Pocket Rockets!

pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
edited March 2014 in Ford
from Edmunds.com 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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.
  • breakerbreaker Member Posts: 8
  • wordman93wordman93 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 802
    Edmunds.com'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 Member Posts: 29,663
    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.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • shogun1313shogun1313 Member 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 Member Posts: 319
    I do believe the above link is a dead one.
    Would you please check it out.

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


    Edmunds.com'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 Member 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 Member 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 @ www.Nissannews.com

    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 Member Posts: 29,663
    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.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • surreal2surreal2 Member 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)

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,663
    There is a big difference in torque. Without torque, you don't have acceleration. Honda has always been light in the torque department. Ford is promising a good deal of torque at low RPMs. That's why most people feel it will be faster. Personally, I'm not making a statement either way, I'm just pointing something out.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • surreal2surreal2 Member Posts: 7
    i suppose you are referring to the article in autoweek, where a ford spokesman claimed that the focus would make 80% of an "unspecified torque figure" at 2000rpms, and that the svt would "run circles around the si". i assumed he was referring to the 1.6 dohc vtec si of old(00-01), as the new si hadnt been announced yet. regardless, what do you expect a ford spokesperson to say? "our car wont be as good as it's closest competitor"? of course not. but, we'll have to wait and see both what each car does on paper(specs) and what they do in real life(acceleration.)

    btw, there are some ol' sayings that apply here. first of all, it is said that hp wins races. it is also said that ppl buy hp and drive torque. either way, low end torque feels great, but i'd worry more about the hp for acceleration, and even thru the twisties, if yu're the type of driver who can make good use of a close ratio manual trans.

    spaking of manual transmissions, the only advantage i see in the svt for now is the 6 spd manual. that should be pretty cool. but, as fun as torque is, i'd worry more about hp. oh, and 170svt vs 160si? well, ford hasnt made a focus yet that lives up to its s'posed hp rating, so again, i'll wait and see.

  • surreal2surreal2 Member Posts: 7
    i havent seen any torque figures for the svt focus yet, but dont expect much from a naturally aspirated 2.0liter 4 cyclinder. you simply cannot get serious torque from such a contraption, but serious hp is a possibility.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,663
    Never say never. Anything is possible.

    And, if you are referring to that article, then you will notice that that same rep admitted that the Nissan may have them beat. So, yes, he did, as a matter of fact, say that their car may not be as good as another competitor's. I really give him credit for that.

    Personally, I'm not buying a Ford, so I could care less. As far as acceleration numbers, my money (in a bet, not in purchasing) is on the Spec-V (although I'm secretly rooting for the MINI) if we exclude the WRX.

    You asked the question "why does anybody think the SVT will be faster?" I'm just answering it for ya. I'm not saying its true in the least. I really have no idea which will be faster. If anything, I'd probably bet on the Si to be faster than the SVT around a twistie track - but, again, we don't know for sure.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • diploiddiploid Member Posts: 2,286
    Are deceptive.

    C & D (?) did a comparo between the new Infiniti Q45 and Lexus GS430.

    The Infiniti's V-8 had 340hp and 333 lb-ft of torque. The Lexus's V-8 had 300hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.

    And guess what...the Lexus was faster to 60 than the Infiniti by a margin of a second while kicking the Infiniti's butt in the 1/4 mile and every other speed test that they went through.

    And the Lexus was heavier than the new Infiniti, too.

    Honda has already announced that the new Si could do 0-60 in around 7.5 seconds. If Nissan says its Sentra, with a 20hp and a full 50 lb-ft of twisting force advantage over the Si, can do 0-60 in the "low" 7's, then I wouldn't be surprised if the Si was faster.

    Honda is conservative, but I don't know about Nissan. The Infiniti Q45 got into quite a bit of trouble when all the car magazines couldn't reproduce its claimed 0-60 time.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,663
    wow. a 3-month hiatus from this board. I hadn't even realized it.

    Well, numbers are only deceptive if you choose to look at them a certain way. There are many more numbers involved in the performance equation than most people look at. The most commonly overlooked of these being gear ratios.

    But, aside from that, performance is also much more than the sum of a car's parts. The computer's ability to get the most out of an engine/tranny combination, for instance. The transmissions ability to shift gears quickly and firmly, etc. etc.

    So, yeah, you're right, numbers can be deceptive, but only if the person looking doesn't look at them ALL.

    Uh... what the heck were we talking about? ...

    When the heck are these cars coming??!!

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    "i suppose you are referring to the article in autoweek, where a ford spokesman claimed that the focus would make 80% of an "unspecified torque figure" at 2000rpms"

    It makes 85% of it's 145 lb/ft as low as 2200 rpms, or something to that affect, its in pretty much every article on it. So we're looking at a 15 lb/ft and 10 HP advantage over the Si.

    "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."

    I've got (From C&D) 8.4 and 16.7 for the 01 Civic, 8.7 and 16.8 (From C&D also) for the 01 ZX3. The Civic wins but just barely, and certainly not by enough to think anything is fishy or the Ford is overrated.

    "I'd probably bet on the Si to be faster than the SVT around a twistie track"

    Why? The SVT has more HP, more torque, more gears, and a more sophisticated suspension. The previous Focus' suspension was much lauded by every car rag I saw, and this should be significantly better (wider lower profile tries tires, bigger wheels, SVT tuning, bigger brakes).

    As has been said, only time will tell, but right now it looks like Ford is beating Honda at their own game. The SVT's specs are better in every single thing I've seen to compare so far.
  • claywaterfillclaywaterfill Member Posts: 534
    Even though the Ford's numbers may be better than the Civic's; and, even if the Focus was quicker and faster than the Civic, there will always be a core group of people who will only hype the Civic. Their logic is "The Civic is better because it's a Honda." That's all they have, that's the only argument they ever give on any subject. The "X" is better than the "Y" because it's a Honda. I believe the reality on the pocket rocket question lies in a small sedan and not a hatchback. As it was said before, the Sentra SE-R will be faster and quicker than the other cars mentioned here. The WRX may be better than the SE-R, but it takes a lot more "pocket" to get into that "rocket." For the money of the WRX you could probably buy a Civic and rig it up for speed to outdo the WRX.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    A major newspaper is looking to interview folks who learned how to drive stick in their adulthood, and either fell in love or hated it. Also welcome is any input on why people love to drive stick, and any unusual anecdotes about how you learned etc.

    Hope to hear from you before Feb 22 via the Talk to the Press discussion or at [email protected] with your thoughts and contact information.

    Thanks for your participation.



    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards

  • mogasmogas Member Posts: 8
    I was shocked to see the Integra Type R being brought to our shores. Sales were small and that is why we here in America don't/didn't see the Civic Type R, Accord Type R, NSX Type R and the the Honda R'ing the Japanese are used to. Even the Civic Si and Integra GSR numbers were low. Honda has always been a bit pricey. I hope Honda has more to offer in the sport compact range besides the Si. I think Honda is putting the money into Accura for the performance side.

    All the car manufacturers seems to be inching towards the 200HP range and at the same time trying to keep the cost around the low to mid $20,000 mark. Personally I love Hondas but I'd like to see Ford offer a 200HP compact in America for under $20,000. I just might become a Ford lover. If there is a car company that can front it, it's Ford.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 29,663
    Weren't they low because the manufacturer made sure of that? With special models like the Type R, we get a limited amount. The dealers had no trouble selling all that they were alloted. At least, that's the story I got from sellers and buyers alike.

    '21 Wrangler 4xE, '07 ML63, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '14 Town&Country Limited. 55-car history and counting!

  • verozahlverozahl Member Posts: 574
    If there's a car company that can bring a product to market and mess it up, it's Ford.

    Civic Si doesn't quite satisfy... it's like a Focus in disguise! >:(
  • cybergrnbugcybergrnbug Member Posts: 7
    I would never buy a Focus, I would rather get a Civic.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    I know - CR, ugh! - does a comparo of five sport hatches which includes Mini and Civic SI...Civic is the only one it recommends, but it likes the Focus best. The commentary says nothing but great things about it, but then says "we cannot recommend this car because of MUCH WORSE than average reliability" - it got the little black dot!

    There is something so menacing about that little black dot!! :-)

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • happycarhappycar Member Posts: 17
    0-60 is not important to me, it only waste gas and wears everything out faster.
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Member Posts: 154
    I have a Focus and I dread the black dot! I avoid it at all costs.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    seems to be the universal favorite of every car mag (even consumer mag drivers seem to like it) out there...

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • rickroverrickrover Member Posts: 602
    I've driven the SVT Focus, Mini Cooper S, Mercedes C230k and ended up with a 1.8t GTI. The SVT doesn't have much usable low end torque, it felt kind of sluggish but handled exceptionally well. Same for the MINI S - just like the SVT it makes most of it's power and torque high up in the rev range so you feel obligated to rev the snot out of it to get anything out of it.

    The two that made my final cut were the GTI and MB C230k - I ended up with the GTI and promptly started modifying it - tightened up the suspension and did a few simple engine tweaks for 240 or so HP, 235 lb ft of torque - a blast to drive it embarrases quite a few sports cars.
  • novoqnovoq Member Posts: 26
    special edition Focus SVT coming in Spring


  • rivertownrivertown Member Posts: 928
    Given the deals you can get on an '02 Si, you oughta think about shopping. I picked mine up Friday, and I love it. I didn't have to bargain hard and paid less than 16K and 1.9% for 5 years (not including TTL).
  • edwarda1edwarda1 Member Posts: 18
    Where did you buy your SI? I have only found one in the Boston area. They wanted list!!!! When I asked why the salesman said "We don't get any discount from Honda".No wonder the auto industry has such a bad name. I would not mind driving a distance for a good deal. Can anyone else help?
  • rivertownrivertown Member Posts: 928
    Hi -
    I'm in Memphis and bought here. Take a look at the "Honda Civic Owners: What did you pay?" discussion. Lots of good info there, including a link to a Chicago dealer who confirmed a quote to me of $15,0++. I also got lots of good info about dealers and inventory by going to Honda's site and doing dealer locate from there.
    Dunno if you wanna come this far, but my dealer had at least two white ones and at least one black one last Friday. Dobbs Honda on Covington Pike; I liked my salesguy - Heath Langston.
  • hdoughdoug Member Posts: 2
    Just got a MINI Cooper S which I'm very very happy with. The officially published (in the owner's manual) break-in procedure is for the first 1,250 miles, absolutely no full throttle acceleration, no exceeding 4500 RPM (torque peak is 4000, hp at 6000), vary RPM. Once you hit 1250 miles, you can gradually increase rev limit.

    This seems more restrictive than other cars. What is the official break-in procedure for your car? Looking for Focus SVT, Civic Si, Beetle turbos, etc.

  • rivertownrivertown Member Posts: 928

    I'm breaking in a new Si. The manual says to 'avoid' full throttle starts for the 1st 600 miles and hard braking for the 1st 200 miles.
  • srockrsrockr Member Posts: 79
    Just got back from dealer today. Have an '03 with about 600 miles and asked about what they suggest as far as break in period goes. They told me that I should take it easy until first oil change at 3000 miles. No hard accelerations, etc. Makes sense to me..
  • blue_bug_18blue_bug_18 Member Posts: 5
    Well, my new 03 Beetle isn't a Turbo but the break in also says no full throttle or high revs for the first 600 miles. But, the interesting thing is that it says not to go over 75% of the maximum speed on the speedometer which works out to be 105 M.P.H. You tell me how I am suppose to get a Beetle up to 105 without full throttle and hi revs. I listen to the Car Guys advice of no high revs and to vary the speed and revs for 1000 miles(I think it's 1000) miles. I get very high mileage on my cars so I must be doing it right.
  • smoke286smoke286 Member Posts: 9
    C'mon guys, the MazdaSpeed would win any competition hands down
This discussion has been closed.