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Australian Falcons Discuss the australian born and bred models here. Includes the 80's 90's and present day Falcons offered by Ford Oz.

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Old 10-28-2003, 21:01   #1 (permalink)
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What Falcon can learn from Focus

Let me declare my hand here for a second. My daily driver is a BA XR6 182kW I6. I occasionally get to drive a BA XR8 Boss 260kW and i've also had goes in BA XR6T's and BA XT's. I also used to drive an AUII XR6 HP.

Today I had the joy of driving a Focus ST170. I was able to drive it around the city of Melbourne as well as some back streets that I regularly drive for work and highways as well. So it travelled a fair distance in about 4 hours (some 40-50km).

First up the engine and gearbox in the ST170 are nothing short of brillant. The combination of technologies is stunning. This little high-reving 2litre 4 cylinder had no trouble accelerating from 5th (out of a possible 6) gear at 60km/h. That was what first stunned me.

The shift quality was second. Oh my god does that 6 speeder make my manual XR6 feel like a flag pole in a rubber bucket of bolts. Effortlessly you can flick the gear stick from 5th into 3rd with the wrist and away you go with the right foot. Try the same in the BA and it really is a shoulder/elbow action (XR8 is better, but still not like the Focus).

Engine revs. All seven thousand four hundred of them. Yes I wrote out 7400 because thats what it feels like when you put the right hoof down. 2nd just keeps going and going and going. Just on 6000 rpm in the XR6 and 5800 in the XR8 means that i'm now bouncing off the limiter if i'm not careful.

Handling. Wow. Throw BA around a corner thats off camber and its quite prone to understeer. This Focus front wheeler was a perfectly neutral steering around the same corner and extremely accurate throughout.

Whatever Ford in Europe did with the ST170 engine is a sweet thing. Gearbox ratios and a good engine means that it pulls nicely from below 2000rpm which is a typical torque hole for smaller high reving engines. Combine that with shift quality that makes it real fun to change gears, suburb handling and balance its an excellent car.

I guess this is all easier in a car that weighs substancially less than the BA does, but geez, if they weren't so expensive (demos for $35k) i'd be selling the BA XR6 and getting a Focus ST170.
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Old 10-28-2003, 21:09   #2 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

maybe my wife might need one.....sounds like fun.
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Old 10-28-2003, 21:28   #3 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

I understand the fact that focus is a brilliant little package, and i was seriously thinking of buying a hipo one if FPV released one, but now that my personal situation has changed, i don't think the Focus will get a run, but i think it's a bit harsh to compare the shift qualties of a box mated to a small 4cyl to that of a 4L 6cyl/5.4L V8... The obvious difference is the amount of torque that we're dealing with. I would say this is mostly the reason for the difference is smoothness of the box.
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Old 10-28-2003, 21:38   #4 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

ianmcginley, Maybe you should have purchased a Focus if that's the driving you do and you don't need what the Falcon offers.

Horses for courses I reckon.

Try hauling 4-5 adults with a trailer in tow with the Focus. No that would be stupid right! That's what Falcons are for.

You'll eventually get the refinement of the Focus g/box in the Falcon, Ford could of given it to you now but you'd never forgive them for charging you so much......for a Falcon.

One's a Hot Hatch, the others everything from a Taxi to a Muscle car.
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Old 10-28-2003, 21:47   #5 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

The ST170 is a great car although a bit too expensive. about 5k less and they would sell well.
Now i want one of these engines for my MkI Escort
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Old 10-28-2003, 21:59   #6 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by RAPTOR
ianmcginley, Maybe you should have purchased a Focus if that's the driving you do and you don't need what the Falcon offers.

Horses for courses I reckon.

Try hauling 4-5 adults with a trailer in tow with the Focus. No that would be stupid right! That's what Falcons are for.

You'll eventually get the refinement of the Focus g/box in the Falcon, Ford could of given it to you now but you'd never forgive them for charging you so much......for a Falcon.

One's a Hot Hatch, the others everything from a Taxi to a Muscle car.
Potentially I should have - if they were available when I bought my car. :)
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45,000km service coming up - and i'll be asking for a sizable list of fixes:
* Gearbox (3rd time)
* Steering click (5th time)
* Brake Shudder (2nd time, and has the applied "Fix")
* etc...
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Old 10-28-2003, 22:35   #7 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

Have to agree Ian, the ST170 is a brilliant lil piece of kit to steer. It's definately low in power (although it is pretty torqey down low i found) but the fun you can have in it with the 6-speed box is excellent. It handles likes it's on rails and while sitting in the cabin it doesnt feel like you're sitting in a hatch.

Wonder if FPV will bring out a 4wd turbo edition in the years ahead...
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Old 10-28-2003, 23:41   #8 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmcginley
Oh my god does that 6 speeder make my manual XR6 feel like a flag pole in a rubber bucket of bolts. .
lol at this comment!

I've driven a Focus aswell not the st170 but it still gave me all the same readings as you got but obviously on a smaller scale but what shits me is the price, id love to get my Mrs one of these but for the same price i could get a decent AU falcon.
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Old 10-28-2003, 23:55   #9 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

ianmcgingley,

your description takes me back to the days when I had hot-hatches. they are fantastic fun, throw em' around like a go-kart at times. All that changed when I discovered Utopia....... and V8's....
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Old 10-29-2003, 00:25   #10 (permalink)
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Re: What Falcon can learn from Focus

Sound's like a good report off the little Foci,It's about time I heard some positive remark's about this hot little hatch,I must say I'd love to have one of these,cheer's.
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