You already read our review of the Sneed4Speed Billy Club shift knob that we tested in our long-term 2015 Subaru WRX. Josh noted that “It may look funny but if performance driving is your thing then Sneed4Speed has your shift knob”. And Josh knows knobs! So how does it work on the turbocharged Focus from Ford? Let’s find out.
Let’s start with the knob itself. You already saw a very detailed unboxing and analysis if the build quality and material in our WRX write-up, but here are a few facts about the Billy Club. It feels like it’s made from one solid block of something, because it was. You can get one made from delrin, which is what you see here, or in billet aluminum, and both come in smooth or knurled styles.
- Height: 5.75 in.
- Width: 1.75 in.
- Weight: 9.90 oz
But you want to know what it’s like to drive a Focus ST with one of these attached, so let’s move on. Bottom line, it’s pretty cool. We actually worked with Sneed on the development of the Focus ST knob, testing out a couple of iterations to find one that worked with the shift lock out for the reverse gear. Installation is quick, 41.14 seconds actually. That includes removal of the stock knob and screwing on the Billy Club. So, as with the WRX, you really could roll with multiple knobs (queue Peter Griffin laugh) depending on what you need.
Head over to YouTube and watch videos by Ken Block, or featuring some sort of highly tuned track car. How do they shift those fancy sequential transmissions? With a bigass shifter, that’s how. And the reason is obvious, you keep your damn hands on the wheel Mr. Fancy Driver. You are much less likely to stuff it into a tire wall or ditch if you have both hands on the wheel.
Same deal here, I found that shifts were quicker in aggregate with the Billy Club than the stock shift knob because my hand reached the top of the knob quicker (giggity) and engaged the shift faster. It is true that it can magnify the sloppiness in your shifter, but this paired with a short shift kit would be sublime.
I like to find a good spot to place my arm while driving, much like most drivers. The nice flat spot on top of the Billy Club helps you do just that. The dash in the ST slants back away from the driver, so I never felt like the shift knob was blocking the buttons, although I did jam my finger into the dash going into 3rd once. But, unless you really don’t learn from your mistakes, it’s easy to get used to. When cruising in 6th gear, it wasn’t an issue an made it an even easier wrist wrest.
So in summary, give it a shot, particularly if you are into motorsports. It’s cold in DC right now so I didn’t get a chance to try it out on track or at an autocross but I imagine that’s where it’s most at home. Stay tuned to RFD this Spring, we are partnering with Sneed Speed to do some testing at VIR so I imagine we’ll have even more time spent with the Billy Club.
Take a look at our Focus ST on Wheel Well.