Rapid Spec 103A ($5,595 -- includes sunroof, adaptive xenon headlights, rearview camera, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring system, navigation system, touchscreen interface, Sirius Travel Link, and a THX-certified surround-sound system with satellite radio, DVD audio and 10GB of digital music storage); Sport Appearance Package ($795 -- includes sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels and special interior trim).
Naturally aspirated, port-injected gasoline V6
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Thank you, Ford, for finally giving us manual control on this shift interface -- and for getting shift -/+ orientation right. Best run with stability control on.
Massive fade on runs 2 and 3. High pedal effort yields minimal effectiveness. Does this go beyond green fade?
Stability control is not fully defeatable, but does open the handling threshold somewhat. Balance leans heavily toward understeer with a good sense of front tire limits. In the slalom, adequate control feel and response for a car in this segment. Intuitive with a good sense of security in the steering. Manual gear-holding helps in this test.