Ford extends WRC participation in new two-year agreement with M-Sport
FINLAND, 29 JULY 2009 - Ford of Europe today confirmed its commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship by announcing its continued participation for the next two seasons. Ford, together with long-term partner M-Sport, will continue its successful WRC programme in 2010 and 2011.
The record-breaking Ford Focus RS World Rally Car, which claimed the manufacturers' world title in 2006 and 2007, will again contest the championship next season. In 2011 the team will switch to the all-new Ford Fiesta S2000, based on the hugely successful Fiesta road car which is one of Europe's top-selling vehicles.
Continue reading this Focus WRC Racing story here.
Focus ST impresses Randy Pobst
Randy Pobst, an accomplished American road-racer has been MotorTrend's in-house performance-standard for some time now, has recently compared the Ford Focus ST, new Impreza WRX and the MazdaSpeed 3.
Listening to his reviews, it seems that Randy is a big fan of the Mazda for its sophistication, the WRX for its compliant suspension settings, and the Focus ST for its lively handling. Of all the candidates, it sounded as if Randy enjoyed the ST the most, saying "You'd better have your car control down if you want to drive this Focus fast with the traction control off - corner entry is just how I want a front-wheel drive race car to handle. For me as a racer, I absolutely love it. When I entered a corner, the tail of the car immediately came out - but it's not in a fearful way. It's in a helpful way. It's in an enthusiastic, enjoyable way. The ST rewards a modulated throttle with a good exit. It desperately needs a limited-slip. On a few corners, there was some inside wheel spin and torque steer."
In relationship to the reviews of the other cars, Randy seemed to tack on the two criticisms to the Focus at the end, as if they were an afterthought. His reviews on the Subaru and Mazda imply that he wasn't nearly as content with their handling.
According to MotorTrend, the Focus achieves 0.97 on the skidpad. Not too long ago, these numbers were being put up by Supras and Corvettes! Sure, factor in the advantage that modern tires provide, but considering this is a Ford Focus, one of the more popular people-carriers in the world, it is an impressive feat.
From what I can gather, the ST has a fantastic handling balance coupled with a responsive and powerful engine. The only let-down is the car's lack of limited-slip differential, however I'm sure there will be a bevy of aftermarket parts if the ST keeps receiving the praise it has been.
Here's a link to the MT article: Link
Hennessey Gets their Hands on the Focus ST with impressive results
Everyone knows Hennessey by now. Their Venom GT has been making headlines for several years now, and with the sort of attention for big cars they've been getting, you might think the Focus ST might not make much of blip on the radar for this Houston, Texas-based performance shop.
According to John Hennessey, the cold air intake, recalibrated ECU, increased boost and Magnaflow cat-back exhaust system added to the front-wheel drive ST resulted in a little over 300 horsepower at the flywheel. John estimates a mid-13 second / mile run in this particular bit of kit. John complains a bit about the torque-steer, which seems to be a recurring them with the Focus ST, but maybe Ford will listen.
Here's a link to the video. The motor sounds pretty fantastic actually, quite throaty.
Ford Focus St becomes Europe's Top-Selling Compact
From October to December 2012, Ford sold nearly 2,000 Focus ST's, in Europe, making up 44% of the car market at that time. Apparently this is due to the drivability and performance combination that the car offers. Having a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine inside a comfortable 5-door hatchback is a great idea for a fun-to-drive people-carrier. Top Gear named this little fire-breather the "Hot Hatch of the Year". Not bad for a little old Ford Focus, eh?
Here's the link : Link
2009 FORD FOCUS EARNS IIHS 'TOP SAFETY PICK'
CONTEXT / BACKGROUND:
Small Car Safety
The Focus? front seats are designed to help reduce the risk of soft tissue neck injuries, commonly referred to as ?whiplash,? by keeping the occupant in the proper position in the event of a rear collision. The head restraint and seatback work together to maintain the occupant?s alignment by supporting the head, neck and torso. This helps manage the crash forces and minimizes the chances of whiplash-type injuries.
Focus features Ford?s fully integrated, computer-driven Personal Safety System?, which employs nearly a dozen technologically advanced components. It analyzes different frontal crash conditions and deploys the appropriate occupant protection systems for the specific crash conditions.
A new option for 2009 is electronic stability control (ESC), which uses sophisticated sensors and the anti-lock braking system to help drivers maintain control of their vehicle under a variety of driving conditions.
MyKey Promotes Teen Safety
The feature will debut as standard equipment on the 2010 Ford Focus and will quickly become standard on many other Ford, Lincoln and Mercury models. It allows owners to program a key that can limit the vehicle?s top speed and audio volume. MyKey also encourages safety-belt usage by muting the audio system until front occupants buckle up.
SYNC Helps Drivers Remain Focused
Recent Ford telematics research shows that Ford SYNC hands-free system significantly reduces the level of distraction when drivers select a phone number or choose a song on their MP3 player compared with the same operations with hand-held cell phones and music players. For example, reading a text message on a handheld phone typically took the driver?s eyes off the road for 11 seconds compared to about 2 seconds when listening to the text message with SYNC?s text-to-speech output.
Ford?s research is consistent with a prior Virginia Tech and the U.S. Department of Transportation study, which concluded that manually dialing a handheld device ? a task that requires glancing away from the road ? while driving was almost 2.8 times riskier than normal driving. However, the on-the-road study showed that talking/listening on a hands-free phone while driving was no riskier than normal driving.
Bumper to Bumper Compatibility
Ford was the first to market with crash structures to make passenger cars, such as the Focus, more compatible with SUVs. Product design revisions make both types of vehicles more resistant to damage and less likely to cause damage in low-speed crashes.
Fuel Efficient Focus
Also available is a super-clean, 130-horsepower Duratec 20E engine that qualifies Focus as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) in California emissions states. The 20E?s tailpipe emissions are cleaner than some hybrid gas-electric vehicles'. The Duratec 20 and 20E in Focus Coupe are mated to a five-speed manual transmission and achieve EPA-estimated fuel economy of 35 mpg highway.
2012 Ford Focus Hybrid
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