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Old 05-06-2011, 08:12 PM   #1
DefSport
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2012 Focus Sport Package - Changes?

Thinking of replacing my 540i M-Sport with something I don't have to mess with every few weeks to keep on the road, so I went and looked at the 2012 Focus today. Usual story, sales guy was clueless, and couldn't answer any of my questions with any confidence nor let me drive a car I actually wanted (SE 5 door with sport package).

I drove an SE auto without the sport package, and the car was honestly too soft for me. It was comfortable and everything, but I could feel myself getting bored with it on the test drive. It felt like it had more body roll than my fiance's '06 Escape, not exactly what I'm looking for. The steering feel was also a little bit too light for me. I know it won't be anywhere near as heavy as my 540i (which has notoriously heavy steering with great feel for a recirculating ball box), but it was one oiled up finger on the steering wheel light with almost zero feedback.

I was under the impression that the sport package actually had some different suspension tuning, but the sales guy was adamant that it is just an appearance package with a leather steering wheel, 16" aluminum wheels, different seats design etc. He said multiple times that the suspension was the same sport package or not.

So any definitive info on if the suspension/steering assist is the exact same between a sport package SE 5 door car and one without the sport package?


Also, the sales guy couldn't answer my question on what type of screens on the dash/cluster come with the 201A vs. 203A packages. Do they both have the dual 4" screens, or does the 203A package get a larger screen in the middle of the dash? Still no nav from what I understand (I don't want it), but a larger screen would be nice for the extra $$$.


Thanks for any answers, as I think if I could find a knowledgable sales guy I'd have real answers to these simple questions.


As far as general impressions, the motor was nice if a bit gutless below 3k RPM (I only went up to about 4-4.5k RPM), but that's to be expected. I think the throttle mapping is very conservative for the first 50% of pedal travel to get better gas mileage figures. The auto was nice and smooth, but it was in a REAL hurry to get in a high gear, and did not like dropping down a gear in normal driving. There were quite a few 30 mph corners we came out of with it in a fairly high gear and below 2k RPM with almost no discernable power available on exit. It confirmed my fears that I don't think I could get along with any autobox after doing nothing but manuals for the past 13-14 years. The little rocker on the shifter would probably not do it for me either. Just not involving enough to actually make a difference over a "dumb" autobox.

Otherwise the car was very composed, if very soft in general. I could see it being fun on a daily basis revving out the little 2L to merge onto the highway with a manual. It seemed nice and quiet at the max speed we got it up to (about 50 mph).


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Old 05-06-2011, 08:53 PM   #2
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Thanks for the report. I'm holding out for the ST, unless they try to stick a "slush box" in that too! I've never had an auto, never will. I'll guess I'll just have to buy "classics".
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Old 05-07-2011, 05:40 AM   #3
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SE trim, the optional Sport Package gives you unique wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, a few interior bits and a spoiler and blacked-out grille. If you opt for the PowerShift automatic transmission, you’ll also have the “SelectShift” functionality.

"more body roll then your 06 Escape" this I have a very hard to time with your perception on this. I think you need to drive both back to back and get back to us before making such a statement.
Sorry but IMO you lose any cred with me when you say such a thing.
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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Well, welcome to the forum! Take time to give us and intro.

I just picked up my '12 SE MTX Foci WITH sport package a couple days ago. Been cruising around town, and LOVE how it handles. I honestly wouldn't even mess with the suspension for anything aftermarket. The only benefit would be to lower it. I would do the suspension on all of my imports, so my taste for a tight suspension is sufficiently meet by what comes with the sport package.

Springs on SE WITHOUT Sport Package
# BV61-5310-NG* Left Front Coil
# BV61-5310-NG* Right Front Coil
# BV61-5560-NG* Left Rear Coil Spring
# BV61-5560-NG* Right Rr Coil Spring

Springs on SE WITH Sport Package
# BV61-5310-NF* Left Front Coil
# BV61-5310-NF* Right Front Coil
# BV61-5560-NF* Left Rear Coil Spring
# BV61-5560-NF* Right Rr Coil Spring
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:42 AM   #5
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Yes, in addition to three sets of springs, Fordparts.com also shows 3 different front/rear shock absorbers - Shock Absorber with Standard Suspension, Shock Absorber with Handling Suspension, and Shock Absorber with Touring Suspension. Different front lower control arms - one for 15" wheels and one for 16" 17" wheels (doesn't mention the 18", but would assume it is the same). Different rear suspension knuckles - one for 15" 16" 17" wheels and one for 18" wheels.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:43 AM   #6
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Posted via FF Mobile Welcome to the forum. When I test drove an SE, the body roll was to be expected and I actually thought the steering feel was nice and heavy, at least compared to previous generation foci. It was also good for on the highway. Dont forget people you get rear disc brakes with the SE sport package as well.

To answer your question...

http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...alkaround.html
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefSport View Post
As far as general impressions, the motor was nice if a bit gutless below 3k RPM (I only went up to about 4-4.5k RPM), but that's to be expected. I think the throttle mapping is very conservative for the first 50% of pedal travel to get better gas mileage figures. The auto was nice and smooth, but it was in a REAL hurry to get in a high gear, and did not like dropping down a gear in normal driving. There were quite a few 30 mph corners we came out of with it in a fairly high gear and below 2k RPM with almost no discernable power available on exit. It confirmed my fears that I don't think I could get along with any autobox after doing nothing but manuals for the past 13-14 years. The little rocker on the shifter would probably not do it for me either. Just not involving enough to actually make a difference over a "dumb" autobox.
A perspective posted yesterday by Mark Schirmer, Ford Comm on Facebook - "There are three modes, really. Normal Drive -- "D". Then a "sport" setting "S".. and it does everything for you. When you are in "S", you can also start flipping gears with the rocker switch. Once you start flipping, it will wait for you.. Hold a gear right near redline if you forget to shift. But I don't live on a racetrack, so not sure why I'd use that. The regular "S" mode changes the shift pattern noticeably. You come off the gas and jump on the brake, it will downshift two gears. Hot into an off ramp, it will hold a gear nicely. I like that mode very much, but as I noted, it does noticeable eat into the mileage. At 4.29 a gallon, I'm careful with that stuff now."
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timinac View Post
Yes, in addition to three sets of springs, Fordparts.com also shows 3 different front/rear shock absorbers - Shock Absorber with Standard Suspension, Shock Absorber with Handling Suspension, and Shock Absorber with Touring Suspension. Different front lower control arms - one for 15" wheels and one for 16" 17" wheels (doesn't mention the 18", but would assume it is the same). Different rear suspension knuckles - one for 15" 16" 17" wheels and one for 18" wheels.


Posted via FF Mobile This is excellent information. Thanks for posting. Sounds like these cars were really tuned for each application, instead of just throwing on some suspension and bigger wheels.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:38 AM   #9
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If I had a 2012 Focus I'd probably permanently drive it in S mode!
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhiaFan View Post
SE trim, the optional Sport Package gives you unique wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, sport seats, a few interior bits and a spoiler and blacked-out grille. If you opt for the PowerShift automatic transmission, you’ll also have the “SelectShift” functionality.

"more body roll then your 06 Escape" this I have a very hard to time with your perception on this. I think you need to drive both back to back and get back to us before making such a statement.
Sorry but IMO you lose any cred with me when you say such a thing.
The body roll was definitely present. Weight transfer is higher on the Escape due to the high CG, and I have no doubts the standard suspension Focus would have more lateral grip, but there wasn't much roll stiffness to counteract body roll. Like I said, it was a very comfortable ride, and you get that with low roll stiffness and very soft springs. I didn't take it out on track or anything, but the body roll was the first thing I noticed in a 30 mph corner at maybe .3 lateral G's.

I'm a driving instructor at track events, and have helped numerous people setup the suspension in their cars for track driving, as well as being a mechanical engineer, so I'm not ignorant of this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrkKnight614 View Post
Posted via FF Mobile Welcome to the forum. When I test drove an SE, the body roll was to be expected and I actually thought the steering feel was nice and heavy, at least compared to previous generation foci. It was also good for on the highway. Dont forget people you get rear disc brakes with the SE sport package as well.

To answer your question...

http://blogs.insideline.com/straight...alkaround.html
Excellent link!

I'll admit the steering feel was actually reasonable off center, but applying more steering angle seemed to make it lose resistance rather than gain it. This is my first electric hydraulic steering system experience, so maybe I was just preoccupied with the changing levels of assist that seemed to change based on steering angle. I'd probably be fine with it after getting used to it, but my 540i has unnaturally heavy steering for a PS car (with great road feel as a result), so it felt odd going back and forth to that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timinac View Post
A perspective posted yesterday by Mark Schirmer, Ford Comm on Facebook - "There are three modes, really. Normal Drive -- "D". Then a "sport" setting "S".. and it does everything for you. When you are in "S", you can also start flipping gears with the rocker switch. Once you start flipping, it will wait for you.. Hold a gear right near redline if you forget to shift. But I don't live on a racetrack, so not sure why I'd use that. The regular "S" mode changes the shift pattern noticeably. You come off the gas and jump on the brake, it will downshift two gears. Hot into an off ramp, it will hold a gear nicely. I like that mode very much, but as I noted, it does noticeable eat into the mileage. At 4.29 a gallon, I'm careful with that stuff now."
Gotcha, I didn't make any adjustments to the car in that respect, but I can see how the auto gets the manual on gas mileage after driving it in the normal mode.

I do like how the steering column telescopes. I found a pretty comfortable seating position fairly quickly in the car and didn't feel like I was struggling to reach the steering wheel. Being 6' 3" I hate the seating position in a lot of compact cars due to the far away positioning of the steering wheel. By the time I get the seat far enough back to be fine with respect to leg position I can barely touch the wheel with my fingertips. The Focus let me have a reasonable amount of arm extension with the wheel telescoped all the way out. I have my steering wheel extended 5" towards me in my 240SX track car just to be comfortable with it, so I'm pretty nitpicky on this issue.



Overall the car was good, and I suspect I'd be much more excited about it if I could drive an SE with the sports package.
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