OK. So I used to work for Ford and am now gainfully employed by them (again). My dilemma is as follows:
I am rolling on a Z24 cavalier that I bought brand new in 2001. It has 160K on the clock and the only thing I can see that’s wrong with it is a AC compressor that’s been on limp mode since 2007 (bearing), bad drum brakes due to my laziness (LMAO – SM), and interior fan’s lowest two resistors being shot. The twin cam has a bad coil as it misses at idle, but I could care less. The car’s exterior filth has literally out lasted my marriage.It’s been a hell of a financial savings for me. But we all know the twin cam dream won’t last much longer.
I temporarily moved to SC and blew my car savings load on a 100% rust free 1984 lincoln continental turbo diesel. I repainted it and have slaved over some wiring nightmares on it. I’ve got 6K invested in the thing. And I need a new mode of transportation. Foolish purchase, I know… but if you would look at the clean, rust free body, and sit in that Corinthian plush leather seats whilst romping on the gas to behold two dual plumes of diesel particulate whooshing in the rear view, you’d understand.
My buddy is in college and needs a used set of wheels. After 2 years of depending upon Baltimore’s awful public transportation system and the generosity of friends, roommates, frat brothers, and total strangers for car rides, his school work is starting to suffer and he’s decided to buy a car. Unfortunately, his budget is about $2000. His living situation and total lack of mechanical skills rule out anything German, Swedish, or otherwise maintenance intensive.
His criteria for the car are reliable/durable, fuel efficient, and cheap to run. Working AC and heat would be a bonus, but he really only intends to drive the car about 15-20 minutes per day for school. He has absolutely no pretensions about the car’s badge, perceived coolness, sporty driving dynamics, etc., but he probably won’t spring for a total crapcan like a metro or echo. Also, he’s currently unemployed, and I don’t think he intends to find a job due to his course load. (Read More…)
TTAC tested the street version of this car a few years ago: check it out for a classic example of mid-RF-era TTAC reviews, complete with withering attention to interior-quality issues and not-so-gentle comments regarding the unwillingness of the average automaker to purchase a Ford.
At the time, the Focus sold for about fifteen grand. That was for the street car. How much does a racing Focus cost? The answer: One dollar. The answer is also $2500. And $6000. And $25,000. Confused yet?
Here’s some encouragement for the folks freaking out about BMW’s front wheel drive heresy. Ford has found a way to make 345 horsepower work in an FWD chassis, shattering the conventional wisdom that 250 hp marks the reasonable limit for front-drive performance. Well, at least until the 500 lucky owners of this limited-edition mega-hatch start adding up their tire bills in a few years. According to Ford, the RS500 should be looking at a 5.6 second 0-60 time and a top speed of 163 mph. And no, you can’t order one at your Ford dealer in the US.
When GM axed four brands in bankruptcy, it seemed for one bright, shining moment that the era of America’s auto brand bloat was drawing to a close. No such luck. Both Chrysler and Ford passed up opportunities to hack off purposeless brands, and in doing so perpetuated some of the worst examples of brand engineering surviving in the US market. If there were one brand that needed the hatchet, it is and was Mercury. Now, after a decade of Jill Wagner-supplied life support, Ford is breaking the silence surrounding its entry-luxe brand, announcing that a Mercury-badged vehicle will be built “on the same platform” as the new Ford Focus. Put simply: the Mercury Tracer is coming back. (Read More…)
When the Ford Focus first went on sale in the US, it was a rare glimpse for the still-SUV-centric US market at how the rest of the world gets from the Blue Oval. Of course, as time went by, Ford eased away from the Euro-funk of the first generation, first blandifying the model with a mid-cycle “refresh,” before eventually replacing it with the current embarrassment to the nameplate. And it’s not just the current model’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers-meets-Pep Boys look that makes it unworthy of the Focus name: the whole idea behind the original Focus was the dream of a world car, that would be sold, largely unchanged, in markets around the world. With the 2012 model, now being previewed before the Detroit Auto Show [press release here], Ford has gone back to the model’s original vision.
Ten years ago I test drove the then new to North America Ford Focus ZTS. “Give it some gas,” the salesman prodded as we entered a freeway onramp. I showed her the whip. “Can you feel that,” he yelled enthusiastically over the buzz of the straining engine. “Well, it’s certainly making a lot of noise,” I thought, “but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere very fast.” A decade later it’s deja vu all over again, except my copilot has the good sense not to pretend that this 2009 Focus is any kind of street demon. And rather than fouling the atmosphere with noxious gasoline exhaust, birds are singing and bees are sweetly humming as I explore the green virtues of driving with Compressed Natural Gas.