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Pocket Rockets!

pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
edited March 25 in Ford
from News section that some of you may appreciate: Return of the Pocket Rockets by Brent Romans. Note that 3 out of the 5 pocket rockets mentioned in this article are also hatchbacks. ;-)

image Ford Focus ZX3
image 2002 Honda Civic Type R image 2002 Mini Cooper

What do you think... any more to add? Thanks for your comments!

Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards


  • bill_1bill_1 Posts: 97
    Well. unfortunately the Hot Civic we will be getting with be a significantly detuned Si, while it will be better than the last Si (more torque and antilock breaks) it will only get 160 HP and a 5 speed. Honda in an effort to protect Acura sales is shooting for the middle of the market... I think it is going to be a mistake with more exciting cars out there but you never know. Perhaps Honda will outsell the Focus SVT based on quality.

    I also think that while it might be more upscale than the rest, the GTI, by virtue of it still being at least reasonably attainable should be included in the list... with the expected upgrades for 2002, it will not be taking a back seat to any of these cars.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    Just for styling, I'd take either the Focus or the Civic.... what's up with the Mini Cooper? Great European styling, NOT!!! The Cooper manages to make me remember the 60s.

    As far as the detuned Civic, I think people will buy it for reasons like more power than a regular Civic, better tuning that a regular Civic. I bought my Acura CL type S because it is better than the regular CL. As for the Focus, Ford has yet to produce a real sporty competitor for small cars segment in the US. I believe it when they sell them here. I can't imagine Ford making the Focus to outperform the Contour or the base Mustang.... we'll see soon.
  • bill_1bill_1 Posts: 97
    Well I am not sure exactly what you dislike about the Mini? Did you expect them not to at least evoke the shape of the original considering how well the Beetle and the PT Cruiser has done? The important thing to remember about the Mini is that it is easily the smallest and lightest vehicle in the pocket rocket class. though I don't have all the specs on the Cooper yet, the 160 HP supercharged engine in the Cooper-S ought to make that car act like a mini formula-1.

    As for the Focus... well you may not want to believe it, but Ford has already pretty much committed to producing the SVT version of the car.. it is listed on the SVT website and I doubt they are worried about it competing against the Mustang and even less the no longer produced Contour. The base Mustang is like the BMW 318s... driven by people who want to be seen driving them. The SVT will out perform the Civic Si and that is about all there is to it.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    Like I said, the Mini styling screams retro at me. Its nice that it tried to retain some lines of the original... just like the Z, Corvette.. Beetle, but styling should be a little modern. Sure the Beetle retain the silhouette of the original, but it manages to look modern to ME.

    As another topic in Town Hall, cars like WRX and such are fast, but they still look ugly to many.

    Yes, I've read about the turbocharged Focus. Obviously, the Focus will compete in a different segment even though the pricing might be fairly close to a Mustang GT. SVT versions are not cheap nor wil there be many of them. If you think that I am defending any of these cars based on their performance, then you are sadly mistaken. Independent tests are not available so why would I care. Once the numbers are out, that will be another topic.

    As far as choosing one trim over another, that's completely different from choosing one car over another.
  • roninjoutenroninjouten Posts: 201
    Thing was about 20k considering all the rebates and incentives and the tough time Ford has selling cars.

    Can't see Focus SVTs eating into Mustang GT sales. Different people buy those cars. You're not gonna see the typical Guido Mustang driver getting into a Euro-modeled car that's a direct competitor to rice-burners.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    Cheap is a relative term - if you consider bang for the buck, then spending a few thousands more for a Mustang GT would make sense. Cross-shopping - sure, younger people have more options... maybe more open-minded...errr.. single people have more options than married people with kids.
  • wordman93wordman93 Posts: 36
    of the tuner magazines that have had their hands on the upcoming SVT Focus have already claimed that it will be an SI killer, in speed and handling. With the mini being supercharged I would expect a decent amount of torque, which means the little mini will more than likely haul A past most of the cars in it's class....
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    Well, too bad that Ford won't go with the Focus R with 220hp. Give SVT's limited production of 7500 Focus per year, I'd say that would put a damper on some buyers' list.

    Being under $20k definitely won't hurt the sales of these hatchbacks.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802's review of the 2002 Mini Cooper is now available. Here's a direct link.

    Thanks for your comments. ;-)



    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,141
    estimating 7.5 0-60 in the Cooper S, huh? Well, I hope (and I think) that's a tad conservative.

    I just wish we could actually see a test of one of THOSE. Definitely the most expensive on this list, but I find it the most desirable. Just waiting to see if I can fit in one.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • shogun1313shogun1313 Posts: 17
    I wonder what all of you are self-defining the term 'pcoket rocket' since Honda Si/Type-Rs will never be cheap unless you define for youself what 'cheap' is.

    Of course, this assumes that the 'pcoket' means inexpensive, whcih would still mean different things to different people. A $22K Camaro Z28 with 310HP is nothing to snear at--except for the looks.

    I then wonder if the term 'pcoket' refers to the physical size of the vehicle (i.e. small and fast). A 911 is certainly small in comparison to a Caddy or Lexus 400, but tis not cheap.

    So, which is the more generally accepted or talked about definition of 'pcoket rocket'?
  • fgaydosfgaydos Posts: 319
    I do believe the above link is a dead one.
    Would you please check it out.

    2002 Ford SVT.............
  • drew37drew37 Posts: 62
    Does anyone know if and when the new Mercedes hatchback will be available in the U.S.????
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    First look at the 2002 Ford Focus SVT:

    image's First Look of the 2002 Ford Focus SVT is now available. Here's the
    complete story: 2002 Ford Focus SVT, Holy Hatchback! by Ed Hellwig. What do you think?

    Thank for your comments. ;-)

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    There is no question of if the Mercedes hatchback is coming here. People have already placed their orders and the first demos are starting to trickle into dealers. The C230 coupe is to be released officially sometime in August, with the first orders being filled in late July. Go to the Mercedes C230 coupe forum for more info.
  • distecdistec Posts: 9
    How about the Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec-V? 180hp and 180lbs of torque is more than what the focus, civic, and cooper have. Estimated 0-60mph in the low 7s, it should be faster than all of them, at about the same price($18k). However, the engine is a 2.5l 4 cylinder, which is a bit ineffecient hp/l wise, and especially for gas mileage. Of course, if it's a detuned engine, it could probably easily be able to hit 220hp with a few mods. Unfortately, it won't be released until late fall(oct/nov), so we'll have to wait until then to see if it lives up to its claims.

    Pics @

    Of course, its a sedan, but so is the WRX. I would love to see a coupe/fastback version, but I think Nissan has enough on their hands as it is.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,141
    well, i think you're probably right that the nissan will be the fastest in the $19K and under category. But, I think the Cooper S will most likely beat it (at $21K-$22K, however).

    The engine size is the key here. Everyone else is coming to the table with less displacement than Nissan. But, like you said, they will probably all get better mileage. And, who knows? The Nissan may weigh more than the others and, therefore, not be the quickest. Its going to be interesting to see this all unfold.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • surreal2surreal2 Posts: 7
    as of right now, the civic si and focus svt havent hit our market yet, so no one knows for sure.

    both cars will have the same displacement, be a similar size(i suspect the civic will be slightly smaller/lighter), and have similar hp figures(160 vs 170).

    when you compare a civic ex 2 door(1.7 127hp) to a focus zx3(2.0 130(yeah right) hp), you find that the civic ex out-accelerates the focus. which kinda has me scratchin my head a bit. as for handling, i have always found that handling is a matter of personal preference, and cannot be accurately measured except by speed thru slaloms or comparing times thru a twisty track. i find that most ppl who love their sports car (or sporty car) tend to feel that their car is the "best" handling. and i guess it is, to them. it's what they like, and what theyre used to.

    it is extremely important to remember that there is way more to acceleration times than power to weight ratios. you have to take into consideration gearing, powerband characteristics, aerodynamics, etc.

    like i said, neither car is out yet, but my bettin' money on the 0-60 times as well as the 1/4 mile is on the civic si over the focus svt. but only time will tell. (ever compare the times of past civic Si's with escort gt's of the same vintage? hahahahahahahahahaha)

This discussion has been closed.