The European arm of the Ford Motor Company has just upped the ante on the new Focus and Fiesta models for 2008 by offering up some improved performance beneath the bonnet. The Ford design team of North America had better check its design portfolio, because if their 2008 Ford Focus is the best they have to offer they might as well fold. The European Ford Focus, along with their Fiesta, have you with a full house of design and performance (economical performance as far as compacts go). With Ford of Europe’s new engine upgrade package for the Focus and Fiesta ST these compacts just got a whole lot more interesting.
The Ford Fiesta ST 185 will be living up to its name with a boost in horsepower from 148bhp to 185bhp. The cost of the upgrade for the Fiesta is 950 Pounds over in the UK, and while the details are yet to be fully disclosed it is probable that it will include an exhaust upgrade, new cylinder head, performance camshaft and an upgrade to the engine management system. In the end the owners will have an extra 37bhp from their original 2.0 liter engine and a bit more party out of their Fiesta ST. However, the real fun seems to be in the Focus ST 260.
For 1,500 Pounds more the Focus ST 260 will reportedly receive a sport air filter, revised engine management system and sports tuned exhaust to start. The installed upgrades are expected to return an additional 38bhp to improve the overall hp from 222 to 260. With these improvements the Focus ST is expected to acheive a zero-to-sixty time of approximately 5.5 seconds. That would seem pretty respectable for its class.
Some of the upgrades listed for the Focus and Fiesta ST may seem to be common DIY projects for most tuners. The difference here is the tuner upgrades listed above are dealer installed packages and are fully warrantied by Ford Europe. These upgrades are also available for prior years models of the European Focus and Fiesta. Such options would seem a valuable perk for the average Focus or Fiesta shopper who just wants a bit more from their compact purchase.
And speaking of wanting a bit more from their compact purchase… North American shoppers should be kicking the shins of the Ford design teams who brought us the redressing that is the 2008 Ford Focus. Not only does the US Ford Focus languish in comparison to the European Ford Focus in style and aggressiveness, but its anemic 140-hp engine is starving for a similar dealer installed tuner upgrade package as the European Focus ST is receiving (and still it would only compare to the Fiesta in power). Sad to say but maybe the North American design team should have taken a peak over the shoulders of their European comrades?
You decide. Below is a side by side (or top-to-bottom) comparison of the front end of the European Focus vs. the North American Focus and you tell us which is the pedestrian offering and which one inspires a bit more spirited response:
Source[AutoExpress via AutoBlog]