2016 Ford Focus RS: Suddenly, They’re Everywhere

Not that it’s a bad thing.  There were two at the Pavillions. The one driving by had a blatty, poppy exhaust that said “Ima slap your hands and take your lunch money before your turbo even gets to spool.” Sounds wicked. It also sounded like it was so overclocked that if your octane comes in at 90.9 and not 91, it would grenade itself.

2016 Ford Focus RS
130% more engine and 184% more power behind that face.

I hate love the blue. It’s garish and unmistakable, so you won’t sneak up on anyone. OTOH, youy just spent 45K on the best Focus ever. Flaunt it. Continue reading “2016 Ford Focus RS: Suddenly, They’re Everywhere”

It’s the New Taurus MT-5!

2016 Ford Focus SE

There will be a more in depth post to come, but for now, welcome to the fleet, Mr. 2016 Ford Focus SE. Yes, I am a sucker for a deep red clearcoat Ford.  Yes, I still love my ’88 Festiva and ;06 Mustang. Yes, I also support orphan cars – this 1.0L EcoBoost Focus (2016 only). See: Fiat 500L. See also: 1971 VW 411, 1973 Plymouth Fury, 1973 Honda CB350 – Four, 1979 Futura, 1990 Suzuki Swift (remember those?!), 1993 Geo. 2008 Scion.

I get it from my dad. He always wanted a 1980s Maxima wagon with a stick. And a Taurus MT-5. No one remembers MT was a nod to Motor Trend for being named car of the year. POS orphan car with a big 4 and a stick, so of course.

Likewise this car – no one makes performance mods for this specific model: a classy car with a Geo Metro motor on speed. No worries. I am content (for now) with it not sticking out.

2016 Ford Focus SE-1-3
Faster than the 1988 Festiva, with similar mileage. Way more responsible than the 2006 Mustang. #SuckerForARedFord

Continue reading “It’s the New Taurus MT-5!”

#FordCES 2013: Country Club Living

2013 Ford Focus Electric
Grace and Vanessa loved it

This is the 2013 Ford Focus Electric.  I like it a lot.  I thought about getting a Fiesta.  Focus is roomier.  It’s a million times better than the previous generation. The ST is mad sexy. The electric?  I think I have to pass.  It’s all about sticker shock.  Forty grand base price?  Ouch.  That’s a 23K uptick in base price, notwithstanding all that glorious technology. A $300/mo. lease?  I could swing that, but I learned my lesson, leasing a minivan last decade. It’s not for me.  YMMV. It’s certainly a better car for a better price than the EV1 ever was.

That was before I went to the configurator to build and price one. With incentives and (one presumes) a tax credit, the price drops around $31.6K.  The C-max (to the left) I like so much came in at close to $35K.  The 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid to the right, built my way, comes in at around $31.6K, too. A Focus ST would be a hair under 30.

So, what have we learned so far?  Collect all your data, get to the summary page of the configurator, and then talk to a dealer you trust. (Sorry, Tex.)

However, as nice as this car is, and as competitively priced as it is, after incentives, comes the real question: utility. It has a range of 76 miles +/-.  Using my highly advanced mathematical skills, that means 38 miles, out and back.  I can go to the end of the county and back. Not to Flag; not even to Tucson.  Vegas and San Diego are out of the question.

I have friends that are shopping hybrids.  The wife preferred the C-MAX to a similar Prius.  Then she drove a Fusion Hybrid and preferred that to them both, as well as to a Camry hybrid. She’s coming down from an Acura MDX.  In advising them, I said pick a car that does 85% of what you need.  I.e., don’t buy a van because of one trip to Detroit.  Don’t buy a Ferrari because of one date night you hope to have. This standard still doesn’t make a Focus Electric work for the wife, because she drives more during a day, and can’t spare the 3 hour charge time, as nice as it is to wean from petrol.  This would work better for the husband.

It would even work for me, but as a parent of a teenager, I get to preach one thing and act in a completely inconsistent way.  So, I am more likely to get another Mustang that is mostly a daily driver, than to indulge my inner petro-conscience and drive a strictly electric car, no matter how nice.

Dear Ford:

Please build a C-Max Energi SVO with 475 bhp (or electric equivalent), AWD. 18″ Cragars and a panoramic sunroof.  And seats and a cargo hold that resist every negative aspect of my dogs’ existence.

XX

All of us in the melting igloo that is Phoenix, this weekend.