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Old 05-07-2011, 11:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DefSport View Post
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.
Are you saying new Focus has more body roll then your friends 06 Escape?

If so being a mechanical engineer can you explain how Ford achieved such a feat, to make a compact car less resistant to body roll then a high centre of gravity Escape.

I find your comments very difficult to fathom in the sense that the Focus driving dynamics are well respected around the globe, and to read such a comment saying that a 06 Escape has less body roll then the new Focus
borders on hard to believe.

I have driven the Euro spec Focus and North American Focus Titanium spec, but not the base North American Focus, and unless Ford N.A. re-engineered the base car to be a comfy couch highway cruiser I cannot take your Escape vs Focus roll resistance comments very seriously.

I understand that Ford N.A. tuned the base suspension for the North American market for a more comfy ride, but to the extent you felt it is softer then
a CUV if true is ludicrous?

I have driven many Escape variants over the years, and they are pretty rolly polly on the road, hence my knickers getting in a knot with your comment.

That said, I look forward to your observations on the SE with Sport Package, and if you get a chance to drive the Titanium with the optional handling package.

The event I attended in Madrid Spain back in February had many persons like yourself, instructors, professional race drivers such as Justine Bell and Tanner Foust. The feed back from the pros and others was very positive regarding the driving dynamics, with all quite impressed that a mass produce compact , FWD car had such good driving dynamics. We drove the cars on skid pads, high speed oval, and road course, and normal streets and found the car to be very well balanced and sorted in all areas. But again none of the Foci from USA were lower spec trim.
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Old 05-07-2011, 12:26 PM   #12
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That was my perception, and I was honestly surprised at the apparent amount of body roll in what I'd call "very light 2/10ths driving." There was noticeable "wind up" in the suspension as it rolls before the roll stiffness arrives, making me think quite a bit of the roll stiffness comes from the sway bars. It wasn't that the car was scraping the doorsills in light driving, but there was quite a bit of body roll.

The Escape is a base model and it belongs to my fiance, so I've got quite a few miles driving it. I won't say it corners super flat, but there is little apparent body roll in light driving. The 06 Escape has a higher ride frequency and stiffer ride than the Focus I drove. I'd say overall blend of comfort/performance was better on the 2012 Focus, but it was definitely tilted WAY towards comfort.
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Old 05-07-2011, 01:07 PM   #13
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Just bought an se with the sport package last night. Car has almost no body roll. I am coming from an 07 impreza and the focus rides much firmer and is much more planted in the corners. Also I have put many miles on many different escapes and you are out of your mind saying an escape has less body roll.
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Old 05-07-2011, 04:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frunko1 View Post
Just bought an se with the sport package last night. Car has almost no body roll. I am coming from an 07 impreza and the focus rides much firmer and is much more planted in the corners. Also I have put many miles on many different escapes and you are out of your mind saying an escape has less body roll.


Posted via FF Mobile I dont know if he was really saying that.

But in regards to the focus, my 03 has a decent amount, but never once has that caused any problems for me. The focus stays planted and has tons of grip for a compact "economy car". Its been proven on race tracks and autox courses. Even when it gets onto three wheels it still has tons of grip. The mkiii is even better then our first generations, I expect the suspension to be just as good and then some.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:13 PM   #15
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Than a non sport-package Focus, yes it does feel that way. I'll put it this way, in corners where there was such a small amount of body roll to remain undetected on my 540i (not exactly the stiffest sprung car in the world and 3700 lbs), the Focus was rolling over quite a lot.

It was enough that there was a distinct difference in roll to actual weight transfer and "taking set" into a corner.


I understand you guys like your Focii, but come on, a base model/non-sport package Focus is going to be engineered to be right up there with the softest sprung cars available to capture that 95% of the driving public that just wants a comfortable car that doesn't transmit bumps while driving from point A to point B. I wasn't expecting BMW M3 type roll stiffness from the base model, but it was way more on the comfort side than I could ever see myself being happy with right now in a new car.
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Old 05-07-2011, 06:55 PM   #16
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i would just hold out for the focus youd be most happy with. i understand the new focus is a rare commodity right now but as the weeks progress there should be more to choose from on the lots. ive test driven both SE's and i can say you want the sport package. yes, you do. i totally agree with everything you said about the standard se, with the exception of more body roll than the standard escape (i dont have an escape to compare it to). the standard se, i almost fell asleep... it was a lot like a toyota. the sport package took the suspension/chassis a step in the right direction so it was well worth the additional money. youll feel a difference if you get to test drive both back to back like i did.

as far as the trim packages, im still confused about what trim level can be optioned with what. this has to be the most confusing car to equip properly ive ever seen in my life. i have the manual that dealers get to sell these things and im still confused so i can understand why the salesmen are clueless, so id cut em some slack. the best advice is to go to ford.com and review the options there. it kinda helps... kinda.

if all else fails, hold out for the focus st :)
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:49 PM   #17
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Yea, I've done the Ford.com build your own Focus a few times, but I still get a little confused on what the different My Ford Touch/Sync etc. packages actually mean as far as interfaces and what screens etc you get. They don't do a good job of describing it for someone who is not intimately familiar with what the systems mean to the new Focus.

As for the ST - not interested. My track car is 2500 lbs and near 400 rwhp, so it mostly satisfies my need for speed. Plus it pulls over 1.1 G lateral sustained. :) I've given up on "fast" daily drivers that still leave me a bit wanting in the speed department, but return fairly ho-hum gas mileage. Honestly, the thought of picking up a BMW E36 M3 ('98 or '99, as the last model years) has crossed my mind. I've owned 2, and they're probably the best street cars I have ever driven, but they're getting fairly old at this point. Car and Driver rated them as the best handling car at any price when they were being made, and I'd definitely have to agree when it comes to blending comfort and handling prowess. But I think I'd ultimately be happier with a newer car that gives better gas mileage and I don't have to mess with every few weekends to keep running. Speaking of that.. about to pop out and replace the water pump on the 540i. Most cars it's about a 1 hr job, it's probably a 4-5 hr one on this car. Joy....
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Old 05-07-2011, 07:52 PM   #18
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I don't have any experience with them myself, but going by what I've heard about the E39, I think any Focus will be a bit disappointing in comparison ;)

Speaking personally, I thought the SE with the sport package was a great blend of sport and comfort. Much smoother and quieter than my Mazda, but just about as much fun to drive.
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Old 05-07-2011, 10:25 PM   #19
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The E39 is a pretty amazing car, definitely the best 5 series BMW has made. EVERY surface on the interior is soft touch, covered in leather etc. I have 18 way power seats in mine from a 750iL, 6 speed, tons of torque, nice V8 sound etc. But the car seems almost engineered to be impossible to work on, and the smallest jobs are 4-8 hour ordeals with hundreds of dollars of parts, and brittle plastic ones that you break along the way just touching them.

Amazingly fun car, but it grows old owning one after a couple of years.
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Old 05-07-2011, 11:07 PM   #20
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About 3 years ago when I was shopping for my current car, the 528i was high on my list. It's universally loved (when it was still being made I remember CAR or TopGear or someone saying it was pretty much the best car in the world), plus it looks so good, and there were some in my price range. But while they have a decent reliability record according to Consumer Reports, I knew when something went wrong it would be expensive - and since I was in high school at the time, I went with a Japanese car instead :P

I still feel envious whenever I see an E39, though. Definitely my favorite BMW of the last few decades.
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