Thursday, July 06, 2006

Mark Tapscott gets "Behind the Wheel" of a Volvo S40 T5

For your own sake, I hope you're familiar with Mark Tapscott and his blog TapscottBehindtheWheel (see link in sidebar) where weekly he does the Carnival of Cars, a roundup of the best Automotive blog entries from around the web. Well, his latest post is a review of the Volvo S40 T5 and it's worth a read.
Mark likes the S40 T5 a lot, he praises the Turbo I-5's power, the interior and the styling. But he seemed surprised that the chassis was so good considering it's lineage, sharing DNA with the Ford Focus and Mazda 3/Axela.
While I personally think that he's driven the closest thing to a Euro Focus ST that you can see on these shores. As any Ford fanatic should know the European Ford Focus ST, is powered by Volvo's turbo 5 and both cars are built on the accomplished C1 platform. Now each car has it's own character and chassis/powertrain refinement, but the Ford designed chassis underpins all of the siblings.
I'd like to see how Mark would compare the S40 T5 to the more powerful Speed 3. The T5 is all wheel drive, and falls short of the Speed 3's 250 hp, but a direct comparision would be interesting in light of the shared platform. Just an example of how each brand puts their stamp on it.

But even the "lowly" Focus is a much better car than we get here in the US. But hopefully Ford will realize the error of their ways and correct that situation. One can hope.

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