AD #1580 – Scion Gets a Sedan, Plug-Ins Will Drain Your Wallet, Ford Tinkers With Focus ST

March 19th, 2015 at 11:56am

Runtime: 8:13

- GM Makes Major Changes in Russia
- Kia Sketches All-New Optima
- Scion Teases New Models
- BMW Adds Plug-In to X5 Lineup
- Plug-Ins Drain Batteries & Wallets
- Ford Tinkers With the Focus ST

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27 Comments to “AD #1580 – Scion Gets a Sedan, Plug-Ins Will Drain Your Wallet, Ford Tinkers With Focus ST”

  1. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I would expect the Focus ST to have some torque steer in the lower gears, unless they can “dial it out” via the electric power steering. My Spirit R/T, a front driver with similar power/weight to the ST certainly had plenty of torque steer. That was 20 years ago, but you have the same things going on in a front drive car when the half shafts are not level, as in cornering, even when they are equal length, as I’m sure they are in the Focus ST.

  2. RumNCoke Says:

    Hey John

    Did you get any seat time in a Focus RS?

    Any idea of the estimated price difference between the Focus ST and the upcoming North American RS model? Using the European model as a baseline, do you think the Focus RS will be too hard edged for everyday use?

  3. Steve W Says:

    John, I fail to see how the tires would add torque steer to any car. Could you explain this?

  4. HtG Says:

    How about those super smooth Swiss roads, huh?

  5. HtG Says:

    FWIW, some guys on a Focus forum were saying that snows on dry pavement is giving them torque steer as well.

    As always, beware internet commenters, kids

  6. Kit Gerhart Says:

    If the wheels with the winter tires have the wrong offset, that could contribute to torque steer, or what feels like torque steer. I’d the the car in Switzerland would have had the stock wheels, though.

  7. J Hundertmark Says:

    Torque steer – Major component in torque steer is any difference in the actual angle at the fixed joint (wheel end) from left to right. While equal length drive axles can minimize this, it can also aggravate if the engine/transmission is not mounted level in the vehicle. In addition, would not be too surprised to see winter tires having an adverse impact on dry roads.

  8. Eric Penn Says:

    The Focus ST does not have the RevoKnuckle.

  9. HtG Says:

    See guys, John’s sensitive discernment of the driving characteristics of autos is why Ford needs to invite him the future Ford GT test event. Especially if they do it as Laguna Seca or COTA. Which do you like better, John?

    /kidding, don’t want to get anyone in trouble

  10. Earl Says:

    GM and every other car company will start writing off their investment Russia in 2016. Russia is a ‘soon to be broke’ country and unlike 1998 the IMF will not touch them. The ruble will soon be next to worthless and will be renamed the rubble. Putin and all his crooked oligarch buddies have had their bank accounts seized and many of them won’t be travelling as most country’s won’t issued them visas. The Chinese propped up their currency in January and wrung a long term deal for oil. However, Putin or whoever succeeds him will break that agreement as they’re typically corrupt.

  11. buzzerd Says:

    I think you are right Earl, anyone who wants to know how business is down in Russia should pick up a copy of Bill Browder’s Red Notice.

  12. pedro fernandez Says:

    These cars are not gonna revive Scion IMO, too much damage, FR-S was not able to bring buyers back the way they had expected, they lost their mojo after the 1st gen xB was replaced with the 2nd gen and the rest of the line-up was not attractive enough.

  13. Kit Gerhart Says:

    They need to just drop Scion, and have done with it.

    They need the iM, to replace the Matrix, but they could just sell it as, say, a Toyota Matrix. People would understand. The iA will be a Yaris sedan, so they could just call it a Yaris sedan.

    A lot of people say they should call the FR-S a Celica, but I’d come up with a different name, like Toyota 86, the name it carries in the rest of the world. The intent of the car is pretty far removed from previous Celicas, even the early rear drive ones.

  14. pedro fernandez Says:

    The rest of the world gets the 86 but the geniuses at Toyota felt that by making it a Scion, it was gonna magically bring back the brand, WRONG!. BTW, just read an article about a survey that puts the FCA dealers as the worst for service from all major makes. I guess that they have not been able to keep up with the increase in sales and the issues with trouble-prone FCA vehicles.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    FCA really needs to work on service, and reliability. Some of their products are generally good, but if they are unreliable, and the dealers can’t fix them, the prospect for repeat customers will not be so good.

  16. pedro fernandez Says:

    Remember when they were shutting down dealers left and right, and some were saved, perhaps they chose to keep the wrong ones!

  17. Earl Says:

    15….Reliability and durability have never been a hallmark
    over at Chrysler and more so over at Fiat in Europe. But,I
    will say they have some good looking vehicles to-day.

  18. Druff Says:

    My wife and I test drove an ST last year and it was a handful when I stood on it to get on the highway, it jumped all over the place. If it had an automatic we would have bought it just for the seats. We can drive a stick but when you go back and forth from Freightliner to a car with a stick all you end up doing is grinding gears because you forget to push in clutch.

  19. Kit Gerhart Says:

    My first car was a ’57 Chrysler, given to me by my aunt who bought it new. The powertrain was the best big engine powertrain in the world, a 392 hemi and Torqueflight, but the body was rattly from when it was new. The rocker panels rusted out in a few years, even when they barely used road salt. That car was very much a mixed bag.

  20. C-Tech Says:

    Here is the link to the J.D. Power survey which Pedro references.

  21. C-Tech Says:

    What is of greater interest in this survey is of mass-market dealers, Buick dealers rank number 1 with 836 out of 1000 points. Mini is hot on their heels with 834 points. Honda and Nissan are barely better than average with 796 points each, 4 points above the average. Jaguar is the top luxury brand with 877 points. By the way, this has nothing to do with the reliability of Chryslers or other vehicles, just how satisfied are customers with their service work.

  22. Kit Gerhart Says:

    I find it strange that Jaguar ranked first, and Land Rover last among luxury brands, since, in all, or nearly all cases, they are the same dealership. Are LR customers that much more “picky” than Jaguar customers?

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Thinking back to the (not so) gold old days of cars, it’s amazing how reliable today’s cars are, despite the complexity. My ’57 Chrysler was 9 years old when I got it, and along with the body rust, the generator had failed, a hose or two had failed, and I’m sure other things I don’t remember. Other brands of cars driven by friends did no better, except for body rust, and had more transmission and engine problems.

  24. C-Tech Says:

    Kit, you are right, it does seem odd that Jaguar and Land Rover are at opposite ends. Perhaps part of it is buyer’s remorse over choosing a Land Rover.

    If you remember the Japanese vehicle brands from the late 60′s and 70′s it is amazing how far they have come.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The thing I remember about the early Japanese cars was that they rusted badly, kind of like a ’57 Chrysler.

  26. Kit Gerhart Says:

    Honda may again sell Civic hatches in the U.S., and import them from England.

  27. pedro fernandez Says:

    The local LR dealer is a disaster as far as service is concerned, you get a crappy loaner, service is by appt, they never have the parts, so you got no car for as long as that takes, which have led me to believe that LR owners are a bunch of masochists, AHHH but when it’s all working fine, is like heaven on wheels!!