Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Even the faithful aren't impressed, Ford allows Focus enthusiasts access........

So Ford let a group of Focus enthusiasts from Focaljet.com and Focus Fanatics tour the plant and drive the upcoming 2008 Focus. Not a bad idea, let guys who already love your brand and the model have a peak and get feedback right? But what's the quote I read in the article (linked in title) oh yeah it was "not bad." Wow praise for the faithful! Some of the comments were predicatable like why no SVT version and why kill the hatchback. As one of the young enthusiasts put it "hatchbacks are the minivan" of their generation. Sure they tried to distract the group with the new whiz bang Sync system, but they just weren't buying it. Sure they like the car, it's nice, but it's not exactly what they or I wanted is it. One comment that confused me was "Ford needs to have an SVT and 2.3-liter engine in its plans right now," then I remembered that the 2.3 was only offered in the 4 door ST model recently.

I'm sure the new Focus is a fine car, but really it's not enough. Ford eliminated the 3 and 5 door hatchbacks as well as the station wagon to "simplify the production and lineup" stupid move if you ask these guys and me. While the Focus is a benchmark car around the globe, here in the US it's an also ran. While the rest of the world gets a totally new Focus chassis (including Communist China, Russia and Latin America) we get a refreshed and cropped lineup devoid of what a Focus really was, a great all around useful car which lent itself to easy modification and personalizaion. I wonder if Igor, a regular commentor here, was among this group? Igor who I nearly gave MyFordDreams to, is a sharp character and very active on Foculjet and other enthusiast sites. I've always been impressed with his feedback, he's a real true blue Ford guy. I'd like to hear his take on this... Igor you reading this?
Ask me again why I bought a Mazda 3? Look at the pictures above and you can see why.


Steve A. said...

I must be in the minority but I really like the looks of the '08 Focus, both exterior and interior. While it's not the European version, it's an improvement over the current American version and I will definitely test drive and probably buy one. If you read the reviews of the guys from Focaljet.com and FocusFanatics.com who actually went on the tour, they are very positive. Of course the boy racers who did'nt go on the tour are threatening to buy a used ricer. That'll show Ford!

Igor said...

the FF and FJ communities were one of the most vocal and vicious critics of the 08 Focus (or the 05 one for that matter) ... if you read on the actual boards, the "not bad" was actually a HUGE compliment - because it came from people swearing up and down what and abomination the 08 was.

the 08 is quite impressive in person even though some of the obvious cheapening moves ( no telescoping wheel, no trunk release button, no rear headrests) should have not been there. the interior materials are well on par with any competition, and it provides a better balance of ride and handling than the Mazda3 (I own a Mazda3 - I know you do too - and it can get a little jittery on bumps)