Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Hills of North Georgia,USA
2003 Ford Svt Focus W/european Appearance Package
May 19, 2003
By THE EDITORS OF AUTOWEEK
2003 FORD SVT FOCUS W/EUROPEAN APPEARANCE PACKAGE
DATE IN FLEET: March 26-April 8
AS-TESTED PRICE: $22,540
POWERTRAIN: 2.0-liter I4; fwd, six-speed manual HP: 170 @ 7000 rpm TORQUE: 145 @ 5500 rpm
CURB WEIGHT: 2750 pounds
MPG (AW OBSERVED/EPA): 22.90/21.67
WILSON: Like other Foci by SVT, this is a terrific package at $22,150. It’d run with our Mini, I’d bet, at about the same price. There’s some roll (more than Mini or Evo) but not much dive/squat, and it has good grip and comfortable long-distance/high-speed cruising ability. I’m always surprised by the drivetrain noise that intrudes on the cabin in the Focus, but it seems to be at a pitch that doesn’t really irritate you over time—at least, I get used to it, which isn’t always the case when you get in a car and notice the engine noise.
STOLL: I’d agree wholeheartedly that this is an excellent handler and, even at the escalated price, a great buy. The Recaros are a huge bonus and the orange is a color this vehicle was built to wear. I write this after driving the SRT-4 and, while I’m convinced the SRT-4 is a great driver, faster and perhaps a little quicker in the steering department, I’d still consider buying this instead for the overall package, which includes great handling, braking and a flawless shifter. Then again, maybe I’ll take another night in both, just to make sure.
RAYNAL: Yeah, baby. This is a good one, even with the orange paint. I love the snarly exhaust, the way the Recaros fit, the spot-on steering. Love the wheels, too. We here in the States are still shy on horsepower compared to what Europe gets in its RS, which is 212 hp. This would be a screamer with that engine, but I’d want just the engine, because according to what I’ve read, the Euro car’s chassis modifi-cations make it crash and jar over bumps. I thought this SVT version was decent ride-wise compared to the sticks-like-glue handling. I do think Ford could improve the NVH levels a bit.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....