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Ford to drop SVT Focus, suspend performance lineup
By Eric Mayne / The Detroit News

DEARBORN -- Ford Motor Co. is killing its high performance SVT Focus coupe next year and suspending production of the entire Special Vehicle Team lineup for the 2005 model year, the company said Friday.

"It will hurt us," said Dean Sellers, general manager of Dean Sellers Ford in Troy. "But it won't be devastating."

Ford's next scheduled model year for SVT products will be 2006. But its lineup - the Mustang Cobra and F-150 Lightning - will be based on new platforms and offer increased levels of performance.

John Coletti, SVT's chief engineer, said the 2006 Lightning will be powered by an engine similar to the one featured in the 500-horsepower Ford GT, which debuts next year.
Other possibilities include supercharged versions of the Mercury Marauder and Lincoln Navigator, a Mustang with a V-10 and a turbocharged Focus.

In 2005, Ford plans to introduce the Focus ST, which stands for street tuned. It offers slightly less horsepower than the SVT Focus -- 155 compared with 170. But it will have more torque and likely cost less.

Angelo Giordimaina, general sales manager of McLaughlin Ford in Royal Oak, said lease and insurance rates on the SVT Focus were alienating some buyers.

Since its introduction as a 2002 model, about 4,500 units a year have been sold. Tom Scarpello, SVT marketing and sales manager, hinted Ford expected more.

"Did it meet all its objectives? No," Scarpello said. "But the majority of them."

Since the first Cobra debuted in 1993, Ford has sold more than 135,000 SVT products.
 

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Mr. Wizard
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maybe if Ford MADE more of them, they would have SOLD more of them. The exclusiveness of them made it harder to find them in your choice and to buy. I think Ford is missing alot of the clues from the crowd, the fact that the Focus has been mass consumed by alot of younger kids, and alot of them looking for nice sporty cars. Ford seems to miss the cues alot and kill off some of the best things they have. I think their marketing people have gotten too old for the generations buying cars.
 

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Sückn' n Blown
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I don't think it was because of limited supply. Some just were not selling and sitting on lots.

Oh well, I have my Focus ST, but in a hatch. ;)
 

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Mr. Wizard
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ok well maybe it was the wrong lots, I know that some of the lots near me had none to speak of, and they would have been the lots to sell them.
 

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Ford knows how to sell cars. In my opinion the SVT Focus is a success. They made the best handling car in its class. The Mustang & Lightning don't cut the mustard for me. I think the Lightning is the stupidest thing I've ever seen. It turns rednecks into super rednecks.
 

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Personally, I almost bought an SVT fOCUS, so here is one real-world reason why they didn't sell one.

It was a Cobalt(?) blue '03 3-door. Now, I'm an adult with a good job and great credit and clean driving record, and I could *easily* afford it and the insurance. So why did I end up with my PZEV?

Well, for one thing, I wasn't wild about the power band in the SVT. Yeah, it's ballsy, but you really have to get into it, 5000rpm and beyond, to feel the rush. Not exactly what I want in my daily commuter. Second - fuel cost. SVTF requires premium fuel and is rated 21/25. Frankly that sux. The difference in fuel cost alone (at $1.80 for premium and $1.60 for regular) is over $400 per year with the miles I drive. Third, value. The additional performance of the PZEV over the Zetec for basically no additional money (I got my car from Massachusetts) makes it a far better value than the SVTF in terms of sheer straight-line performance.

What I miss about not buying the SVTF is the sharper handling characteristics, 17" wheels, and the slightly more distinctive looks, and the interior amenities like the leather, heated seats. But I saved a SOLID $6000, even when they finally started offering incentives on the SVT, so I can justify giving up a few amenities.

So, that is why at least one SVTF in particular did not get sold. I bet there are plenty more stories a lot like mine.

Personally, I think you have to be an autocrosser or at least a wannabe to really appreciate what the SVTF has to offer, and I guess there just aren't that many out there.

(Last time I checked it was still sitting on the dealer's lot - Tasca Ford in Cranston, RI)
 

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SVT Focus Killed

Ford does it again. Another fine car bites the dust. Guess we'll have to be happy with a Taurus. I'm buying a German car nest time.
 

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Egz said:
I think its Sonic Blue.
Thanks, Egz, you're absolutely right. I was hurrying and the color just wouldn't come to mind. Darn nice color, by the way. I would have been real happy with it.
 

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Look at the bright side here folks... this could give way to a very high powered focus. Needless to say the SVT focus is the best handling car but the power is not there. I test drove a sonic blue one also downright loved the interior and looks but the gas was a major consideration and going 91 premium would just plain suck as Soffiler said. The other thing is that Ford could not sell this car. I would have bought my SVT but they did not budge on the price of the car for me at all even after i said about how i know they are having problems selling this car. Hell the one dealership next to me still has all 3 SVT still on lot. They are even selling them at $15,000 and still can't get rid of them ( and this is a european packaged SVT!!!) The SVT was nice and i am sad to see it go but like I said this could give way to a better SVT later. It does say turbocharged focus in the article!!!
 

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I agree with the fact that this, in the end, may end up changing things for the better, and if not, at least there is the PZEV now which has much more potential to make way more power than the SVTF and if you want handling, its possible to get the same, if not better performance than the SVTF through aftermarket suspension components
 

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Ford seems to miss the cues alot and kill off some of the best things they have. I think their marketing people have gotten too old for the generations buying cars.



The STVF is a neat car. I surely don't think it is the best thing they have. It is fast for a focus, but is still a dog in the V-8 world. And Mustangs handle great. Almost as good as the focus, depending on the trim level of the mustang, sometimes better than the focus. It is a given that the mustang has high insurance rates. It always has. (but then it has real performance after all). For the STVF to have high insurance is just plain gouging. Insurance rates killed the muscle car era just as much as the tree huggers did. You young-un's don't mind reving an engine to 7,000 rpm, but us old guys love the sound of a torquey V-8. There are more of us.. sorry. So Ford will consentrate it's big guns towards muscle cars, and trucks.. infra3sv, you need to take a lightning on a drive once. I think you will be totally amazed. That is one awesum truck. And I am not even close to being a redneck. I don't even like my sister. :) I do beleive the skipped year will make the SVT team bring out products that are 10 steps above the competion. They are just regrouping. Hell, chivie can't even make a performance truck when they have tried!! And the dudge hemi is a farce, way over rated and performance proves it. GM doesn't even make the camaro/firebird anymore, and dodge doesn't have a pony car. Now Ford needs a production car that compeats with the corvette and viper and we will be all set.
 

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GREAT now the letters/badge of ST will be out.. great!


just like regular honda owners and their type R badge..

ST is going to be the domestic badge for type R

great just great.. lets pour salt on our wounds?
 

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Broken cars s[:)][:)][:)] :(
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I think the ST idea is stupid as shit...really now...their gonna drop the power of the SVT but have more torque....ok thats good but then wheres the high powered focus? Gotta have a fast one for more of the competition....I'm sure the ST would beat some hondas stock but it'd still be nice to have a faster one...oh well...they better make some good shit for 06 year!!
-Joe
PS: I love lightings and to see one with that much power would be bad as shit man! I aint a redneck but trucks are awesome also! :)
 

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This is a really stupid decision on fords part. Everyone agrees the car is practically perfect except it needs more power and torque . Ford has the new duratec engines ford owns cosworth, is working with Shelby, owns svt ect. For cats sake it should be simple to make a svt. with 25 more hp and 30 more ft. lbs! Now Nick Scheele pres of ford na says we wont get the next focus model but will continue with the old one till 2010 ! Lets pray for a mazdaspeed 3! Meanwhile THERE will probably be like 5000 incentives on svts this summer if you want one.
 

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2003/11/25 - Ford Gives SVT a Breather till 2006

Ford's 2005 Model Year will be devoid of any SVT products according to Ford Motor Company. The 2004 Focus SVT will be dropped at the end of its model year. Development on the 2006 SVT Cobra and SVT Lightning continues. The new 2006 SVT Cobra and SVT Lightning should offer improved performance over their current generation models.
 
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