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Old 03-01-2007, 07:03 PM   #1
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2007 Focus Sedan versus 1987 BMW 325 Sedan

After 200k+ miles, the deterioration of overall condtion and a minor spin in the wet, we decided it was time to trade in the beloved Bimmer for something new. Last week I shopped EVERY manufacturer locally, and the Ford came on top basically due to their aggressive financing (0.9%). For the first time in my life I am a front wheel drive owner

I should state that for nearly all of my years as a licensed driver I've owned/driven/maintained BMWs. It's also important to know that not a one has been less than 10 years older than the current model year (only one had less than 100k on it). BMWs depreciate fairly quickly, and it is tough to resist a well-appointed, great handling, rear driver if the condition is right. However, we've been bitten pretty hard by non-working/poor functioning air conditioners. Its not so much a problem when its you alone, but now we have kids, and it gets hot in Memphis!!

So I've been driving the Phokus a few days now, and proportionally it feels SO much bigger than the E30 325 sedan I traded. I dug up some interesting data on each car:

BMW 325 Phokus
Wheelbase 101.2 102.9
Length 170.30 175.2
Height 54.3 56.9
Weight 2780 2729 (2600+ another source)
Horsepower 127 136
Torque 175 136 (or so)


I feel every inch of the height adavantage of the Phokus, as the Bimmer had a sunroof, and the Phokus does not.

It will be an interesting shift from rear to front drive. I'll not miss power oversteer too much as I love handbraking . However, the fore aft weight distribution and drive shift is bound to catch me out a bit as it nearly did today..

There is a fabulous spot on my commute that involves a fast, long banked left hander of constant radius which goes down then up over a hill. After this it goes down and turns right with decreasing radius, and mid turn goes off camber (quite a turn, actually). The first part was no problem in the Phokus, but at he latter bit when I hit the off camber spot the rear got REALLY light and gave a bit of a shimmy that was disconcerting. Granted, it never was comfortable in my Bimmer, but it wasn't as surprising as this.

Anyways, I'm looking forward to learning the ins and outs of FWD. I've had the privilege of participating in several high performance driving schools with the BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari clubs of America, and I look forward to getting the Phokus on the track, and will ahve the chance at an upcoming Porsche Club event at our local road course.

Sunny side up, gang
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:08 PM   #2
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1st of welcome to the site

cool, bimmer are fun, and youll learn about the fofo, real fast, and what it was made to do, and thats AUTOX, and the twisty roads are always fun, most people start witha drop on there focus then go for more power, so enjoy the site, browse around and have fun with the car
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:23 PM   #3
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What model focus did you get? The S and SE do not have rear sway bars, that really hurts handling. With the rear sway bar, I would put the focus up to the 325 any day of the week. I live in the mountains with lots of twisty roads, and the focus is a blast on them. Its the best handling FWD car I have ever driven.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:27 PM   #4
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What model focus did you get? The S and SE do not have rear sway bars, that really hurts handling. With the rear sway bar, I would put the focus up to the 325 any day of the week. I live in the mountains with lots of twisty roads, and the focus is a blast on them. Its the best handling FWD car I have ever driven.

Yeah, it's an SE. Haven't looked too closely at the suspension on it, but perhaps a rear sway is in order.

Cheers, Stuka..
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:36 PM   #5
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The non-sway-bar equipped Foci actually have stiffer rates on the rear springs to compensate... just an interesting bit I picked up the other day.

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Old 03-01-2007, 07:36 PM   #6
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sup im from memphis
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:38 PM   #7
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sup im from memphis

Cheers knox-saw your post in the regionals section.
You should come by MMP the weekend of April 27. The Porsche club always has some fab rides showing up. I'll be on the track for at leats a session or two...

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Old 03-01-2007, 08:02 PM   #8
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If you are into the handling aspects and good power to get you through, too bad you didn't test drive a used SVT Focus. The handling was the first thing that drew me to the SVT and the extra power is nice too. :-) I don't know if the SVT suspension kit will work with a 2007 model but if it does, it would be a inexpensive route to upgrade to VERY nice handling! :-) ... oh, and the 17" wheels and tires would round it out. ... no pun intended. LOL
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:11 PM   #9
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^ford racing springs and dampers, give ya a 1.5 dropa nd better handling

also brain, what happens if ya put a sway on a s or se model, does it outhandle the ses model then?>
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:13 PM   #10
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If you are into the handling aspects and good power to get you through, too bad you didn't test drive a used SVT Focus. The handling was the first thing that drew me to the SVT and the extra power is nice too. :-) I don't know if the SVT suspension kit will work with a 2007 model but if it does, it would be a inexpensive route to upgrade to VERY nice handling! :-) ... oh, and the 17" wheels and tires would round it out. ... no pun intended. LOL


Cheers jaykirs
Wish I could have done a used SVT, but there were 2 voices in this deal (I'm married)..

Your signature is spot on
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