2013 Ford Focus ST 4dr Hatchback w/EcoBoost (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 6M)
A great test of a performance car is driving on Italian roads. You pretty much get everything thrown at you, from super fast autostrade winding thru the mountains, extremely narrow roads with severe switchbacks, and fun sweepers thru Tuscany. Those are the places I've been driving my 2013 ST (the base model), from the Dolomites to the Amalfi Coast, and chasing a souped up Megane up the side of Vesuvius (and over taking him). This car does all of it well. It's engine is remarkable, the stearing precise, and the transmission a joy. Any complaints I have are usually over shadowed by the fun of driving this car. Point it exactly where you want to go and it will, happily.
The engine has very little, if any, noticeable turbo lag; very smooth application of power. The torque is almost ridiculous in a car this size. It's planted, everything about it is about precision and solidity. I've driven this thing fairly fast, but have probably only reached about 60% of its capabilities. I'd love to take it on a track to find its limit. When driven wisely (keeping RPMs between 1500 and 2000 in all gears, and a cruising speed of about 55 in 6th gear) you can get good mileage...not that I can make myself do that.
The brakes are fine, but not as good as they probably should be. Just kind of vague, mushy when late breaking into a corner. Also, heel/toe? Yeah, it's easier in a Fiat Punto. Torque steer is a problem, needs mechanical help, not the silly electronics they use to compensate. I'm not impressed with the displays, which are hard to control sometimes and not very intuitive. The quick, precise steering also means this thing turns like the 7th Fleet at low speed.
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