The third leg of the driving enjoyment trifecta.
I’VE been told that I’m sensitive, which is why I don’t read the comments beneath any online story that I’ve written. And perhaps that may be where my Ford Focus Sport and I have a bond and fondness for each other.
The realisation came after I’d been away on several comparison tests (and if you’re reading this as a Blue Oval fan, that included the Mustang GT outmuscling the beloved Holden Commodore SS-V Redline).
I’d left the car at The Brunswick Office (otherwise known as Byron’s house), where it had hardly been driven. And, Your Honour,
I had not checked the tyre pressures for weeks before that…
So after enjoying the Mustang’s torque on brilliant country roads, as well as driving five seriously capable luxury saloons for this month’s comparo, the Focus had lost its edge. Or so I thought.
Instead of its typical eagerness and verve, the Focus felt a little flabby (again, a common point between me and the car).
So I checked how much air was in the Michelins, and it was only 27psi. Impressively, all four were at the same pressure, which was four pounds below the placard’s recommended 31psi.
After a quick visit to the servo, I headed back out into Melbourne’s driving madness, and immediately the sharpness returned.
Now we were again carving up corners, settling quickly under brakes and giving excellent purchase off the mark.
I’ve mentioned how much I enjoy the Focus’s poke, and the fact that it requires technique off the mark for a successful launch. If you dump the clutch (ala Mustang) the 1.5-litre Turbo’s relative lack of torque sullies the attack. Get that clutch working spot on – which means a few revs and loading it up to its high bite point – and the take-off is brutal.
That seems to complete the trifecta of getting the most enjoyment from the Focus Sport. It’s super-sensitive to tyre pressures, so keep them in check even more closely than your Facebook account, and then there’s the driving technique.
These are the cornerstones of a car that’s deftly capable, even if it’s not quite as sharp as the previous model. Don’t say that within hearing range, though; we’re all a little sensitive.
Ghosts in the machine
A few months ago some rats must have nibbled into my log book because my fuel figures were up the creek, making the Focus Sport seem implausibly economical. Having traced back a couple of missing tankfuls of premium unleaded, my average consumption over the five months I’ve had the car is actually 10.4L/100km, not the 7.8 I last reported. My most humble apologies. I’ve since been publically flogged outside Bauer Towers and have only just healed sufficiently to ease back into those comfy bucket seats.
Read part three of our Ford Focus Sport long-term car review.
Ford Focus Sport hatch
Price as tested: $26,910
Part 4: 1910km @ 9.5L/100km
Overall: 6274km @ 10.4L/100km
Date acquired: December 2015