Ford Focus SVT

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Comments

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    ..about their products, but does LA have some of the most dimwitted salesmen around? If I'm a salesman and I make up some story about the SVT being canceled (maybe to deter you from waiting on a vehicle and instead, buy one today), I'm sure as hell going to turn around and try to sell you something on the lot!
  • tegwjtegwj Member Posts: 51
    Yikes. At long last I found a dealer that was clueful and not rapacious. I've ordered the car with just the cold weather package -- no sunroof or stereo pkg -- silver w/blue interior. Who knows when it'll arrive.

    Ordered from Peninsula Ford in Palo Alto, CA. I tried their Menlo Park outlet too but couldn't get a clear answer right then & there about whether they wanted to charge a markup, so went down the street to their cousin.

    Plan is to remove the stock stereo and replace it w/a Nakamichi in-dash changer, decent speakers, and an amp. Will cost a little more than factory sound but ought to sound much better.

    I'm paying MSRP for the car -- $18390 i believe.

    twj
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    If the stock stereo is like the one in our ZX3, you ought to give it a good listen before throwing your money away on aftermarket stuff. It is very listenable - one of the best factory units I've heard in a car that cost what our's did.
  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    Actually, the stereo in the SVT is more powerful. I believe it is 400 watts with a sub in the truck.
  • tegwjtegwj Member Posts: 51
    The stock stereo is something like 120 watts, the optional is 290 incl. subwoofer.

    That said, those numbers are fairly worthless as an indicator of sound quality.

    I appreciate silver_bullet's reminder to live with the stock unit for a while before tossing it aside; my point is simply that, since I'm likely to upgrade anyway, spending extra money on the factory stereo upgrade isn't really necessary.

    twj
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    I think you're refering to the optional Audiophile package. The stock system on the SVT is the same 6-disk in dash CD changer head unit that is standard (for 2002) on the ZX3, ZX5 and ZTS.
  • tegwjtegwj Member Posts: 51
    ...stock stereo, at least according to published data, doesn't include the changer -- it's part of the same audiophile package that includes the sub & extra amplifier.

    twj
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Since the SVT is still vaporware, its hard to say exactly which stereo will be standard. The single disc AM-FM-CD unit in our 2000 ZX3 is made for Ford by Visteon, and it really is surprisingly listenable. The controls are large, easy to use, and very intuitive, plus the anti-theft removeable "button bar" / flashing LED is very cool. I've seen the 6 disc unit, and don't like the controls nearly as much. Personally, I think cars like the SVT are meant for driving, and I usually turn off the music for that :) Stay home if you want to listen to music.
  • trevatreva Member Posts: 39
    Congratulations on your SVT order.
    I was in Peninsula Ford yesterday (getting my zx3 windscreen wiper recall fixed; they botched up the windscreen seal when doing the recall....)
    Usually, they're pretty good with maintenance work, free loners etc.

    Anyway, whilst waiting, I asked the everpresent salesman there about the SVT. He mentioned the SVT's are due to arrive in February and gave me the speech that "as they're Northern California's biggest Ford dealer yada yada" they'd get the biggest selection in. We'll see, but I'd just like to get inside one in a showroom and for a test drive asap. May trade my May2000 model in. We'll see.
    treva
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I'm a first time participant in the SVT Focus chat room and was prompted to comment based on the enthusiasm of the participants. I'd previously followed the Focus hatchback chat room when it first was formed and I was interested in buying a ZX3. This I ultimately did, ordering an autumn orange stick with abs and side airbags which arrived in June 00. Curiously, this color, which I liked enough to order, is now a slight liability when assigning resale value, and Ford only offered this color in the 2000 model year . So much for my taste in color! It's been a nice car and more refined (substantially more suspension travel and better steering) than the two Neons I'd owned previously, though slower and with more of a thirst for fuel than either my '95 Highline or my '98 R/T. However, I recently had the opportunity to drive a prototype SVT version (the same Sonic Blue one Car and Driver reviewed, (probably "Automobile too) - it had the same license plate number), and while my current ZX3 is a "nice" car, the SVT is a "fun" car. All of you waiting to drive/buy one will not be disappointed. Just wish it came in an autumn orange (!) - or some other color than the four offered - with a parchment interior. I'm looking forward to reading future correspondence in the SVT Focus chatroom. Sounds like fun.
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    The February issue of 'Sport Compact Car' gave a glowing review of the SVT Focus. They like it much better than the WRX, the SpecV and MP3.
    They give very high marks to the $675.00 six-disk Audiophile stereo system, saying 'the clarity is awesome' and the best of the rest.The drivers seat has power adjustment and lumbar adjustable support.
    The coin storage slot on the dash has been replaced with oil and temperature guages.
    Due in February.
    Wow! My Pain in the A** Zx3 has grown up.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I forgot to mention the other day when I spoke of my test driving an SVT Focus that 6th gear in the SVT seems to be nearly the same as 5th in the regular ZX3 i.e. both indicate ~72 mph at 3000 rpm so the freeway doesn't seem like an endless quarter mile, but with the extra gear thrown in the ratios are much closer - that's one of the fun parts. Can't say I'm crazy about the rotating knob for the recliner mechanism though. I had one of those in my '74 Opel and '86 Golf. and while you get an infinite range of adjustments they're a pain when you want to make significant adjustments to the seat angle such as putting the seat all the way down for a snooze. Just my personal thoughts. I'm curious if the SVT is going to recommend using the 5W-20 oil the other Focus models started using this model year. Anyone heard about this? Last comment on the SVT and American ZX3's in general: wish they'd use the same tail light design as the European models i.e. use an extra bulb in the tail light assembly to allow for amber turn signals. This would require the backup lights to go in the bumper (as they are in the European versions) though the assembly is so large it seems like they could include all three bulbs in the same assembly. As you know, it's huge but the part currently used (lit up) for running lights, turn signals, and braking, is quite minimal, the rest being a simple reflector. My Neons were the same way - huge "light" only partially lit up. Saves money I guess. Tomorrow I'll be going to the Media Days for the LA Auto Show and hope to give an SVT (or two) a thorough going over. They've mentioned (Ford has at least three really good SVT Focus specific brochures available) the SVT having "tilt and slide" seats and I hope they do. Many of the Japanese 2-dr compacts have this feature and it sure gives easier access to the back seat.
  • tegwjtegwj Member Posts: 51
    If you see the car in person could you see if the traction control has an on/off switch somewhere -- i know the stability program for the ZX3 is defeatable, it'd be nice to confirm the same for the SVT's traction control.

    cheers,
    twj
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Will certainly check out the presence of any operator controlled on/off switch for the traction control. It's interesting that Ford offers "traction control" but not the expensive "stability control" on the SVT Focus yet you can get the stability control on the base ZX3. I wonder if Ford will end up offering a limited slip transaxle on the SVT versio. I seem to recall that the Sentra SER (or whatever their 2.0L version of the car was called) had one and people liked it. Will let you know what I can find out. Tomorrow should be fun!
  • tegwjtegwj Member Posts: 51
    There's been a lot of discussion on focusfrenzy and focaljet about the lack of a LSD, especially since there's a Quaife unit available for the 5-speed box used on certain European high-performance Focus hatches. The point was made that, since this Getrag 6-speed is the same as the one going in the New Mini Cooper S, there ought to be two-pronged pressure for a LSD of some description. Hopefully sooner rather than later. Otherwise I suspect some folks will be swapping in the 5-speed w/LSD.

    Cheers,
    twj
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Did you hear the air coming out of my balloon yesterday as soon as I entered the Ford exhibit at the LA Auto Show? My heavy sigh was the result of finding no SVT Focus. In fact they only had three FOCI in total, a ZX3 (which did have the easy access feature on the passenger seat and a pocket on the back of the same seat, which my 00 model doesn't have) a ZX5 and a ZTS. The ZTS did have an interesting feature re: the child locks on the rear doors. You can't just flip a lever to engage or disengage this feature. You need to stick your key, or maybe a nail file or knife, into a slot to change it. I spoke to a robot (named Ed I think it was) that was on a pedestal but he didn't know if they were hiding an SVT and suggested I talk to a Ford rep when one showed up - which he finally did. He said I needed to go to Detroit to see the official launch of the SVT. He admitted that that wouldn't do me any good and he didn't know whether or not the SVT traction control could be turned off. I also asked him if the SVT would use 5W-20 oil like most of the rest of the Ford line and he didn't know that either. Suggested that I call 1-800-FORDSVT and talk to a real person. Will do that and let you know what I find out. Wouldn't mind taking advantage of the $500 consumer cash Ford is offering right now which is separate from the financing incentives - which aren't offered on SVT models in any event. So that's it. Nothing new to tell you on the SVT front. I will relay a few observations about some other vehicles I saw though: The Kia Rio now comes in a wagon and it was actually pretty cute; there was a Civic SI present in that yellow-gold color that was quite impressive. The "dash mounted" shifter was precise and accessible, the build quality seemed to be quite good, and you could actually sit in the back seat. It took 5W-20 by the way. Haven't seen that in a synthetic yet; there was a CNG Crown Victoria on display that had a sticker on the dash that said "When carrying five passengers put no more than 15 pounds in the trunk."; the Mini was cute but the interior materials seemed a little cheap but it sure was full of air bags; saw Jay Leno "launch" the new Mercedes SL retractible hardtop which was very impressive and even had a bit of room left in the trunk when the roof was retracted; the linkages of the six-speeds in the VW and Audi vehicles was really nice; they had a cutaway of the W8 that's going to be offered in the Passat and about drove myself crazy trying to figure out how they got all the exhaust out of the thing, the new 24V VR6 cutaway was also confusing but I think I finally figured that one out. It by the way is rated at 200 hp in the GTI (quite impressive) and 201hp in the Vanagon. Enough non SVT Focus stuff. All the cars with traction control offered by other manufacturers seemed to have an off-on switch so the SVT will likely have one too. Maybe the 1-800 guys can tell us.

    Enjoy the weekend.

    a lever
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Chrysler Group, trying to capitalize on the renewed popularity of compact race cars, or so-called pocket rockets, is introducing the 2003 Dodge SRT-4, a souped-up version of the automaker's Neon. The SRT-4 comes equipped with Viper-style racing seats, 17-inch aluminum performance wheels and performance gauges.

    SRT-4 is the second-quickest car in the Dodge lineup, accelerating from 0-60 miles per hour in 5.9 seconds, trailing only the Dodge Viper SRT-10.
    It has a 2.4-liter, turbocharged, 205-horsepower engine. Appropriately, "SRT" is an acronym for street, road and track.
    The car is priced at $19,995.

    Would anyone wait for the SRT that is planning on buying a Focus SVT?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 30,037
    where did you get that info?

    thanks

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited, '10 Escape XLT v6. 56-car history and counting!

  • tegwjtegwj Member Posts: 51
    ...there's a mention of the car in the current AutoWeek, with a photo. It mentions the turbo but didn't quote stats or price.

    twj
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    If someone wasn't specifically looking for a hatchback they might consider the SRT. Having owned two previous Neons I obviously liked the car. It did have limited suspension travel though and I wonder if the long stroke turbo 2.4 will have the same throttle response as an SVT and possibly be an automatic only option. Maybe not though as there was a supercharged sohc 2.0 about a year ago that had a big hood scoop and high mounted spoiler and had a five speed. These are interesting times! Since we're taking about Mopars here, a finally comment from my trip to the LA Auto Show: Daimler/Chrysler "introduced" (again) the Chrysler Cross Fire and instead of the supercharged 2.7 dohc 24v Chrysler engine originally mentioned, the PR guy said it was going to use a 3.2L engine with 215 hp. I spoke to him afterwards as I initially thought he was referring to the 3.2L sohc 225 hp that used to be offered in the Intrepid and Concord. He said "No." It's going to be the 3.2L sohc 18v twin plug engine Mercedes uses in the C, E, SLK, and M classes. I stuck my head inside the prototype and the redline on the tach was six grand, the same as when Mercedes uses it in their cars, rather that the 6.5K Chrysler uses for their 2.7L. The Auto Show supplement in todays LA Times still talks about the 2.7L as being in the Cross Fire but the PR guys sure told the media horde that it was going to be the 3.2. Guess we'll find out.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Pursuant to the thread of clueless dealer representatives, I will offer up my personal favorite...

    Back in '88 I was looking at the Acura Integra, had driven it and was ready to buy it, when the dealer offered up the following bit of curious information... He claimed that the Integra had a V6. I guffawed and said, uhh, NO, it has a four. He smiled the smile of the omniscient and repeated his claim. I even popped the hood and counted off the spark plug wires for him, and neither that nor the WINDOW STICKER, which claimed it had four cylinders, was enough to deter him.

    I never did buy that car.

    Beware of Ford dealers claiming the SVT Focus has a W-12. :)

    -SHOV6
  • stupendousmanstupendousman Member Posts: 36
    I know that this might be wishful thinking, but I am hoping to test drive a SVT before dropping down hard earned money on it. Any idea when it will be hitting dealer showrooms? I was told by one dealer in the bay area that it wouldn't be until at least June, but that seemed pretty late to me.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Last month I asked my local Ford dealer in a casual way when the SVT Focus was coming out and he replied equally casually, "I think we're getting one in February." I need to call 800-FORD-SVT but they're not open this late. They should know.
  • stupendousmanstupendousman Member Posts: 36
    Just called 800-FORD-SVT and they told me that production will begin late first quarter with the first cars hitting dealer showrooms sometime around mid-april. Even though I know people have been on the waiting list forever, it is sort of hard for me to wait that long when the SI is out at the end of Feb.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I also just got off the phone with 1-800-FORD-SVT and spoke with a very nice gentleman named Andrew. He informed me that production of the SVT Focus is scheduled for next month (February) and they should start arriving in dealers in March. Guess we'll all find out. My local dealer said I knew more about this subject than them. That's reassuring to know! Anyway, "Andrew" also mentioned that the SVT Focus will use 5W-20 oil and that the Motorcraft version of this (I've only seen 5W-20 available in autoparts stores from Pennzoil and Castrol and they were strictly petroleum based) is a synthetic blend. That may be why Ford can specify such a low viscosity oil for full time use year around. Anyone heard of a fully synthetic 5W-20 oil?
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Just called 800-FORD-SVT again and was told that production of the SVT Focus probably won't start until March with the first deliveries maybe starting in April. Sigh. The fellow also stated that the 5W-20 oil Ford uses is not a synthetic blend but strictly mineral (petroleum) based. That's all I've got to say. Boy things are slow.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    ... with the implosion at Ford, that they still build the SVT Focus :( I live in Houston, and have yet to see a new T-Bird, and I'm afraid the SVT Focus is going to suffer the same fate of "any day now we'll get it right".
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Silver_Bullet, there may be some truth to what you say. Hope not. I would think though that with as far along as Ford must have gone in setting up the tooling for the SVT, and the positive press they've gotten so far, they'd carry through. Nothing to do but wait, and maybe consider an extended warranty!

    Hey, don't dispair about seeing a new T-Bird. I live in LA and just saw my first one (black) on the road yesterday!
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    in case you didn't know, the SVT Focus should be part of the SVT Premium Service. Cutting out some of the marketing B.S. and borrowing from the focaljet site:

    "Every 2001 SVT vehicle will be a part of this enhancement to the SVT ownership experience. SVT Premium Service provides SVT owners with subtle touches that give them the special ownership experience they expect and deserve.
    The program provides 2001 SVT vehicle owners with a loaner vehicle while their Cobra or Lightning is in their certified SVT dealer’s service department. The loaner is available from the time the vehicle is dropped off until it is picked up, and the cost will be covered as a part of the overall SVT experience. In addition, the customer’s 2001 Cobra or Lightning will be returned washed and vacuumed as a part of the SVT Premium Service enhancement."

    By the way I know the article states 2001, but the plan is suppose to carry over to 2002 and include the SVT Focus.
  • elec3elec3 Member Posts: 160
    When I was at home over winter break from school. Hard to believe, it was just sitting there on the lot. For weeks. Probably still there. And this is in the Chicago suburbs. Still I'm not surprised, the car was an awful shade of yellow (or yellow-green), and while it is otherwise a looker, I couldn't help but gaze at it in horrified admiration :)

    As for the SVT Focus, if it ever gets built, it probably will be a pretty decent car. There's not too much else right in the same target area as the Focus is aimed at. Mazda's Protege5 (which I own and love) has less power, the Subaru WRX has more power and AWD but costs more...I suppose there's probably a Civic or Integra model that is fairly comparable to what the SVT Focus aims to be, but it is a pretty narrow market segment. While I have a hard time understanding why someone would buy this model instead of a different car when shopping for something new, I can easily understand how current Focus owners would lust after more power...sometimes the 130 horses in my Protege5 feel like they're out to pasture too ;)
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    ... or Automobile Magazine will have egg on its' face. They named it one of their All-Stars in the new issue, in addition to the regular Focus. TWO Focii out of a total of 10 cars made the cut (I am leaving out the trucks). As an aside, the 5-series and the M5 both took separate categories, as well.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    The back of the multipage SVT Focus brochure does state that the SVT Focus will be getting the same special SVT treatment as other SVT vehicles. Gotta go buy the new Automobile to check out their list. Did anyone notice that they last issue when they compared the SVT Focus with its apparent competitors, they actually provided some test results of their own! Nothing very extensive but at least it was more than extremely limited manufacturers info they've used for years. Guess they're finally getting the message. I like the mag but it was so frustrating not getting any numbers. Ya gotta have numbers!

    I too like the MP5, particularly the interior. Too bad they had to include those couple of hidden bags of cement.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    Do you mean the MP3 or the Protege5?
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Yes, I had noticed the apparent change in their testing regimen... Since their inception in '86, Automobile hasn't done their own testing, under the guise of "anything you really need to know about a car can be gleaned from just driving the thing and reporting on 'feel'", but the last two issues have reported performance numbers that APPEAR to be of their own derivation. Strange that they have apparently started doing their own instrumented testing and made no mention of it in their editorial section.

    -SHOV6
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Well, what can I say. I should have said Protege5, the station wagon. Even if Mazda refers to it as something else, that's what it is. The MP3 has 140 horses I believe, rather than the 130 in the Protege5, but from what I've read it (the MP3) too may have a sack or two of that gray powdery stuff hidden away in the frame rails (if it had any). I find it curious that neither Mazda nor Mitsubishi have for some considerable time, never had as high specific outputs from their normally aspirated engines (I think the Lancer has only 120 hp from its sohc 16V 2.0L) as do Toyota, Nissan, or Honda.

    I think Automobile may not have made a big deal out of their starting to include "real numbers" in their reviews so to not draw attention to the fact that they finally realized they needed to join the rest of the car mags.

    I have a three-day weekend coming up. I think I may wander over to Downey Ford and see if I can talk to the guy who e-mailed me and said he'd sell me an SVT Focus at 2% over invoice and see if he's serious. Time to either resolve myself to buying premium 91 octane stuff (it was listed at 1.43.9 this morning at a Chevron dealer next to where I board the bus) or rely on a little common sense (never a strong point of mine) and continue to put the low priced 87 stuff (it was 1.19.9 at the same station this morning) in my ZX3. Time to get off the pot.

    Shov6, I hope Bin Laden doesn't keep you down too long. Sounds like you have sense enough to know that e-mail is cheaper than car payments. Good for you.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Holy smokes... $1.43.9 for premium? Even the highest-priced gas around these parts is $1.33.9 for premium. I think I am spending a buck-twelve for regular, but to be honest I haven't been checking. At any rate, the stuff was about 90 cents/gal when I was in Houston two weeks ago.

    When I test-drove the M3 last week, we went to the full-serve because of how long the lines were for self-serve (and the thing was running on fumes)... And realized only when it was too late that the overcharge for the full-serve was FORTY-FIVE CENTS PER GALLON. He ended up spending an additional $8.50 for the privilege!

    And Bin Laden can kiss my [non-permissible content removed], I have three job interviews in the next two weeks. Hope I get one of them!

    BTW, six months ago, jet fuel was running as cheap as 44 cents/gallon. :) No idea how much it is NOW, but probably cheaper, just as gasoline is cheaper.

    -SHOV6
    I love the smell of jet fuel... In the morning, evening, whenever, it always smells of... Kerosene. :)
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 30,037
    under a buck for regular in my neck 'o the woods. $1.16 for 93 octane. Good ole Jersey.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited, '10 Escape XLT v6. 56-car history and counting!

  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Several weeks ago 87 was under a buck at the independent stations and barely over for the major chains in LA. Things have gone up 10-15 cents since. WI find it curious that 89 is often 10-15 cents more than 87 but 91 is only a nickel or so more than 89. The mysteries of the market place. Man, 93 octane?! I'm envious. California has done away with 92 (never did get 93 out here but noticed it in Ohio and Indiana last Sept when I went back to Indy for the USGP) so the best we get is 91.

    I've always marveled at the the cost of full serve. Forty plus cents extra sounds about right. What's really puzzled me is that they charge more to pump premium than regular. The stuff must be heavier or something and require more electricity to lift out of the underground tank. Can't think of what else it could be.

    Left a call with the fleet manager at Downey Ford yesterday about seeing him to discuss the aquisition of an SVT Focus but never heard back. I hope we can work something out before he realizes he may have a hot seller and starts thinking about "markup!"

    A bit of trivia for owners of SE and ZTS Focii. This doesn't apply to ZX3s. Has anyone noticed that some SEs and ZTSs have only one bulb in their tail lights that does "everything" as in the ZX3, while others have a second bulb in the upper corner of the unit that's used strictly as a turn signal? You notice such things when you don't have much else on your mind. Keep your eyes open and you'll eventually notice this.

    Shov6. Good luck on your interviews.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I forgot to add in my last post that, while I can't vouch for the price of jet fuel, I do know that at the small airport I fly from (rent from a flying school in Pomona, literally across the road from Pomona drag strip where the Winter National's will be held in a couple of weeks) 100LL is going for 2.32.9/gal! You put this into a 320 cubic inch four cylinder with a red line of 2,700 rpm - a little shy of an SVT Focus! I flew a little over a week ago to another small airport in Ventura County about 90 miles away, and the stuff there was 1.93.9/gal, and it is much more in the boonies than my home field in Pomona. Just be glad you don't have to put that stuff in your car!
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Be sure you DON'T put that stuff in your car. The LL is of course LOW lead, not NO lead.

    *sigh* Wouldn't it be great if we could put jet fuel in our cars??

    -SHOV6
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    are talking about AVGAS or something like that and not regular jet fuel like JP8. Regular jet fuel is like kerosene. Not as potent as gas you put in your car. Unless your car has a turbine power plant! I think GM toyed with the idea of turbine powered cars in the 60's.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Chrysler built a fair number of turbine powered cars in the early 60's, and placed them with selected drivers all over the U.S. for a one-year trial to see how they'd hold up. I remember seeing one of these cars when I was a kid in Miami - talk about envious! I think it was a less than successful experiment, based on the fact that the cars never went into serious production.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    From what I know about turbines and from what I have read about them in the Chrysler experiment in years past, there are a few basic reasons why they don't make good automotive engines:

    -Very, very (and did I say VERY?) expensive to build and maintain. Most turbines can't go over a few thousand hours without probihitively expensive (for automotive use) rebuilds, and that is with regular maintenance and inspection. Do you think the average driver is going to take as good care of their engine as an airline would?

    -Poor throttle response. Not a big deal in airplanes, but horrible in an automotive application. Furthermore, the torque output of these engines is very low until you gear it down dramatically.

    -Noise. Even the quitest gas turbine is very loud relative to the average piston engine found in a car.

    -Heat. One of the problems with the Chrysler cars was the scalding exhaust... Nothing like what comes out of the pipe of your car. Routing it around only exposes more of the car to the high temperatures, and standing in front of the exhaust can lead to burns. I know it wasn't as bad in those cars as it would be in the case of, say, a typical turboprop airplane, but it is a concern nonetheless.

    -Gearing. Small turbines spin amazingly quickly (the engine on the Beech 1900D airliner spins its' compressor section at 39,000 rpm), and they need elaborate gearboxes to gear it down to usable ratios for automotive use. I don't know if it is feasible to have a manual transmission hooked up to a turbine, so you would probably be limited to automatics or CVT's. Not a bother to the vast majority of drivers, but you can count ME out.

    -Infrastructure. Jet fuel is not readily available, and the amount of investment that would be necessary to have it at your local gas station would be HUGE. They could design the turbines to run on diesel, I imagine, but that engine would run much hotter than it would on jet fuel and shorten its' life, or would make the engine more expensive to produce, or both. Basically all turbines designed to run on jet fuel can use almost any petroleum-based fuel, at least for a while, but it does increase the frequency of overhauls as they will ultimately damage the engines (as mentioned before, jet fuel is nothing more than glorified lamp oil, and gasoline or other fuels will run MUCH hotter in the engine).

    Basically, turbines are ill-suited to automotive use because they run best in a narrow range of RPM's. The new CVT transmissions could make good use of turbines, I think, but the other issues still remain. Keep in mind how unbelievably efficient turbines are... A SMALL turbine, like the one in the Beech 1900D, weighs about 500lbs, with the gearbox, and can crank out an honest, continuous 1279hp. Even more is available for emergency use, probably in excess of 1500hp. After proper gearing, the thing cranks out a max-continuous torque rating of 3750 lb-ft. YOW!! A gas turbine for a small econcomy car could easily weigh in at under a hundred and fifty pounds... But I reckon we'll never see such a thing.

    For those of you who remember, a turbine-powered car nearly won the Indy 500 back in '67 (??), only to have a five-cent bolt break in the suspension and take the car out of the running two laps from the end. THAT automotive application was ideally suited to turbines because of the long stretches of running at high, nearly unchanging speed (relative to your trip to the 7-11, that is). NOT a good indicator of how well such an installation would work for us, the regular driver.

    Sorry that went on for so long... :)

    -SHOV6
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Yeah, the Andy Granatelli / STP sponsored Indy turbine car was very cool... too bad they outlawed it :(
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Picked one up today and they had a couple of pages on the Focus 170T (I think it's called). It's rated at the same 170 hp as the SVT but with 144 lbs of torque instead of 145 lbs. It has projector beam headlights, headlight washers (no wipers though), a different front bumper, amber rear turn signals incorporated in the tail light assembly with the back up lights in the bumper (sigh), a complete leather interior (looked nice), and at least on the one in the mag, didn't have cruise control on the steering wheel, though it did have the radio controls stuck behind the wheel like the SVT, and the radio/cd looked the same as ours, albeit perhaps with different frequencies. It also had 15 spoke wheels as opposed to the five spokes on the SVT, did not appear to have rotary controls for the hvac, thought they were in the same location as the U.S. SVT version, and had something rectangular shaped (maybe 1" X 2" with red on the left and green on the right I recall, but in any event there were a couple of colors on it) on the dash immediately to the right of the emergency flasher that we don't get. Haven't a clue what it was. The car they covered was a charcoal gray. Quite pretty. Wish the SVT had more color choices. I think they said it (170T) was supposed to go on sale in May. That has no impact on us colonials but I was surprised it wasn't already out. Guess everybody is waiting. Oh well. Had to say something. This posting has been pretty dead. Thanx Ford.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    My apologies. As most of you probably know, it's called the Focus ST170, not the 170T, and CAR quoted Ford figures of 0-60 in 8.0 with a top end of 133 mph. It's interesting that they refer to the engine as the "Duratec" instead of "Zetec." It's also interesting that for most of the other 39 cars they reviewed (the article is entitled "2002: The 40 Cars That Matter") they quoted 0-62 mph (100 km) times. Lastly, for many of the cars they reported the grams/kilogram of CO2 (sorry, can't figure out how to do subscripts on this posting!) the car emitted. Global warming is a bigger issue apparently in Europe than in the U.S.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,722
    well the reality is that they (at least in the UK) are now taxed by the how much CO2 comes out the tailpipe. So the concern may be more of "how many pounds is this going to cost me?" than any enviromental worries.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Being taxed on global warming emissions? Wow. I didn't know that. Thanx for the info. I'm kind of surprised that something like that hasn't caught on here. I'll have to read the mag a little more carefully to see how the UK diesels compare with their petrol counterparts as far as amount of CO2 emitted. Apparently they're not concerned with particulate emissions. They do have the advantage of low sulfur fuel which we don't have. Again, thanx for the info. Wonder if they'll make a diesel version of the SVT!? As an aside, the new Fiesta has six(!) airbags.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    I have the new C&D and it pitted the SVT against the GTI and Civic Si. The SVT won first place. It did 0-60 in 7.8 sec (rather disappointing) and had a top speed of 135. It pulled an amazing .91g's on the skidpad! Shows how good the suspension is tuned. The brakes were the strongest, at 170 feet from 70 mph. Their main complaint was that the car had a lot of noise, vibration, and harshness. It was the loudest car of the group and the exhaust was considered annoying when inside the car. The car they tested had numerous squeaks and rattles and too much vibration from the engine and road. Sounds like with a little more refinement, this car would be a definite jem that would shut up the Honda lovers and prove Ford knows how to make a good small sports car. As a side note, the new Si is a total disappointment (8.0 sec to 60, 125 top speed, 204 feet from 70 mph, .84g, and the smallest interior and trunk space of the group).
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Magazine lead times being what they are, that car was probably tested back in December, if not earlier. Most likely it was a test mule, and at the very least was a preproduction example... This is actually quite common for new-to-the-market cars tested in the automotive press. If my experience with the ZX-3 body style is anything to go by, squeaks and rattles aren't part of the program. The loudest thing in MY car, at least, is the clanging of coins in the coin tray... I don't have any untoward interior noises. Of course the coin tray is not in the SVT, since there are engine gauges there instead. :)

    Now the exhaust is another matter. I would presume that the car supplied for the test was in its' final specification, and it's indicative of what one will see on the final iteration of the car.

    Count me as very, VERY surprised that there is such a big jump in skidpad grip with the SVT. Usually this is down to the tires, and it is amazing that such a big difference over the standard car (or at least the standard car with the optional wheel/tire set) is evident. Didn't last month's test of the ZX-5 ring up a .77 (also surprising LOW since prior tests of the ZX-3 showed a .81)? Going from .77 (or .81) to .91 is almost unbelievable. Must've switched from all-season tires to "dry" tires... But still! HUGE!

    -SHOV6
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