Six-Speed Automatic Transmission ($1,095); SE Sport Package ($1,095 -- includes full body styling kit, paddle shifters, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, rear spoiler); Powert Seat Package ($495 -- six-way power driver seat, rear parking sensors)
Direct-injected inline-4, gasoline
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
160 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
146 @ 4,450
Six-speed auto-double-clutch manual with console shifter and steering-mounted paddles with sport/competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
The Focus gets off the line well, with even a chirp of front wheelspin as the tach climbs past 2,500 rpm. Full-throttle upshifts are surprisingly lazy considering this is a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Those upshifts come between 6,300-6,500 rpm, depending on the gear. The engine sounds decent enough and isn't thrashy at higher rpm, but it never feels as if it has any power to spare. Turning traction control off and switching the transmission to Sport mode along with power-braking (overlapping throttle and brake prior to launch) turns on some kind of launch control system, or at least an rpm-holder. It holds revs at 2,600 rpm, then the car leaves the line with a bit more force and wheelspin than normal. In truth, it made barely more than a tenth of a second time difference. Manual shifting is via steering wheel paddles only, not the console lever. It blips the throttle on downshifts but does not hold gears to a rev limiter; it auto-upshifts at 6,500 rpm.
An excellent stopping performance, especially in terms of the consistency of pedal feel and stopping distances. The brake pedal has a short travel and a nice, firm feel. Gives you confidence. Minimal nosedive and the Focus stopped straight, with no side-to-side tire squirm. About the only noticeable thing was some brake odor by the fourth stop, but that's not at all unusual. Consistent distances: First stop was the shortest at 120 feet, fourth stop was the longest at 123 feet and the sixth and final stop was 121 feet.
Slalom: This car is a handful in the slalom. Ample body roll combined with minimal rebound damping makes fast transitions a bit hairy. Oversteer is present but controlled by ESC. With traction control off, the Focus feels like it will swap ends. Light steering doesn't help. Skid pad: Likes to rotate with TC off. The instability in the slalom translates here to good balance with low limits. ESC removes the fun from the equation by turning it into a stomp and steer affair. Steering could use more feel. Better roll control and damping would really bring this car to life.