Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM
You are in the Ford Focus
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus, Sedan
#1921 of 2014 Re: What do you [scape2]
Jul 12, 2007 (2:56 pm)
Really don't care for the 2008 version coming to the US and Canada. IMHO it just looks awkward and should be renamed the Escort or Fiesta. And they're ditching the hatchbacks and station wagons(?) How would that help their sales?
Meanwhile the rest of the world is getting a refreshed version of the *second* generation Focus, to give it some of the new Mondeo's styling.
Now that's much better! Ours looks like crap in comparison.
Again, I wish Ford would get a clue, copy Saturn, and make Mercury their global Ford platform. Bring over the Mondeo, Euro Focus, the Falcon from Oz, etc. They would have one heck of a lineup instead of the blandmobiles that are currently in their showrooms here.
#1922 of 2014 Re: Why do we get the left overs? [dj2big]
Jul 13, 2007 (4:14 am)
"Geez at theres have the mirrors and door handels painted."
So does our '05-07 Focus ST w/ the "'05-07 Mondeo ST220" grill. Actually, people from around the world envy it, especially when that macho (by their std) normally-aspirated 2.3 can be blasted off w/ the old MkI's light-body.
The reason I like sedan/coupe over hatch/wagon/SUV is the wide rear visibility from the inside rear-view mirror when you're passing or making lane changes everyday.
I've sat in the driver seat of a MkII Focus 4-dr sedan. The rear-glass visibility isn't just narrower than the old MkI Focus sedan, but the right rear headrest blocks the right-rear view badly whenever the rear seat is occupied b/c it has to be raised up in order to make clearance for a person's upper back. Then I placed vertical sticks from the show-room floor where the front corners are. &, boy, the car is so bulky wide it totally defeats the purpose of maneuvering a nimble compact car!
So, around the world, the compact Focus is dead. We're the only one still lucky enough to get the left-over narrow MkI's! Grab one while you can. A 66.7"-narrow car that remains stable at high speed, both straight line & curves, is not what Japanese platforms can offer -- especially the Toyota Echo.
#1923 of 2014 Still Lovin' my Focus ST
Jul 14, 2007 (11:19 am)
Still loving my 2007 Focus ST. Just turned over 14,000 miles on it. As above, the 2.3L engine in the lightweight body is a joy, and it handles beautifully. I got rid of the mediocre Pirellis and put a set of Goodyear F1 GS-D3s on at 1500 miles, as well as putting a 1mm thicker sway bar on the back. Exactly what Ford should have done from the factory.
Only regret is that I did not wait for the BMW 1-series to come. Should have held onto my 242,000 mile Festiva a couple more years.
#1924 of 2014 Re: Still Lovin' my Focus ST [waynebengston]
Jul 14, 2007 (9:19 pm)
If you don't care about ride comfort, then go ahead w/ the other multi-link compacts like the 1-series or Mini Cooper.
One reason I traded in my '05 Focus ST for an '07 Focus ST is b/c the Focus ST has the suspension retuned for more comfort after the '05 first-year model, as the '05 setting was taken directly from the SVT/ST170 (except the lowered springs). Consumer Reports is about the only source that ever tested the '06 ST. They praised its ride comfort, which is rare for a car w/ sporty handling.
Also, when the weather is hot, my '05's dashboard/interior has a nauseating rubber smell Ford don't bother to take care of. Otherwise, this Mazda-engine Focus has been a reliable car. You may wonder whey didn't I trade my '05 for a different kind of car. I almost did, but after test driving the numb-steering '07 Rabbit, I say...
Even if $ is no object, I can't think of a better car than the North America 2.3 '06-07 Focus ST, especially after I altered its pwr steering to a heavier setting. My sport-package (w/ the factory "M" decals all over the the car inside & out) E36 '99 BMW 328is ("the best/most-balanced 3-series through out the history" per Euro magazines) still can't compare dynamically. The steering of the Focus is sharper, quicker (therefore more nimble), more precise, yet still more steady than 328is' heavy & slow-ratio steering when cruising straight at high speeds. While the 328is' heavier RWD platform needs 6 cylinders in order to propell w/ sufficient power, that heavy engine can actually make the car plow forward & understeer badly on some abrupt low-speed corners.
& here's the beauty of our light-weight 2.3 Focus ST. It's a 4-cyl car, unlike it's "big Euro bro" Mondeo ST220's heavy 6-cyl nose over the FWD platform. The styling of our '05-07 Focus ST was purposely trying to duplicate it's big bro from Europe:
So now we have a car that looks Euro cool w/o Mondeo ST220's heavy nose & bulky length. Neither does it have the foreign-market MkII Focus's full-size width. & the MkII doesn't steer as well as the older-design the MkI, either:
creakid1, "Ford Focus 2005 release date" #67, 25 Dec 2004 12:39 pm
By the way, the maximum-size 4-cyl or normally aspirated engine for the heavier MkII is only 2.0!
Jul 15, 2007 (2:02 am)
My first car was a '73 Corolla, which was RWD, which I modified into the best handling practical car I've ever owned. I had a string of front drivers that got me from point A to Point B, but were not much fun.
I bought a '96 Impala SS, which has been fun, but I started missing having a small car. I then got the Festiva, which I modified into the best handling FWD car I've owned. Yes, it handled better than the Focus ST. That's what light weight gets you. I then got a '00 Miata, which is certainly the best handling car I've owned, hands down, but it did not have enough room for 400 mile trips.
If the Focus ST were RWD, it would be the car I'd keep for the next 200k. I really wish someone would build a truly lightweight, practical RWD Sport Coupe/Sedan, inspired by the Datsun 510. The closest thing to that will be the upcoming 1-series. If the handling balance is too nose-heavy, I can fix that, just like I did with the Focus, and every other car I've owned...
#1926 of 2014 Re: Some background [waynebengston]
Jul 15, 2007 (2:17 am)
"If the Focus ST were RWD, it would be the car I'd keep for the next 200k."
I'd keep the car for more than 200k even if it stays FWD.
But if you insist RWD, here's an example:
Sorry, solid axle only. Do you only want to power drift w/ LSD?
I guess you can even forgo the V8 to keep the nose from being too heavy.
Since the 510 w/ 4-wheel independent suspension is a Nissan/Datsun, I really think Ford should quickly create the rebirth of the Cortina compact RWD sedan by using the RX-8 platform w/ 2.3 4-cyl.
Jul 15, 2007 (4:28 am)
"I really think Ford should quickly create the rebirth of the Cortina compact RWD sedan by using the RX-8 platform w/ 2.3 4-cyl."
That's actually a great idea, and a car I'd buy in a heartbeat.
Here is what I like most about RWD;
1. Zero torque steer
2. Ability to add power in corner without reducing traction in front.
3. Ability to enter 4-wheel drift(not the lurid power slide people call drifting) with power on, rather than braking.
4. Better weight transfer on acceleration.
I know that FWD and RWD can both be driven quickly, and I know how to drive both quickly, but I get more satisfaction out of driving a RWD car quickly.
#1928 of 2014 Re: Cortina [waynebengston]
Jul 15, 2007 (6:34 am)
Since only non-FWD (RWD & AWD) platforms can allocate the weight distribution aft of the front axle w/o losing the accelerating traction especially on uphills, the light-nose base RX-8 auto I test drove, w/ just 16"s & soft-riding suspension, was still exceptionally nimble. Auto Motor und Sport TV described the RX-8 as "unbelievably comfortable ride" when comparing it to the E46 330ci.
The base RX-8 auto felt like a light-weight car eventhough it isn't, as I could not reach the tire-adhesion limit during the test drive. Actually, one reason I picked the Focus ST over the RX-8 was b/c the RX-8 was too good! A car is no fun if I won't be able to reach the limit on the street, despite that the RX-8 rides smoother than the Focus ST & the steering, while only electric powered, was confident-inspiring enough.
So such competent platform can afford to waste a little bit like increasing the engine weight/volume from a rotary to a 4-cyl for a much meatier low-end torque, plus raising the center of gravity w/ a taller roof & seat height for more room & comfort. That way, I can even reach the limit on street driving.
In the old days, people think that only the cramped Scirocco can handle, but the taller-roof Rabbit GTI does pretty much the same.
Jul 15, 2007 (7:43 am)
I gave serious consideration to the RX-8, but simply could not get past the fuel economy.
I had no problems pushing it to its limits, and it really reminded me of the NC Miata, which makes sense. I know that the chassis would do fine under a traditional sedan. It would certainly give up some sharpness, but it would still be a cut above anything in its class.
#1930 of 2014 Re: RX-8 [waynebengston]
Jul 15, 2007 (8:24 am)
"I gave serious consideration to the RX-8, but simply could not get past the fuel economy."
Investing another $20k or more can make an RX-8 a frugal car that can also do jack-rabbit start while not making its light nose any heavier. RX-8's high CO2 level can be eliminated, too, while each dollar of energy can run almost 100 miles.
It's called electrification w/ lithium batteries & a silent reliable electric motor w/ max torque available from 0 rpm. You can leave your manual transmission in gear even at dead stop. So stop-&-go traffic becomes even more effortless than driving an auto!
There are at least a couple places in S California that do electric conversions. But making the car even heavier is inevitable. I'm looking forward to do my light-weight MkI '84 Wolfsburg Jetta coupe sometime in the future.