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Ford Focus SVT



  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    is that the Si rides on 15" all season tires and the SVT runs on 17" performance (ie no ice and snow please!) tires. I imagine that if you were to equip an Si with the same tires, the skidpad would be much, much closer. By the way, I still think Honda screwed up with the tire selection for the Si.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    15" wheel-and-tire kit on the hot-rodded Si? Is that right? What in blazes was Honda thinking!?

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    I know, when I first saw that, I thought "surely that's a typo". But, alas, it's not. I know that some people say that Honda did the research and found that a lot of Si owners buy their own rims/tires after the sale. So they say Honda just put cheaper/smaller tires on as a favor. But I don't buy it. If you're going that route, put 13" steel wheels on there, or put better tires on there with some sort of refund on the tires if you bring your own. Sort of a "bring your own wheels" program. I still think Honda made a very dumb mistake with the tires. But the sales numbers may prove me wrong!
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    After looking it up (by way of pulling out Automobile's Jan issue), I see that the car that THEY tested had the optional 17" wheels. They're still only 195's, which is simply mind-blowing to me (this is the same section width that the Focus has on its' stock 15" wheels). I probably shouldn't be too surprised, as the Acura RSX Type S has tires that are almost the same size as those on the Focus with the 16" wheels... Only the Type S's are 55's instead of 50's. Now that I think about it, Honda has been doing this for YEARS, under-equipping their cars. They really do need some different shoes. :)

    For the record, Automobile's test of the Si with the more serious rubber pulled .90 avg., as opposed to the SVT's .90 avg. Actually, I guess that's not opposed at all. :)

  • rsssonoma69rsssonoma69 Member Posts: 1
    Hey I just found this chat board today. Right up my alley.

    I ordered my sonic blue svt focus back in october. Ive been waiting anxiously. Anybody heard updates about a production date?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    They did credit the tires first for providing so much grip. The SVT had the only true performance tires in the test. However, they said the increase in grip is not only due to the tires. They called the SVT people wizards in the black art of suspension tuning and said its handling character borders on magical. It was the only car that threatened to spin in the emergency lane change test though. They didn't mention the test car being a preproduction model, which they usually will, but I'm sure it was one of the first cars to come off the line. It definitely wasn't one that had lots of beaten miles on it, like their preview test car did. So the rattles and vibration problems is a little disconcerting. Otherwise, it looks like this is a great hot hatch. Glad to see this segment coming back alive.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Well no matter how hard the thing was beaten on, it is STILL surprising to me that the car had the reported squeaks and rattles... I can only go on my own experience, which is the lack of same in my own car, after more than a year driving the horrible, pockmarked roads in suburban NYC and upstate NY.

    Something just occurred to me... I recently re-read an older issue of Car and Driver that compared the Olds 442, Chevy Monte Carlo SS, and the Buick Regal Grand National. If my memory serves, pretty much all of the "hot hatches" in the C&D and Automobile could equal or beat the Chevy and Monte in a drag race (but not the Regal)... But don't hold me to that. I just remember being amused at what passed for a "muscle car" back in the late 80's as compared to a hot-rodded entry-level car in '02. We won't even get into how easily any of these cars would out-handle that ancient rear-drive GM platform!

  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Did anyone notice that the acceleration times in the C&D article were almost identical to those in Automobile except that the latter report a 91 mph trap speed in the same 16.1 sec quarter mile whereas C&D reported 87? That's quite a significant difference. Wonder if Automobile uses one of those "G Pro" things they advertise on TV, the one you plug into your light and place on the dash? Also, as far as their comments on rattles goes, the car they tested was almost certainly the same Sonic Blue one Autoweek, Motor Trend, and R&T also tested, and the one I had an opportunity to drive. In at least a couple of the magazines that showed the back end you could see the same Michigan license. It would be no wonder if it had some rattles by the time everyone got finished with it. To quote from the third column on page 48 of the C&D article, "The car we tested felt as if each of its 7000 miles were driven at redline over railroad tracks." I didn't notice anything but then I was only in it about 20 minutes. Didn't notice any particular increase in "low speed torque" over my ZX3 either though it sure pulled better when the needle on the tach got "up there." I was also impressed at the increase in cornering "g's" , especially compared to the ZX5 they'd tested previously. The ZX5 had 205-50/16's and only pulled .77g while the 195/60-15 equipped ZX3 they'd tested much earlier was around .81 I think. Aren't numbers fun?!

    As shov6 pointed out, things have changed (mostly for the better) when it comes to new cars. The fastest accelerating passenger car (perhaps discounting the Chrysler 300 and maybe the Chevy with the 180 hp "power pack" which they didn't test) sold in the U.S. in 1955 was the Hydramatic equipped Olds Super 88 which did 0-60 in 10.93 seconds. The two-speed Powerflight equipped Chrysler New Yorker was right behind at 10.97 secs - I have the book in my garage. The New Yorker blew the Olds away though in the 50-80 passing test. I don't remember those exact figures but the Olds was somewhere in the 11 second bracket and the Chrysler was in the eight second range. Guess the hemi needed to be wound out!
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    ...I'll bet the interior room is about the same as can be found in the Focus.

    Don't forget, though, that any car made in the 50's and 60's is better than today's cars. Just go into AOL "Car Chat" and they'll set you straight. :)

  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Well, I think maybe you'd have more room if you tried to lie down across the back seat in a 50's-60's road mobile than in a Focus... and you sure could pull a heavier trailer! My parents even had an old Nash (that may be an unfamiliar name to most of you) which came with reclining front seats (wish the seats reclined further back on my ZX3) and somehow they ended up with a set of factory mattress's that were molded to fit the contours of the front and back seats i.e. one side of them was lumpy and the other (the part you laid on) was flat. Betcha can't get a replacement set of those at Pep Boys.

    Anyway, I just called FORD-SVT and a guy named Matt said the SVT Focus will be badged as an '02 and production should start next month with cars arriving at dealers late next month(March). We've heard this before. Will see. Talked to the fleet guy at my local dealer and he said he would probably sell them at MSRP, though his dealership does mark up the SVT Lightning and will mark up the new supercharged '03 SVT Mustang featured in the March issue of Motor Trend. Hope they "get it right the first time" onn the SVT. The variable valve timing on the intake side is new to Ford over here. My ZX3 has had the usual recalls and also had to replace the sending unit on my fuel gauge and looks like I will have to again. I also had a complete steering rack replaced because of something faulty with the original. That should not need to be redone like the sending unit. Other than that, it's been as reliable as an anvil. Wonder if there's a design flaw in the sending unit or if they just got a bad batch from the supplier?

    I'm also trying to locate a copy of Technical Service Bulletin 01-4-7 mentioned in the December 2001 Popular Mechanics which is supposed to list the pre-2001 Ford models that should and should not switch to 5W-20, which is a synthetic blend I found out.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    To accommodate all Focus owners, the Ford Focus ZX3 Owners has been changed to Ford Focus Owners on Edmunds.com Owners Club board. Please stop by and introduce yourself in Meet the Members and let me know how I can help build your club.

    I have linked this discussion into that folder, but it will always reside here in Hatchbacks.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone!

    Owners Clubs
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Since things have been a little slow on the SVT Focus board I might as well tell everyone of a phone call I had the other day. I have been inquiring of my local Ford dealer (who is also an SVT dealer) about perhaps purchasing an SVT Focus. He said he'd let me know when he knows more about delievery dates and that while they usually mark up the Lightning and SVT Mustangs they'd probably sell the SVT Focus at MSRP. Being rather bored I checked the internet for other dealers and was informed of one about four miles from where I lived. They were pleasant enough but it turned out they weren't an SVT dealer and suggested I contact two others. Sure enough, the first one I contacted was an SVT dealer and they said they sold their cars at $100 over "dealer cost" i.e. "invoice. Sounded pretty good. He then proceeded to ask me what colors and options I was interested in. After I told him he asked whether I wanted a 2-dr or a 4-dr and whether I preferred a stick or an automatic. Oh dear! When I explained that the SVT Focus was a rather "special" model he said he'd call me back today with their pricing on that model. Reassuring to deal with a place like that, eh?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Don't let the "SVT" bluster fool you -- it is just another "unit" to your typical Ford salesperson. Most of the sales staff I've talked to at SVT dealers are clueless about SVT products, although they can quote options and pricing all day long on SUVs and trucks...
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    Almost all dealers are clueless. I know more about the cars they are showing me than they do.
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    At 11:30 AM (local time), the very first production SVT Focus rolled off the assembly line in Hermosillo Mexico. It has been a long wait for many, but the days till you all get yours are limited.

    An announcement and a few pictures are available over on FocalJet.

  • chem123chem123 Member Posts: 272
    tiredofmanual, are you really "tired of manual"?
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    Well, no. I have periods where I hate the manual in my Focus. I think that the syncros for 1st and 2nd gear are going bad - it can be very difficult to get the car into 1st or 2nd after being in 3rd sometimes. I drive in stop and go, bumper to bumper traffic every day and the only time I'm "tired of manual" is when my tranny is being a PITA.
  • ivancivanc Member Posts: 2
    SVT Focus fans:


                  MotorWeek #2129

                  With Host John Davis

                  PBS Broadcast Window Begins March 22, 2002

                    * Roadtest of the BMW M Roadster vs. Mercedes-Benz SLK AMG

                    * Roadtest of the SVT Focus

                    * Goss' Garage: Stone Chips

                    * High Road: Fine Arts Society

                    * Long Term Roadtest Update: Suzuki XL7

  • chem123chem123 Member Posts: 272
    makes sense :)
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Thanx ivanc for the tip on the upcoming episode of Motorweek that's going to test the SVT Focus. Ever since Speedvision became Speedchannel I can't figure out when the darn thing is going to be on. I should try PBS as that's where they used to show it before it was picked up by Speedvision. I noticed that the new Motor Trend (April issue) does another hot hatch comparison and once again the SVT comes out on top. Sure wish they'd include the rpm at 60 though so you could tell if it will be a reasonable highway cruiser or if life would seem like an endless quarter mile. Actually, having had the chance to drive a prototype and finding that sixth gear is almost identical to fifth in my 2000 ZX3 I know it will be OK, unless they've changed gearing for production. Just wish they'd include that info. Will have to wait for Road & Track to test one. Also noticed that for all of Ford's hype about the extra "low-down" torque in the SVT it was slower than the Civic SI, Sentra SE-R Spec V and (not surprisingly) the Vee Dub GTI 1.8T to 30, 40, and 50 mph. They say something about the winter traction control perhaps hindering standing start acceleration but I didn't notice any particular improvement in the low end grunt when I drove it either. Oh well, nothing to do but wait and see how much the dealers are going mark up the things.

    P.S. I find it interesting that tiredofmanual is having trouble engaging 1st and 2nd gears as according to the shop manual they both have double cone synchronizers to make shifting easier. Maybe something is screwed up with the linkage.
  • iowabigguyiowabigguy Member Posts: 552
    Spoke to two dealers in the Omaha, Nebraska metro area. One is asking $2000 over window while the other said they will honor MSRP. Are there any dealers who will discount these little beauties??
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    Good luck getting a discount on one. Magazines have it rated as the #1 "hot hatch" and Ford will only produce 7500 of them this year. Don't pay a premium over sticker, but don't expect much under sticker either. Certainly not close to invoice.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I've inquired of two local Ford SVT dealers about the SVT Focus and after an initial contact they haven't gotten back to me. You'd think they'd be more attentive of someone who made the effort to contact them. Maybe they're trying to figure how much of a emand there will be with the car before they decide on their pricing. Wait and see I guess. I did call FORD-SVT this morning and even though production of the SVT Focus has begun they couldn't tell me the EPA mileage ratings. Curious. Will check back in a week. As an aside, it doesn't look like the center armrest that has become virtually standard equipment on new ZX3s isn't included on the SVT version. I wonder if the shift pattern/throw of the six-speed is that much different than the five speed that the armrest would interfere? Seems odd since the new one is supposed to have a short shift pattern. I kind of liked the idea of the extra storage (small though it may be) but perhaps it's not to be. No real biggie. Hasn't been much traffic on this posting so I thought I'd put down some idle thoughts.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Job 1 was 03/04, so the dealers won't see cars for a little while. Most salespeople know nothing about the cars they sell - when an SVT rolls off the truck and onto their lot, they'll look at the sticker and learn all they're ever likely to know about the car.

    No armrest in the SVT - it is a dorky item, and gets in the way of shifting.
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    The armrest doesn't get in my way, but a lot of people over on FocalJet complain that it does get in the way. I think it has a lot to do with the way you hold the shifter, how large your torso is, and how long your arms are. I must be the perfect combination. If you want the armrest, you'll be able to put it in yourself - just order the parts and do the swap. I removed the entire center console (including armrest) to install my short shifter and putting the console plus the armrest back on was a piece of cake. It is definitely something you could do yourself if you wanted an armrest bad enough. I bet the parts would cost no more than $200. If I were buying an SVT, $200 would be more than worth it for the armrest. But of course, YMMV.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I, in fact, did look into installing an armrest in my '00 ZX3 after I saw it listed in a Ford accessory catalog for something like 50-60 bucks with part number and all. When I went to the parts guys at a couple of Ford dealers they couldn't seem to find that particular part number. You need to replace the entire console to get the arm rest and that was something close to 300 bucks I think. After sitting in several Focii with the armrest it seemed not to interfere too much, and if you folded it to the vertical position did not seem to interfere at all. I'm lucky in being completely "average" in size so if that weren't the case it may be a problem. We'll see. If I decide to trade for the SVT I may go ahead and do it. Maybe not. I've survived unscathed without one for nearly two years so it's obviously not a necessity.

    Something else I'm puzzling over is whether or not to get the factory sunroof. That's the only option I'm considering on "my" SVT. I had a Solaraire from Webasto installed on my current ZX3 and have been completely satisfied. From what I've seen it looks slightly larger than the factory one. However, the aftermarket one cost about 400 bucks more than the factory version. Wish they still offered the manual crank one Ford offered for the Focus the last year or two. That was really really cheap - less than 400 bucks I think - but it wasn't a moonroof, rather it was the "old fashioned" sunroof.

    Just some idle musings while I wait to hear from a Ford dealer
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    What is the difference between moonroof and sunroof? Also, did the crank sunroof on the Focus retract over the roof or inside the roof? I'm curious on how it worked.
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    It's my understanding that a sunroof is an opaque (usu. body colored) panel, and a moonroof is glass.

    In any case, the hand-crank MOONroof on my '01 model ZX-3 retracts into the roof, not outside the body.

  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Ingtonge 18 - Shov6 hit the nail on the head. A "sunroof" is indeed a solid piece of metal that slides back "beneath" the roof of the car. It has no sliding sunshade as it obviously doesn't need one. The "moonroof" is made from glass (tinted) so you can see out and watch rain hitting the glass. One would do this while parked I'm sure. My '86 Golf had a hand crank sunroof. My '98 Neon R/T had an electric moonroof but when opened it slid out over the top of the roof rather than inside beneath the headliner. A lot of the 2-dr Hondas are the same way as their roofs are too curved and not long enough to allow it to retract inside. It's kind of interesting that it took the Germans so long to change from the solid metal sunroof to the moonroof after most of the rest of the industry had made the switch. I remember someone mentioning to me that the glass moonroofs were easier to break into. I pointed out that I thought that most people breaking into a car would probably rather break a side window than try and crawl in through the roof. Remember those really large manually operated (i.e. no mechanical advantage of a crank) sliding canvas roofs (sun I guess) that the VW Bugs used to offer? The Renault LeCar had one too. They were really big. Webasto offers one in the aftermarket but it's electric and rather expensive.

    Wonder if I'll hear from the two SVT dealers I contacted a month ago, this this weekend. You'd think by now they'd know their delivery dates. Still, since they're only making 7,500 this year for the entire country, that may be understandable. They sure don't seem particularly anxious about selling one to me. May have to place an order. Did that with my last three cars because I wanted a rather unusual combination of options. Given the fact that the SVT comes fully equipped with only three options I thought it would be pretty easy to pick one up when they arrived - the only option I want is the "moonroof," plus the car in Sonic Blue as that's that only color I believe that's unique to the SVT compared to other Focus models.

    Have a most pleasant weekend everyone.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    yes it's unique to the SVT. The rest of the colors are available to the regular focus's.

    You might want to check out Focaljet.com to get some more information about the SVT.
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    But in keeping with Ford's unique-to-limited-edition-model-Focus tradition, Sonic Blue will likely be available on all Foci in 2003.
  • jlkerberjlkerber Member Posts: 6
    I was at the Minneapolis Auto show this week end and found no Focus SVT. Has any one seen the SVT at some of the "larger market" auto shows? We do have a SVT dealer in White Bear Lake Minneosta but they never seem to have any in stock.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Since production of the SVT Focus only began a couple of weeks ago it might be too early to expect to see any on the lots. I too was disappointed when I went to the LA Auto Show that no SVT Focus was shown. The Ford guy there said they would be officially "introduced" at the Detroit Show. I don't know if this was the case. I've heard one dealer in the LA area has 12 on order. I'll have to check with them about when they expect their first shipment to arrive. I'm sure it's going to take a while for these things to get shipped all around the country. I wonder when they're going to start making the '03 version of the things Not too much time left to build the initial 7,500 '02 models. Some '03 models (not Fords) are already on sale.
  • barnyard084barnyard084 Member Posts: 1
    I recently went to my local Maine dealer and they quoted me msrp. I asked about ordering a basic svt and they said they were only allocated a couple and I wouldn't be able to order one. Then I called the only other svt dealer in the state and they told me to come on in and order what I wanted . They said that they weren't sure what the pricing would be since they weren't built yet. Hard to believe that dealers have that much of a different response when it comes to ordering and pricing.
  • 204meca204meca Member Posts: 369
    My brother drove the Focus SVT at a San Diego dealer yesterday. He said the handling was great, but power adequate -- figures it needs a charger on it to keep up with the competition. He has had one on order, but is also driving & debating the new Golf Turbo GTI, and even a used 323 or V6/6 spd Acura. I advised if he had the coin, go Acura.
  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    I talked to a guy at 800-FORD SVT yesterday and was told the EPA mileage as posted on the window sticker for the SVT Focus is 21 City and 25 Hwy. Thats a drop of 4 city and 9 highway over the current ZX3 5 sp and considerably below the 180hp GTI 1.8T (24/31). Ouch! Seems like a big penalty to pay for 40 more horses. That's only a couple better city than a Z06 'Vette and actually worse highway mileage. I hope it's more a reflection of the nature of the EPA test methods rather than "real world" mileage but it certainly gave me pause in my consideration of trading my '00 ZX3 for an SVT version and I'd have to use premium which in LA these days can be as much as 1.89.9/gal. Car & Driver listed the SVTs mileage as 24/34 in their March comparison of Hot hatches. Boy did they miss the mark. Either that or the SVT guy goofed up. I want to read the window sticker myself (when I can find an SVT Focus) to verify who's right. Bummer.
  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    I suspect the new SVT Focus will be a little sluggish the first 2,000 miles as was my 2000 focus ZX3. Now, mine is so much quicker than when it was new. I don't think Ford breaks the engines in at the factor. So I bet after about 2-2,500 miles the SVT will be ripping down the highway
  • chmeeeechmeeee Member Posts: 327
    I just saw the SVT at the NY Auto Show yesterday, and I was really blown away by the color, the blue is great looking. It was kind of shimmering between blue and purple. The interior looked great, I cant wait to actually get a chance to sit in one.
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    As reported by Blue Oval News and confirmed by the SVT fanatics at FocalJet, the SVT Focus has been put on hold by Ford and recall #02S37 will be issued shortly. The throttle body speed control cable could get stuck at WOT (wide open throttle), preventing the throttle body from closing when you let off the gas. A temporary fix is to disconnect the speed control cable (the Focus uses two throttle cables - one for the gas pedal and one for the speed control).
  • tiredofmanualtiredofmanual Member Posts: 338
    ...what do you guys make of this? I've read that an official announcement will be made at SEMA and that the stickers on the side of the car are there for a reason...

    "...it is highly likely that customers will want examples for the street. SVT could offer a "Street" option, adding A/C, radio, rear seat, and spoiler to accomodate these requests."

  • scootchscootch Member Posts: 70
    Tiredofmanual - That is most excellent scoop. Hadn't heard a thing about the SCCA/rally version of the SVT Focus. Will be fun to watch how this develops. Was in Long Beach this past weekend listening to the last hurrah of the turbo CART engines before they go (more-or-less) to IRL specs. Toyota had a big TRD exhibit but Ford had no display. Hadn't heard a thing about the SVT Focus throttle body cable recall either. Bummer. I'm still waiting to see another one in person so I can personally check out the EPA mileage rating on the window sticker. Every dealer I've asked about their arrival says "3-4 weeks." Wonder if they knew about this recall?
  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    And here we thought that SVT models were put together better than the typical Blue Oval POS...
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Ah yes, some more well-reasoned flame-bait.

    Someone will have to explain to me how a recall makes a car a "POS". It seems to me that a recall means that the company recognizes a problem and fixes it... And this is a good thing. I would rather have three recalls than have one thing that breaks that I have to pay for.

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Member Posts: 1,696
    it seems like people would rather companies not issue the recalls and hide the problems.....like Mitsubishi was doing. Granted, they should get it right the first time, but all this whining about recalls seems to say "please don't fix the problem".
  • shov6shov6 Member Posts: 177
    Agreed, Kev. Unfortunately the term "recall" is bandied about to "prove" that a car is bad by people who don't LIKE the car. The recalls on the focus are so minor as to be almost not worth bothering over (with the possible exception of the rear-wheel bearings, which if you look at the original recall notice, explains that there haven't been any accidents, injuries, or deaths as a result of wheel bearing failure).

    Saying "that car sucks because of recalls" is more wishy-washy garbage from people who are so insecure with themselves and their own car purchase that they need to bring others down to bring themselves up. Utter mindlessness.

  • charliemikecharliemike Member Posts: 87
    If you knew anything about what you were talking about, you'd know that SVT is a marketing entity and does not actually assemble cars. =)
  • muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    I thought that SVT built engines for Mustangs were seperately built or hand built or something like that. Maybe I'm dreaming.

    Recalls are really annoying, but I agree that they aren't a measure of the quality of a car.
  • hokie73hokie73 Member Posts: 1
    Hey guys, I'm new, but I had to post that the info about the Focus SVT's gas mileage 21/25, IS in fact correct.

    I don't have a url, but here's what I did:


    Type in the zip, and hunt until you find a close dealer with the Focus SVT. From there, you should find your way to the online window sticker. It's there -- 21 City/25 Highway.

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    That truly is terrible mileage and quite disappointing! The engine doesn't even have a turbo attached to it for heaven's sake!
  • usa1usa1 Member Posts: 11
    Congratulation Ford! It's good to see a domestic brand get their act together and make a great compact car that beats Honda and others at their own game. Good job!

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