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Old 10-08-2012, 03:13 PM   #1
rexster
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Default 2013 Ford Focus ST Review Thread

Reviews of the 2013 Focus ST are starting to pop up left and right...

Inside Line Track Test

Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideLine
Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.8 (2.9 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.5 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.6 (7.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.3 (6.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 9.9 (10.0 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 93.3 (15.1 @92.5 w/ TC on)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 112

Handling
Slalom (mph): 69.1 (67.7 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.93 (0.91 w/TC on)

Db @ Idle: 45.6
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.4
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 64.7
RPM @ 70: 2,650

Comments:

Acceleration: Not easy to launch, but not as hard as some FWD cars. Doesn't want to bog or coil like Mazdaspeed 3, but also doesn't leave as hard. Needs about 3,500 rpm and quick clutch engagement for best launch. Wheels spin partway through 1st, then hook. When executed properly, the shift to 2nd doesn't bog. Shifter is vague for this kind of use. Probably fine during daily driving (or even road course use), but not direct enough for drag-style shifting.

Braking: Softer pedal than I'd prefer, but stopping seems reliable. Some variation in distance, but no fade.

Handling:

Skid pad: Readily rotates off throttle, which allows complete freedom of line adjustment here. This car would be brilliant on a road course. Communicative and lively. Fun. Stability off yields best numbers here.

Slalom: Eagerness to rotate on the skid pad hurts this car in the slalom. Still, its manners are superb if you're willing to drive it hard. Best time in "Sport" mode. Tuned to rotate so don't bother turning ESC off. Stability control and suspension engineers tuned this car for drivers who understand.


Road & Track 2013 Focus ST vs. Mazdaspeed 3 vs. Volkswagen GTI

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoadAndTrack
Ford’s new Focus ST is a starship amongst suborbital dinghies. It backs up its sci-fi looks with an EcoBoost engine that shreds time and space. It dominated every performance category in this test except observed fuel economy, and did so in a way that’s both confident and entertaining. This is the new highperformance standard against which any other mass-produced car with a 4-cylinder engine will be judged.

Let the surprisingly light clutch out and the ST will launch hard even when its stability control is left on. It takes some concentration to get it right, but 60 mph comes up in only 5.9 sec. And the quarter mile will scream by in 14.6 sec. with a ferocious growl from the center exhaust outlet. It’s stunningly stable acceleration from a front-driver.

Yet the handling matches that thrust. Wearing big 235/40R-18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tires, the ST sticks to the skidpad at a bordering-on-preposterous supercar-like 0.96g. That number is so ludicrous, it’s a bit mystifying that this Focus goes through the slalom at only 65.8 mph—a half-mph quicker than the Mazdaspeed3 and 0.9 mph faster than the GTI.

The numbers only hint at how well the Focus ST performs. The chassis remains near neutral even diving into a corner under braking. Hit the apex and stab the throttle and the car powers through as if each tire were driving stakes into the pavement. The steering is faster than its competitors, though the big tires do leave it with some off-center numbness. Still, the immediate turn-in is instantaneous and totally satisfying.
These are just partial quotes, follow the links for full details. It looks like Edmunds got a much slower car than R&T did. Also, it's worth noting that the GTI used in the R&T comparo had all season tires whereas the MS3 and Focus had max performance summer tires. Glad to see the electric nannies aren't too bad with the ST.
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Last edited by rexster; 10-08-2012 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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I truly wonder how much payola has gone into the release campaign for this car, though.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bWRX View Post
I truly wonder how much payola has gone into the release campaign for this car, though.
I would say not more than usual. I barely knew it existed until I took a spin through the local Ford dealer lot one night a week or so ago. I was looking to see if there were any new Fusions and they had a blue ST. I was caught off guard by it basically.

I came back the next day to test it out.. and if it weren't so small overall (and my hopes weren't so high for the WRX to come out this time next year in a form I will actually buy) I'd have one on order right now. The reviews are too positive in general for me to think anyone got paid off by Ford to talk it up. They seem accurate per my experience.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:18 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by fredzy View Post
I would say not more than usual. I barely knew it existed until I took a spin through the local Ford dealer lot one night a week or so ago. I was looking to see if there were any new Fusions and they had a blue ST. I was caught off guard by it basically.

I came back the next day to test it out.. and if it weren't so small overall (and my hopes weren't so high for the WRX to come out this time next year in a form I will actually buy) I'd have one on order right now. The reviews are too positive in general for me to think anyone got paid off by Ford to talk it up. They seem accurate per my experience.
Ford has been working hard to hype this car up.. even going so far as to suggest it's the fastest hatch on the road... which, we now know, it's far from.


The MS3 basically runs circles around it according to the tests being released. Not to say that it isn't a good car and a good value.. but Ford's advertising firm took a few liberties.


.. oh, and then there were some issues with production (or the timing or soemthing), so the car was basically being delivered after the magazines had published their first drives.. but these tests are now about 6 weeks overdue.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:38 PM   #5
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Yeah and it's pretty soft too! Having driven the ST in anger and given the choice I would still choose the WRX. Suspension was way soft and shifter was pretty vague. The current WRX is just more fun and engaging.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:44 PM   #6
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I had to pick my brother up at the ford dealer because he was dropping his new (and in the process of lemon law) focus off for the umpteenth time and they had the yellow ST there. I love how it looks but the sticker price was kind of obscene at 29k.
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Old 10-08-2012, 08:00 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost Rider View Post
I had to pick my brother up at the ford dealer because he was dropping his new (and in the process of lemon law) focus off for the umpteenth time and they had the yellow ST there. I love how it looks but the sticker price was kind of obscene at 29k.
Was that with everything loaded and leather Recaro seats? Mmmmm... I priced one together with pretty much everything and came up with just over $29k. It comes with a lot of nice things for the price, I don't think it's too off.

If it's got a crazy dealer mark-up, though, then I could see it being obscene, yes.
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:14 PM   #8
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I test drove an ST today

Out of the box it was a better car than my 2011 WRX. Steering was direct and very communicative. The brakes are simply stunning. The shifter is very good as well. Just enough resistance and feel to inspiring confidence.

The car had a great sound. And solid feel.

However whoever called it soft Is completely wrong!!!! It is a stiffly sprung car , stiffer than the STI (which I drove 20 min later mind you)

Yes the STI WAS A MORE COMFORTABLE CAR.
As for handling, the ST Felt far more nimble than my old stock WRX

The new ST IS very good. The hype for the car is very deserved. I had issues with the RECAROs of all things. They were not all that comfy. I am 5'10" at 190 lbs.

I will write up a full review later
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Old 10-08-2012, 09:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanomatik

Was that with everything loaded and leather Recaro seats? Mmmmm... I priced one together with pretty much everything and came up with just over $29k. It comes with a lot of nice things for the price, I don't think it's too off.

If it's got a crazy dealer mark-up, though, then I could see it being obscene, yes.
I believe it had the recaros which I could care less about, but this dealer is notorious for add-ons. I loved the way it looks but after an ms3 and a GTI I will never do fwd again. The problems my brother's focus has had are also a turn off.
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Old 10-08-2012, 11:56 PM   #10
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Don't call me wrong for saying its soft as both my coworker and I both agreed it was and both agreed the WRX (not the STI) is better. I drove it in an autox course where did you drive it? Drive them both in a performance environment and then tell me how you feel!
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:15 AM   #11
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So the WRX with the brakes that are useless after a 15 minute track day is better

Or is the slow steering better

Or maybe it's the clumsy shifter

Or the lazy way the stock suspension rolls durning transitions

Not sure what about the ST. You felt was soft. I drove my WRX on numerous long haul trips and was sublimely comfortable

The ST was jarring and very stiff

I have autocrossed enough Subarus to know their weaknesses.

Just like the MS3 was a better car out of the box than the WRX
THE ST is as well.

Stop being a fanboi and tell the truth
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:03 AM   #12
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As much as I love new platforms, I can't take FWD cars seriously.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xXCloudWRXx View Post
As much as I love new platforms, I can't take FWD cars seriously.
You're ignorant, and we wont take you seriously. Get out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lminette View Post
Yeah and it's pretty soft too! Having driven the ST in anger and given the choice I would still choose the WRX. Suspension was way soft and shifter was pretty vague. The current WRX is just more fun and engaging.
I wouldn't call the current WRX engaging. Comfortable would be a better term. I drove the 2011, and it was plenty quick, but the steering still felt heavy and not so responsive, and the acceleration was more moderate than explosive. Don't get me wrong, the current WRX is a great car and has the best AWD system I've ever had the pleasure to own or drive, but out of the box maniacal race car like the MS3 it is not. Engaging it is certainly not. I've yet to drive the ST, but I will when I take my car in for service next month.

The ST is bringing some serious game, and its only in its first year. This is born again Ford we're talking about. They ****ed up in years past, they aren't taking any chances with their new mission. They are coming back hard, and this car will be no exception. Issues will be sorted. I hated ford for many, many years because they represented everything I hated about US cars. They are changing my mind rather fast. I want the ST to succeed because it will keep the game alive. Mitsu buried their dicks in the sand by pooping on the next evo, I don't want other companies to think this a what the consumers deem as acceptable. Competition among companies is good for consumers. Don't be so quick to massage the WRX's taint, it's not the only fun 4dr turbo out there.

Last edited by Dex; 10-09-2012 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:37 AM   #14
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I'm just stating my opinion of the ST having autocrossed it. I said i feel the wrx is more fun and engaging i.e. a comparison. If others feel differently that's fine that's why they're opinions. Just don't call someone wrong because their opinion is different than yours. In glad the ST exists its just not for me.

Last edited by Lminette; 10-09-2012 at 03:00 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
So the WRX with the brakes that are useless after a 15 minute track day is better

Or is the slow steering better

Or maybe it's the clumsy shifter

Or the lazy way the stock suspension rolls durning transitions

Not sure what about the ST. You felt was soft. I drove my WRX on numerous long haul trips and was sublimely comfortable

The ST was jarring and very stiff

I have autocrossed enough Subarus to know their weaknesses.

Just like the MS3 was a better car out of the box than the WRX
THE ST is as well.

Stop being a fanboi and tell the truth
lolHip-inspired post.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:39 AM   #16
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I feel I must clarify something

I LOVED my 2011 WRX.
I really did. But that love did not materialize until after I got new rims and good tires, bigger front and rear sway bars. And a stage 2 tune via access port

The WRX is a wonderful platform to build as extreme of a car as you want. That is its inherent beauty. It is a robust and moldable as you want it

Cars like the MS3 and probably the Focus ST have a mod ceiling that the WRX does not have. But they are both sharper from the start than the WRX

It is a trade off. If you want a stellar driver from day one get one of the FWD hot hatches. You will be very happy. The WRX is good but is dull when new. Luckily it has tons of grip to make up for it.

Thems the facts folks

Your perception may be different and to be fair you are entitled to it.

Even though the vast majority of the automotive world would disagree
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
I test drove an ST today

Out of the box it was a better car than my 2011 WRX. Steering was direct and very communicative. The brakes are simply stunning. The shifter is very good as well. Just enough resistance and feel to inspiring confidence.

The car had a great sound. And solid feel.

However whoever called it soft Is completely wrong!!!! It is a stiffly sprung car , stiffer than the STI (which I drove 20 min later mind you)

Yes the STI WAS A MORE COMFORTABLE CAR.
As for handling, the ST Felt far more nimble than my old stock WRX

The new ST IS very good. The hype for the car is very deserved. I had issues with the RECAROs of all things. They were not all that comfy. I am 5'10" at 190 lbs.

I will write up a full review later
I am curious whether you knew two things when you drove the car and had these impressions:

1) The steering is entirely electronic, any sensations you thought you had were simulated.

2) The engine sound is piped into the cabin through the sound system.

If you honestly liked both of things in spite of them being entirely fake, then more power to Ford! These things are the inevitable wave of the future. I am just wondering if you knew about them going into it.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:05 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by bWRX View Post
I am curious whether you knew two things when you drove the car and had these impressions:

1) The steering is entirely electronic, any sensations you thought you had were simulated.

2) The engine sound is piped into the cabin through the sound system.

If you honestly liked both of things in spite of them being entirely fake, then more power to Ford! These things are the inevitable wave of the future. I am just wondering if you knew about them going into it.
I knew this stuff, wasn't bothered. Pretty much everyone is going electric steering now (Porsche!?! Supposedly works well.) As for the noise, I'm thinking it's some oddball frequency that supplements the actual engine noise, couldn't pick up anything artificial sounding.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:08 AM   #19
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2) The engine sound is piped into the cabin through the sound system.

If you honestly liked both of things in spite of them being entirely fake, then more power to Ford! These things are the inevitable wave of the future. I am just wondering if you knew about them going into it.
Partially correct. They do pipe sound to the cabin however it's a physical 'pipe' and valve, not through the sound system. I believe you're thinking of BMW. I'm mentioning this not to be a fact checker, but to point out it's not a synthetic sound.

I'll be honest, I gawked at the thought of this when I saw it being put in several cars. In a purist sense I hate it, but for a daily driver it's honestly quite good. Speaking from my experience with the GTI and a friend's new Mustang GT, you get a quiet cabin when you want to, but stab the throttle and the engine will growl at you. Once again, it's great for a car you're going to spend a lot of time in, but if it's say your second fun/weekend car, you probably won't be as thrilled. Fortunately I have another car for that so in the GTI I don't mind it.

Last edited by endlesss; 10-09-2012 at 10:37 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #20
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If we're worried about electric steering, remember the NSX had electric steering.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:38 AM   #21
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Stop being a fanboi and tell the truth
You're just not on his level.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #22
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I test drove an ST today
Scrap, are these at the dealers or did you get an invite?

Pic's???
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:00 AM   #23
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Well I just happen to test drive one of these this weekend… And an hour later, I test drove an STI. Just for the back to back impressions…

Here are my thoughts below. But for reference, here are my comparison data points:

2013 Golf R – 20 minute test drive
2006 STI – 3 years of daily driving and autocross
2011 WRX – 1.5 years of daily driving and 2 track days
2013 STI – 15 minute test drive

From a walk around the Focus ST is a nice cohesive design. Everything looks well panned and one line flows into the next. The whole car has a ready to play look to it.
The wheels are beefy 235/40’s which means this car has lots of rubber working all the time. They are also quite sticky. Goodyear Eagle F1’s are not half hearted tires. The brakes look quite at home behind the 18” wheels. The hatch opens with a nice electrically sensitive switch (like the current WRX and unlike a 2008 MS3) All the panels seem to fit well and the doors feel robust. Lets talk about the doors, and the rest of the interior while we are at it. The doors feel substantial and have a nice heft to them. They also close with a good thunk. Not as good as a VW, but a little better than a Subaru. The door cards have a nice two tone palette. And the sides of the door as well as the elbow rest have a padded cloth insert, very nice touch Ford. The window and door switches are nice to the touch and have a good mechanical precision to them and feel like they could last decades. Then we get to the seats. The car I drove was an ST2 package with the cloth covered recaros. They are quite enviting. The car I drove was red and the cloth seats were very nice to the touch and felt very well made. Thankfully they did not have the large acreage of RED cloth in the seats, that the tangerine press cars seem to love to flaunt in front of the cameras. How did the seats feel. This is where it gets tricky. I am 5’10” at 190 lbs. I wear 34 waist jeans. So take my words with as much weight as you are similar to me. The seats are good, and very adjustable. In fact the height adjustability is plain comical. I could go from the floor, to my head hitting the sunroof. Easily 5 inches of adjustment. I felt the seat to be very comfortable everywhere BUT the sides of my stomach. I did feel like I was sitting on it, and not IN it despite the cavernous bolsters. Granted I have put on 15 lbs since my wife got pregnant (sympathy weight maybe?), but this seat was a tiny bit snug. Could I live with it? I will get back to that. For now let’s move on.

The steering wheel is easily placed and has a wonderful leather on it. The perforations and stitching feel very good in the hand, and the diameter is sure to please for many many miles. The buttons located on the wheel are clear and it has very understated but clearly legible controls in the 4 and 8 o'clock positions beneath the horizontal spoke. It would be cake to drive this car fast and not be distracted by buttons. The gauges are very nice to look at, and are clearly legible. I like the ford racing font chosen for the numbers. The screen in between the pods is Stunningly clear and crisp, as was the navigation screen in the center stack. I kept thinking of the quality of my ipad resolution and it is close. The blacks are black and the colors just pop off of the screen. The touch interface is about spot on. This was in the middle of the day as well.

So the exterior is great, the Steering wheel is fantastic as well. I like the design and layout of the car inside and out, as it feels like a modern car. But how is it to drive?
I drove it for about 15 minutes. Though city streets, and some freeway, and a few bends and twisties.

Clutch take out is about in the middle of the pedal (which are all aluminum pseudo racing style like the WRX), and engagement is smooth and light. Two things are apparent right from the first 10 seconds of driving the car. It responds immediately to steering inputs, and the brakes come on as strong as any STI I have ever driven with little pedal travel. The brakes are strong, MS3 strong, STI strong. I feel I could barrel toward a brick wall and hit the brakes when I could read ACME and still stop. Put a resounding check in that box. The steering is of course more subjective to everybody. My recent drive of the Golf R generated many grimaces when I had to turn the wheel. The feel in this car is much much better. If you have ever driven a MS3 or STI you know the car seems to act on every movement of the wheel and it does so with an immediacy that makes you want to get your superman cape out of the closet and start doing amazing things. The steering the Focus ST is ALMOST this good. It felt familiar and trust worthy. By almost I mean it was 95% of the instantaneous feel of the MS3 and my 2006 STI and the 2013 STI I drove as well. The steering wheel commands the wheels with absolute authority. What about shifting gears? The shifter is a great piece of kit. It is smoother than an STI shifter, but is nicely weighted and feels perfect in your hand. It is welcomes your hand each and everytime I reached for it. Upshifts and downshifts were easy to make and rev matching was cake as well. Something the MS3 was not good at since it had a bit a of lazy drive by wire system.

The ride quality was not up the smooth ride of stock WRX. The STI and Focus ST are actually very close in ride comfort over bumps and straight line cruising. The ST is a tad rough over rough pavement, but not in an overly annoying way like a tuner car is. There is some good damping going on the ST. I remember my MS3 being about as rough at times. So, it could be a daily driver, but realize that you will feel lots of the road imperfections. That helps out with steering feel, no doubt, but you will know you are driving a car with corning prowess built into it.

So back to the seats…While I was driving the car, I noticed all I cared about was the great engine note and the great steering and brakes and shifter. I did not even notice the seats, which is good. When I came to a stop, I realized how snug I was being held in place. On a track, this would be considered perfect. Not sure about daily use for my body frame. Two things you should be aware of. The rear seat leg room is not generous. It is on the tight side of average. The hatch area while deep is not that wide. The subwoofer uses up a bit of room. I am not sure I could put my huge baby stroller in the back. But it might fit.

The focus ST is a real car that deserves some serious consideration. The general spot on driving feel and amazing brakes and shifter and you have a car that comes across as a baby Border Collie that wants to play ALL DAY LONG and with a smile on his face. I think the Focus ST is destined to be a hit. Combine all that with the enormous Ford Racing department that I predict will sell a gaggle of ST parts in the near future you have a car that is amazing out of the box with the possibility of factory back performance add ons.

I say Bravo Ford.
The amazing amount of positive reviews of this car would seem to indicate this is not just another A to B means of transportation that in fact the gearheads at Ford have created something inherently good and very special. This is a very driver focused car and deserves to be on your short list of cars that can put a big stupid grin on your face.

Last edited by SCRAPPYDO; 10-09-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:07 AM   #24
SCRAPPYDO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bWRX View Post
I am curious whether you knew two things when you drove the car and had these impressions:

1) The steering is entirely electronic, any sensations you thought you had were simulated.

2) The engine sound is piped into the cabin through the sound system.

If you honestly liked both of things in spite of them being entirely fake, then more power to Ford! These things are the inevitable wave of the future. I am just wondering if you knew about them going into it.
The steering being electric was not an issue. It was still a great unit and felt good. I could sense what the tires were doing.

And I realize I forgot to mention something...or did I

Torque steer..The fact that I did not write about it should tell you something.

Is it non existent? NO. But unless you drive with one finger on the wheel, it is a complete non issue. Granted it was dry and I was not smoking tires during my test drive out of respect for the car. I drove the car like I would on my daily commute, and it was FUN. Which is the

single

most

important

thing

a

car

can

be.



to put it perspective, I put the car in third gear and let go of the wheel and floored it and it took off. The wheel gradually and barely moved to the right when it was nearing redline. The torque steer compensation system definitely works well. Very UN MS3-like.

Last edited by SCRAPPYDO; 10-09-2012 at 11:19 AM.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:24 AM   #25
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thanks for the write up, sounds like a car worth considering.

I'm thrilled Ford decided to make this available to the USDM !
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