Last post on Dec 25, 2004 at 12:39 PM
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Ford Focus, Acura RSX, Sedan
#64 of 67 So the Focus II w/ 1.4 & 1.6 gas engines are suppose to continue w/ pure hydraulic steering assist
Nov 26, 2004 (12:37 am)
"The 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engine....The steering, too, is first class. Although less communicative than that of the original Focus, it is superbly weighted."
Is it only the 99hp 1.6 equipped w/ the pure hydraulic, or even the 113hp 1.6 Ti-VCT is also? If the 1.6 Ti-VCT is w/ electro-hydraulic, then it is probably inevitable that its steering is less communicative than the pure-hydraulic Focus I. But even the Focus II w/ pure-hydraulic is less communicative than the Focus I w/ pure-hydraulic? Then why bother w/ the Focus II? Just be content & grateful w/ the continuation of the MORE-FUN Focus I in America!
It is already known that the Focus I has a more playful oversteer drift than the Focus II.
#66 of 67 Re: So the Focus II w/ 1.4 & 1.6 gas engines are suppose to continue w/ pure hydraulic steering assist [creakid1]
Dec 25, 2004 (12:07 pm)
"(the diesels and 2.0 petrols use an electro-hydraulic system)" -- 14 December AUTOCAR.
So all 1.6's use pure-hydraulic steering assist.
More in this AUTOCAR issue...
#67 of 67 "Steering's lack of feedback at speed is a disappointment but it can't upset what is another winning package"
Dec 25, 2004 (12:39 pm)
"THE AUTOCAR VERDICT...the steering: although this car uses a conventional hydraulic system, it falls short of the previous car's excellent rack..."
"HANDLING & RIDE
The best chassis in the class, again
Current Focus drivers, this is what you need to know about your next car: It has an even crisper, more capable chassis, but it doesn't steer quite as well. Overall, its a net improvement over the outgoing car, but the margin of superiority is certainly narrow.
Spellbinding is one of the few words that can do justice to the way this car will cover a mixed journey of anything from motorway to tortuous minor road. It's always compliant, beautifully damped and offers a blend of ride and sheer competence that now shames anything in the class above. It sounds implausible, but to find a car that will deal with UK road as well as this you'll need a Lotus Elise or Porsche 997. To go one step better? At this juncture, we're not quite sure.
In the Focus tradition, its's a firm-riding car. Rather than try to isolate you from small intrusions, Renault Megane-style, it makes the driver aware of everthing for communication purpose, but smooth all the sharp edges away for a comfortable ride. And everything is dealt with in two movements: a compression of damper and spring, and a controlled return movement. Nothing more. No shimmy, wobble or rebounding, destabilising lurch. Jut pure control.
In the face of such exemplary suspension, the steering doesn't attain the same extraordinary levels of excellence. Certainly at parking speeds it's impressively twirl-it-with-a-little-finger light, and that's an undeniable asset in town. Where it loses out is under load, as the car begins to settle into a corner. The car turns in quite brilliantly, but where the old car would confirm its position and grip the road with a reassuring firmness through the wheel, this system doesn't telegraph the message as cleanly. All this sounds ludicrously technical for a family hatch, but it manifests itself most obviously to anyone that drives it. Put simply: in the new Focus you enjoy increased capability, but feel less of what's going on. Either way, you have the best chassis in the class." -- pp68-69, 14 Dec '05 AUTOCAR.
They also pointed out "Superbly well-balanced chassis gives very neutral handling: very little trace of understeer or oversteer". No wonder you can no longer drift much the Control Blades' legendary controllable side-way-stunt fun on the MkII.