January 22, 2016
While the Ford Focus has a litany of impressive pluses, speed cannot be added to that list of goodies. As mentioned before, downshifting in a manual is a quick relative fix for the most part. If buying one used (2012-2013 era) be wary of the PowerShift technology, a thrust bearing within PowerShift transmissions common Ford Foci has a tendency to over-eagerly expire. Even if it has not expired prematurely; do not expect seamless transitions if manually shifting the semi automatic transmission. In fact, be thankful if it accomplishes the task without grinding or groaning. and do not be surprised if it rolls back a little on hills (if you deem the car behind you on a hill to be too close for comfort, a hand brake is your friend). Though, a downshift will not help your zero to sixty, which I know it is definitely a first world problem, but some people like driving fast. The entry level Ford Focus has a glacial zero to sixty time: enough speed to be detrimental, but still not quick enough to notice unless you were already paying attention to it. If acceleration is deemed insufficient; the only fix is an upgrade. The Standard turbocharged two litre (EcoBoost) engine is no slouch, but some people find 160 horsepower and 146 foot pounds of torque to be lacking. In seeking to appease those (American) people Ford affixed an ST badge to a number of their Foci (and Fiestas). To that end Americans loved the ST, so profusely that Car and Driver even gave it a 10Best award. The publication had nothing but positive mentions about the Sports Technology (ST) upgraded Ford Focus. If fun be the deciding factor, the ST fared better than the gold standard GTI. The ST boasts 252 horses and 270 foot pounds of torque to the GTI’s 200 and 207 respectively. However, most Americans do not know the pleasure derived from driving a Ford Focus RS. The Rallye Sport improvements make the ST appear sluggish. Unfortunately, for those in the Colonies, the German made RS has not anti-D-Day-ed American soil, only a lone wolf has made it across our southern border (legally I might add). That all changes in 2016, anti-D-Day (as in a friendly mass immigration from Germany to the US) will happen sometime in this Spring. When they arrive, the often electric green RS’i will be equipped with 350 horses and for the first time ever all wheel drive. In that sense, it will be replacing the sorely missed (legendary) Evo X. The German Ford Focused on speed, typically strained the efficacy (and grip) of the front two wheels. The German branch of Ford somehow found a way to make the front wheels steer in the right direction while putting down 350 horses; sometimes resulting in awesome three wheeled action. Though it also resulted in unfortunate understeer. This year, Ford Focused on being formidable; any challenger within the same price range will be hard-pressed to compete. Even the Golf R and the Evo X would falter at the sight of a torque vectoring, four wheel drive RS, but when you add that it sports a sport tuned 2.3 Litre EcoBoost engine (resulting in 50 more horses) they will not leave the garage.