By on December 12, 2008

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27 Comments on “Drive One! Wait, No… Ogle One!...”


  • avatar
    arapaima

    The back end looks Aztek-ish.

  • avatar

    The RS could make a serious splash here in the boy-racer crowd. Less likely it would steal WRX sales, but definitely appears to be a better car than the souped-up Cobalts and Calibers.

    Cool looking car – and I hear it performs awesomely.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    Yeah! Would definitely draw share from the WRX would it were here in the USA.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    So, how does this compare to, say, the V50 T5 and MazdaSpeed3?

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    I tell ya…I get filled with rage every time I see the wonderful Focus that is sold in Europe and MEXICO…and then I think of the horrid Focus we get here.

    Bold Moves…and reason 4,568,268 why Ford does not deserve a bailout.

  • avatar
    dgduris

    @CrownVic,

    Three words on why no EuroFocus in the US:

    Ralph Nader’s Legacy (and the lawyers who keep it alive)

  • avatar
    CarFan81

    @P71_CrownVic: First of all, Ford is not receiving a bailout. It’s cash liquidity position is such that they don’t need it. While Ford was down in DC, it was in support of the industry as a whole, not because they were looking for a “free ride”.

    Second of all, the Focus is going to be a global platform come 2011 and guess what Focus will be making it’s way to the States…

  • avatar
    Sutures

    Horrible music… urge to kill… rising!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Three words on why no EuroFocus in the US: Ralph Nader’s Legacy (and the lawyers who keep it alive)

    Bullsh_t.

    Mazda and Volvo both sell cars on this platform in North America. The reason it’s not here has everything to do with Ford not wanting to spend money on an economy car and instead amortizing the costs of the previous (and also expensive) Focus over a longer term.

    The differences in crash and safety standards between developed nations is negligible. Some have pedestrian standards (Europe), bumper standards (Canada) and tire-pressure monitoring standards (US), but they’re not at all significant. If a car isn’t sold here, it has everything to do with cost.

    Grind the ideological axe elsewhere.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Totally off topic here, but I saw some MSM reporter talking about how the 2.8 need to bring successful Euro models to the US.

    I know there has been limited success, but if you are going to do it, shouldn’t you bring them in under a new badge? But OMG they don’t need a new badge!

    Would it be possible for GM to offer every dying badge dealer a new badge? Just for argument, call it Opel. I know the ones with multiples may scream foul, but you might be able to sell them the deal a lot cheaper than just buying them out.

    Short of BK, what else could they do?

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Landcrusher: New badge? You’re kidding, right? Cars like this is what the Detroit firms need to revive the brands they have. Granted the RS would be a halo, but the other Euro models have real appeal. This is why Ford has a shot… it’s not reinventing the wheel, just bringing good cars it already makes here. Bringing the RS would go a long ways towards answering these important branding criticisms. As a Ford, of course.

  • avatar

    I’d tap that like it was Tera Patrick. ^_^

  • avatar
    Moogie

    @ psharhjinian
    the new mazdaspeed3 is using the same 295 horse 305ft/lb engine on the same platform, it even has the revo-knuckle system. so technically the states will get the focus RS, just as a mazda. I think the intercooler might be on top and not in front though because the spyshots of the new speed3 have a big goofy hood scoop ala WRX.

  • avatar
    geeber

    American safety standards are not the reason we don’t get this version of the Focus.

    When the second-generation European model was being developed, Ford of North America specifically opted out of the program, primarily because it had botched the introduction of the first-generation model here, and therefore took until the 2003 model year to get it right. It also wanted to save money.

    Decisions such as this were a big reason an outsider was brought in to save the company. And note that one of the first things this outsider did was make sure that the third-generation European Focus – under development right now – is also made in America.

  • avatar

    And note that one of the first things this outsider did was make sure that the third-generation European Focus – under development right now – is also made in America.

    Hopefully, we get a hot hatch version, too. ^_^

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    if you bring the focus here with the same badge and name, won’t sales suffer due to the past focus?

  • avatar

    I thought the current Focus is selling well in this climate of fuel economy concerns…

  • avatar
    dgduris

    @Landcrusher,

    Will any car badged by the Big 2.8 sell after all of this?

  • avatar
    geeber

    Landcrusher,

    The current version is selling reasonably well, and gets decent reliability ratings from Consumer Reports. Ford would be wise to stick with the nameplate for the next-generation models. It needs to take the Japanese approach – stick with the name, and make real improvements to each successive generation.

  • avatar
    thoots

    Nobody in the US wants to buy a car like that.

    Hanging another fake chrome vent on the current model will yield far more sales.

    The TTAC members responding favorably to this car have simply lost their minds.

    Continue on the current course, Ford.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    I suspect that Ford does not bring cool little cars into this country is that they are afraid that people will stop buying their big cars.

    opps… too late….

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Speaking of nameplates, and a bit off topic, wondering out a-loud as an Australian, but whatever happened to the US Falcon??

  • avatar
    P71_CrownVic

    @Carfan81:

    First of all, Ford is not receiving a bailout. It’s cash liquidity position is such that they don’t need it. While Ford was down in DC, it was in support of the industry as a whole, not because they were looking for a “free ride”.

    Ok…so they are asking for money…for GM and Chrysler.

    If Ford does not need the money (which they do…just not this week), then they should go the hell home.

    Second of all, the Focus is going to be a global platform come 2011 and guess what Focus will be making it’s way to the States…

    And just like the Fiesta, Ford will ruin it in the translation

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Crown Vic: The Fiesta came in entirely unchanged except for US safety equipment. It couldn’t even be had with an automatic. Were you referring to the first Escort ? That was Americanized to the point it shared very little with it’s Euro cousins….

    PeteMoran:What happened to the Falcon? After the usual bigger better heavier attack on it, the Falcon became the Maverick, which became the Fairmont, which became the Tempo, which was supersceded by the later Escorts and Contour in the corporate line up which were replaced by the Focus. [And Falcon begat Mustang and Maverick and Granada, Fairmont the LTD and Cougar, among others].

    Just keep the bloody name, Ford, and keep making each generation better.What a waste of money to launch a new name every time a new model of something similar comes out.

  • avatar
    Pig_Iron

    thoots,

    Sorry I disagree, anybody who loves driving, and has hills, curves, and snow, will love this machine.

    An orange one with a sunroof please.

  • avatar
    RobertSD

    First, P71, there is no proof that Ford is going to ruin it in the translation. They haven’t even given anyone a production version to drive. And all the test models of the Fiesta they’re driving around look exactly the same as the EU version save for a minor bumper tweak for U.S. crash standards. Back it up.

    @ geeber

    Safety was actually part of the reason. Several modifications have to be made to Euro models before coming to the U.S. Safety is one of them, and an expensive and challenging one at that if you don’t want to add weight or change the design. It was believed at the time of the decision that making their own vehicle would be significantly cheaper. I’ve pieced together a timeline from various conversations on Ford boards, but it sounds like it went like this (please, if someone knows better, correct me if I’m wrong):

    1) Ford NA decides not to join the C1 program in 2001 because of the disasterous launch of the NA Focus that caused a lot of resentment.
    2) Ford NA decides not to join the C1 program again in late-2004/early-2005 because they determine it will be cheaper to build their own Focus.
    3) Fields returns to NA in Q4 2005, looks at plans for the Focus and sends them back to be more significantly updated. Price tag of redesign rises to what it would have been to join the C1 program initially.
    4) Too late to get the C1 for 2008 without significantly more money invested, Fields makes NA join the brand-new C2 program for launch in 2010 for the 2011MY.

    The decision to merge with the next Euro Focus was actually made before Mulally got to Ford – by Mark Fields. The C2 program began in early/mid-2006, and Fields said NA would be on it – in fact, I think initial spec’ing of the platform began in NA either right before or right after Mulally arrived. He is also the one that got Ford NA on the Fiesta program (albeit, late). One of the primary reasons the Fiesta for the U.S. is delayed is re-engineering it for U.S. safety standards and doing some other alignment of drivetrain and interior features (transmission, SYNC, etc).

    And you might point to BMW and say that we don’t have to wait for their vehicles, but that’s because they design their vehicles from the start for both markets. Similarly, the C2 Focus will launch here within 0-3 months of the C2 Focus in Europe (timeline isn’t clear) unless something unrelated to the current eng’g program gets delayed (like plant overhauls or something). Ford designed the C2 program from the start to serve the U.S. It should also help Mazda save some money as well with the new 3.

  • avatar

    RobertSD,

    It’s also kinda encouraging that Ford is trotting out pics of the 5-door hatchback on the official site.

    http://www.fordvehicles.com/2011fiesta/

    Not only should the Fiesta make the Chevy Aveo a freaking embarrassing excuse for a subcompact, with a little TLC, it could even be a Mini fighter.

    Someone should hand Mr. Mulally the keys to a Cooper S…

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