2013 Ford Focus ST: Needs a Sport Button
September 23, 2013
On the drivability front, our 2013 Ford Focus ST has a problem.
On its own, the clutch is fine. Good even. It's got enough travel not to be jumpy and it's got some resistance without being terribly heavy. It is, however, slightly heavy and instantly effective. The clutch isn't the problem.
The throttle isn't specifically the problem either. It's light, progressive and predictable. Fine.
The problem is that these pedals belong to the same car.
One of the things that separate good cars from great cars is a sense of balance and cohesion and, as equipped, the Focus lacks that. The multi-weighted pedals mean that when your left foot is trying to be delicate and hyper-precise, your right foot is kicking at the gas like you're trying to squish a scary bug. It's a recipe for stalling the first couple of times and for being kind of annoying for the rest of life.
Thankfully, this can be fixed with something as simple as a Sport button. A sport button would serve to, without affecting the car's EPA rating, let Ford adjust the throttle to be responsive and immediate, just like the clutch is. Long time readers will remember we had similar feelings about our (awesome) BMW M3 Sedan. In normal mode, the clutch/gas relationship was a recipe for annoyment, hit the M button and all was very, very right. Sure, they're different cars at different price ranges, but a solution is a solution and this one seems very doable.
Mike Magrath, Features Editor @ 18,590 miles