for quite some time now.
A few months back, we had a customer approach us about a potential build on his Focus RS that had been sitting since 2017, and after a quote from his local Ford dealership he wanted to explore a big power build. He came with a list of requirements: 500whp, OEM-Like drivability, and he didn't want to have to worry about whether or not the car would pass emissions. For many shops this would present a huge challenge, but luckily for him we have been preparing for this set of challenges for the last few years, so we knew we could exceed his expectations. Now that you know a little bit more about us and where we stand, let's dive into the build.
At first glance you may suspect that this is a stock Focus RS, but you couldn't be more wrong. Under the hood lies a PandaBuilt Spec-H short block paired with a Full Blown Motorsports Twin Scroll Turbo Kit with a Garrett Gen II GTX 3076 turbo. It's really hard to call a Focus RS a sleeper, but if there ever was one this would be it! From the exterior, the only visible mod would be the Mountune catback exhaust, and even then you would have to know what you are looking at. Aside from a non-OEM intake used to fit this turbo kit, the sleeper theme is continued into the engine bay. An XDI fuel system is used in lieu of an Aux Fuel rail or direct port WMI system to achieve the power goals of this build.
For years it was customary to use a catless downpipe to extract the most power possible from your build, as catalytic converters weren't quite efficient enough to get the job done. You were either left with a cat that adversely affected performance or a cat with a lower cell count that still left you with a CEL, ultimately defeating the purpose of a catalytic converter in the first place. This has led to a stigma that you can't make big power on a catted downpipe. That just isn't true anymore thanks to GESI Catalytic Converters! This Focus RS is proof of this! The GESI cat was a custom addition to the Full Blown turbo kit, to help the customer meet his goal of having an EPA compliant setup. To further meet compliance standards, this turbo kit features dual recirculating wastegate dumps that funnel the exhaust gasses into the downpipe just before the cat. Normal external wastegate dump tubes are typically just a straight pipe that dumps the exhaust gasses to the atmosphere, which is a big no-no in the eyes of the EPA. With ALL exhaust gasses now being filtered through the GESI cat, this car is emissions friendly and features no emissions defeat devices.
With all these carefully selected parts fitted, we moved onto tuning the vehicle. Over the last few years we have done a lot of tuning development with GESI Catalytic Converters and recirculating wastegates to make sure that we can provide the big power builds that customers desire without compromising the vehicles emissions system. Our findings from R&D have allowed us to maintain proper boost control and adequate flow as proven below. While peak power is NEVER our main goal, this particular build still achieved 511whp/458wtq with only 27psi using an ethanol blend fuel (E50). The result was a beautiful powerband proving that Panda Motorworks is at the forefront of producing high caliber builds that do not sacrifice horsepower, while still adhering to the ever changing EPA guidelines.
With that said, Panda Motorworks promise to you (the customer) is to remain at the forefront of the ever changing EPA landscape so we can continue to deliver the high quality builds and performance you have come to expect over the years. Our goal is to assist you in modifying your vehicle in a way that remains EPA compliant, so you no longer have to worry.
If interested in a build consultation, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org!