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Old 05-15-2003, 21:57   #1 (permalink)
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2003 Ford Svt Focus W/european Appearance Package

May 19, 2003
AutoWeek
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. Itíd run with our Mini, Iíd bet, at about the same price. Thereís 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. Iím always surprised by the drivetrain noise that intrudes on the cabin in the Focus, but it seems to be at a pitch that doesnít really irritate you over timeóat least, I get used to it, which isnít always the case when you get in a car and notice the engine noise.

STOLL: Iíd 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 Iím convinced the SRT-4 is a great driver, faster and perhaps a little quicker in the steering department, Iíd still consider buying this instead for the overall package, which includes great handling, braking and a flawless shifter. Then again, maybe Iíll 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 Iíd want just the engine, because according to what Iíve read, the Euro carís 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.
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