Ford Making Strides

According to the boss of Ford’s RS (Rallye Sport) department the new Ford Focus RS is “A very serious machine, with the performance, traction and precision to match far more exotic sports cars. The RS badge is not something we take lightly and I believe this car proves it”. Strong words, but can Ford’s latest hot hatch match the hype?

Ford has done so much to this car in comparison to a standard Focus that it is difficult to know where to start with the modifications. The engine is still a 2.5 liter like previous models but it has a newly designed turbo, a new exhaust, huge brakes and numerous other tweaks which have upped the horsepower on offer to around the three hundred mark. Despite all this extra grunt available, the RS is still front wheel drive, managing to put the power down effectively thanks to a highly advanced new front suspension set-up which Ford claims prevents the car from torque steering. Beyond that the cars aggressive exterior styling sees the Focus adorned with big, deep side skirts, a massive rear diffuser and a somewhat outrageous looking rear spoiler which really makes the new RS look the part.

So How Does It Drive?

For a front-wheel drive car, the Focus RS has staggering traction. With the power being put down on the road, it doesn’t seem to suffer from under-steer at all. In a straight line, as you would expect, the Focus manages a pretty rapid 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds and 0-100 in about 14 seconds. In spite of the very leery appearance of the car, handling is actually very well-behaved. The driver of the car easily remains in control even when he puts his foot down. It is a surprisingly comfortable ride and a fun toy to throw around on the weekend. The RS certainly has enough comfort and practicality to be used as an everyday car as well.

Whilst fuel consumption and insurance prices are sure to be on the steep side, Ford’s list price for this car certainly isn’t. The car is a real bargain considering it’s performance. Some might say that is too pricey for a modified Ford Focus but under the hood the RS is certainly much more than that. It has been a long wait for the latest incarnation of the RS and this new arrival certainly does not disappoint.

My first cousin Chad just purchased a Ford Transit Connect for use as a work vehicle in ford-transithis plumbing service. He mentioned to me that it has pretty good storage room for his tools, pipes, and other equipment. He also likes that the Transit’s horsepower didn’t leave him looking like a grandpa on the road. He is a total Ford guy and I believe he’ll slowly add more vehicles like this one to his fleet.

Ford Motor Co. is retaining its good impression regarding its sophisticated engines. Lately, Ford’s all-new 3.5-liter Duratec 35 V-6 engine was named by Ward’s Auto World as one of “Ward’s 10 Best Engines.” Additionally, for the third time now, the automaker’s 4.6-liter, 3-valve V-8 also emerged as one of the best engines in the automotive realm.

“This is an exceptional accomplishment and a testament to our powertrain development process.” said Barb Samardzich, vice president, Ford Motor Company, Powertrain Product Development Operations. “The 3.5-liter engine class is one of the most competitive in the industry, so it is high praise to have our new engine stand out and be among the 10 best in the industry.”

Ward’s 10 Best Engines is an annual commendation of the 10 ‘best’ vehicle engines by Ward’s Auto World magazine. Said commendation, which has started in 1994, chooses the ‘best’ auto engines by taking into account power and torque output, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) levels, technical relevance and basic comparative numbers.

The Same Issue Keeps Coming Up

Recaro Seats

Opening up the door and sliding into the driver’s seat was a thrill. Recaro seats were standard although Ford hasn’t said whether production models will offer this option or the beautiful exterior paint scheme. Remember, this was a “show” car meant to appear on Leno’s show and nothing more. Still, the seats were fabulous, setting the tone for my drive.

The Ford Focus BEV has a push button start which means all you have to do is press on a button and the car comes to life. No roar of the engine to tell you that the car is running, but the dashboard lights up, telling you to go ahead and shift into gear.

Quietly, I pulled out of the parking space at North Carolina State University and proceeded to wind my way through the parking lot and onto local roads. This was a short drive — covering two huge blocks, with the total trip less than a mile long. Yet, it was long enough for me to gain an appreciation for quiet driving. Making no noise seemed odd at first but I quickly got used to it.

Raw Power

Heading back into the lot got me thinking — electric cars offer plenty of torque. Naturally, I stepped on the accelerator pedal and the car suddenly zoomed forward without hesitation. Yes, this car has power and plenty of it. I didn’t miss the internal combustion engine one bit.

Ignition issues:

Most Ford Focus owners have complaints against the vehicle that either the key sticks in the ignition or it doesn’t turn. All models of Ford Focus right from 2000-2003 have this issue. It was not a cost issue until the cars were under warranty but after the warranty expired, the value of the cars steadily depreciated in the used car market. Plus the owners had to shell out quite a bit to get it repaired at their own cost.

No one can really pin point exactly when the ignition starts having issues but no matter what, there always seems to be an issue eventually. You may have issues with the car key getting stuck in the ignition. You may have to jiggle the ignition for it to start. Either way, these are signs that you need to call in a professional to get the ignition repaired or changed. It seems that you won’t be able to avoid his problem if you own a Ford Focus.

Many believe that the reason for the jamming and ignition switch issue is related to poor design and cheap quality manufacturing by Ford. The 1990s Ford ignition switches were known to catch fire.  

A potential buyer should note that any malfunction could leave you stranded at an inconvenient time.

The connection between the Ford ignition and the car’s computer is through the Transponder microchip inbuilt within the car key. Changing the ignition switch, which is a professional and complex operation, needs an expert auto locksmith to do the installation. You can’t just take it to the dealership for getting this done due to high costs.

So why does this problem arise?

Well, the basic reason is that the ignition assembly is not of the quality that is desired and thus gets worn out very fast, leaving you with numerous glitches. Other experts believe that there is a design issue. Generally this kind of a situation arises when the wafers jam the ignition and the cylinders bend. This leaves them latched in a position… making them impossible to move.

Check if you’re having any of these issues with your Ford Focus car:

Difficulty in turning the key in the ignition
Sticking ignition
Key is dirty after removing or turning
Unable to remove the key
Key locked in a position
Completely ‘frozen’ key
But don’t fret!

Help is at hand. Expert locksmiths can do this job efficiently. You can pay half the cost of getting the ignition parts replaced at a dealership. Different locksmiths handle this problem in their own way but can usually fix the ignition. In extreme situations they need to replace the ignition and reprogram it to mach the rest of the car locks and the key.

If you’re wondering about the charge of fixing this issue, locksmiths charge in the range of $200-$300 while the same work done at a dealership costs way over $500. To avoid paying the dealership price, some people just leave the key in the ignition permanently.

Ford Focusing

ford-focusThe Ford Focus is a compact car currently offered in sedan, wagon, and three-door and five-door hatchback body styles. It is also one of Ford’s most popular small cars of all time.

The Ford Focus was first introduced in the 2000 model year was designed to be a “world car,” meaning that it has been sold around the world in the same basic form as the car sold in the United States. Focus models sold from 2000-’03 came with either an anemic SOHC, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated for 110 horsepower or a preferable DOHC 2.0-liter engine called the Zetec that was good for 130 hp. In 2004, however, Ford added a 2.3-liter inline four to the lineup that offered 145 hp and cleaner emissions. The 2.3-liter was optional on all 2004 Focus models except in some states.

In 2005, Ford Focus has undergone major refreshing by providing cosmetic changes on the outside, a revised control layout inside and a new engine lineup. Numerous body styles and trim-levels combinations also became available. The ZX3 (three-door) and ZX5 (five-door) hatchbacks are available in S, SE and SES trims, while the ZXW wagon comes in SE or SES only. The ZX4 sedan is available in S, SE, SES and the sport-flavored ST.

Behind the huge success of the Ford Focus are its Ford Focus parts which work together to bring only the best performance. These Ford parts include the radiator, alternator, AC condenser, fuel system, exhaust system and lots of other quality parts. All these Ford Focus parts, both simple and complex, contribute to the overall performance of the For Focus and this is the main reason why they should be properly maintained at all times. Ford Focus performance parts and Ford Focus aftermarket parts are available in the market nowadays.

The Ford Focus is one of the most admired Ford vehicles for its expressive styling. But there is still a number of ways on how to further improve its looks and personality. One such way is to have Ford fenders. Ford fenders are the panels mounted on the sides of the vehicle positioned in front of the doors which allow the integration of wider and larger wheels that will give the vehicle a more muscular look and wider stance. These are usually made of high rated stainless steel for stronger protection and resistance against corrosion and rust Moreover, some fenders are ergonomically designed to avoid wind resistance and make the vehicle more aerodynamic and others have extended fender designs to avoid mud splashes and road debris hits. Ford fenders do not only enhance the looks of a Ford vehicle but they also provide essential functions as well. Also offered in the market are Fender Flares, Fender Trim, Custom Fenders, Chrome Fender Trim, Fender Skirts, and stainless steel fender trim and fender parts.

It’s Electric!

This vehicle will be important for two big reasons: it will replace the current American spec model with the European derived one, offering a better-looking, more fuel efficient and updated package. It will also allow customers to buy an electric car if they choose to do so, though the gas version producing 40 mpg on the highway may be sufficient for most drivers.

What was so special about the 2012 Focus BEV? Well, it was the same car produced for the Jay Leno Show as part of the TV personality’s bid to showcase green cars. This specially developed prototype is based on the Focus SVT, a car sold in Europe and considered by some to be the sportiest and fastest compact car on the market.

But, that was just the exterior of the vehicle — underneath the Focus BEV featured an honest to goodness lithium-ion battery pack, exactly like the one that will be found in production versions of this car. This particular prototype functioned just as well as a production car, with none of the customary squeaks, rattles and unfinished compartments apparent.