2015 Ford Focus ST: One quarter Ferrari for one tenth of the price
When I was 12, I told my teacher that when I grew up I would be married to a beautiful woman and have a boy and a girl and I'd drive a Ferrari Testerasa.
And I wasn't alone.
All the boys in my class had posters of their favorite cars up on their walls and dreamed one day of owning a Ferrari or a Lamborghini.
But, as you get older, the reality kicks in that.
If you do an honest job chances are you'll never earn enough money to be able to afford one of these cars.
But how to reconcile the hunger inside you to own something exciting and to drive a car that gets your blood plumping.
How do you do it without breaking the bank?
And having to sell your home, your kids, and both your kidneys?
Well, maybe this is how.
Okay, so this is a Ford Focus ST as can probably noticed and no, this isn't gonna tick all those boxes that you wanted in a super car but the point I'm trying to make is that there is a lot that can be distilled from the experience of owning a really high performance car, that can be got out of.
A car like this.
Buying cars is like a lot of things.
It's a law of diminishing returns.
That being, that the more you have to spend on a car, the proportionately less you're getting for your money.
So, to get a car that does.
Is zero to sixty in a second less than this car, you'd have to spend twice the amount of money.
That means there is a sweet spot, where the bang for your buck is at its highest.
And the Ford Focus ST might just be at the apex.
This is the two liter petrol.
Version, kicking out over 245 horsepower and 251 pound-foot of torque.
Zero to 60, too, is a respectable 6.5 seconds, and it'll top out at 154 miles per hour.
And depending on your options, it could be yours for a shade over 22 grand.
For comparison, that makes it faster, more powerful and cheaper than a Golf GTI.
I think for someone like me, who yearned for a supercar when he was small, but despite doing a job where I occasionally get to drive them, will never earn enough to actually own one.
I have to be realistic about my choices.
I need room for my kids in the back.
I need it to affordable but I still need to be able to drop down two cogs and put a smile on my face.
The FT is far from being the fastest car you can get in the family hatch.
It's not even the fastest in the Focus line.
Of course the RS has that crown.
But it's that sweet spot it occupies.
The bang for your buck, the cost effectiveness of that power.
This is a delightful little car.
It proves enough of a challenge to keep you interested.
If you want to flirt around a bit.
It will certainly comply.
And this afternoon while we've been hooning around the streets of Barcelona, its provided me with more than a few instances of pure driving joy.
And that's really what we're asking of this car.
We're asking for a fair deal.
We're asking that the money that we leaked out for this car to come back.
We want to be able to experience every single penny we've laid out for it.
You can't really ask much more of a car, can you?
Feels delightfully nimble, you can certainly throw about the lanes with ease.
But, put in sixth gear.
Take it easy.
And you've got yourself your family car back.
Forgetting for a moment that you're being hugged by bucket seats of course.
The kind that make the broader backed gentlemen slightly more uncomfortable.
And the fact that you're driving something in a color called.
Tangerine scream, something that you'd be far more comfortable with on a Lamborghini, but again, that's kind of adding to this experience of trying to reclaim that super car desire you had.
I mean, let's.
Let's face it, I'm never going to own a Lamborghini but that doesn't mean you can't have something in an [UNKNOWN] bright color, right?
The [UNKNOWN] box is grey, the [UNKNOWN] progression is pretty decent.
Response isn't bad.
And the engine sound isn't too bad either.
Though the shortcomings of the Ford Focus ST don't end at its inability, well, total excuse or inability, to live up to my.
Threw my expectations of what a car could be.
The steering is far from as sharp as a car this powerful should have, and for some reason, the pedal box used to be offset.
Feels like I'm twisted in my seat.
There's another thing that often gets overlooked in cars, especially on the cars that we look at here in X Car.
You take McClaren, for example.
Wonderful cars, amazing performance.
It's not the most pleasant place to be when you're sat inside one.
Ferrari's are moderately better, but still lack a little bit in actually those creature comforts.
And there is this long-standing tradition of people going I don't really want a stereo, I want to.
Listen to the roar of the engine.
Well I'm driving from Barcelona back to London and dammit, I want to listen to the radio.
The Focus on the other hand comes with pretty much every bell and whistle you can want with a nice, big touch screen interface.
Ford's Synch technology voice commands DAB radio and plenty of USB and aux sockets dotted around.
The Recaro sports seats add that extra sporty edge that makes short journeys feel exciting and long journeys kinda painful.
Just like your favorite supercar would do.
The Ford Focus ST might fall short of your super-car dreams when you had when you were a kid, and of course it will.
It's a family hatchback.
But think of it from the other perspective.
A family car that's got room to transport the kids, and do everything you need it to do on a daily basis but will sometimes put that smile back on your face that you had when you were a kid looking up at that Lambo.
You could do far worse.