09 Ford Focus

I’m pretty impressed with the sportiness of this new Ford Focus, its not at all what I would have expected. Its unusually attractive for a Ford.
That said, I think it looks remarkably like a riced out Honda CRX crossed with a Volvo.
What do you think inspired this direction? I thought the target customer was basically grandma, and that the boys would be after the Mustang.
Even in it’s sportiest trim level, the previous Focus was pretty vanilla.

Robin: Don’t forget that I’m a Focus owner…hehe

You’ve posted the latest RS. It’s the top of the line sport model of the current generation. Here’s the first Focus RS:

It is sedate today, but it came out for the European market only in '02.

Now the history lesson: The Focus in North America is the same platform that debuted in '99. It has been facelifted twice. In NA, Ford never tried to push hot small cars, they know they don’t sell compared to the Mustang and SUVs. So the NA Focus was always a grocery getter.

The Focus in the ROW is in it’s second platform generation, which debuted in '04. It was facelifted last year to follow the new “kinetic” design language that debuted in the ROW only Ford Mondeo. Here’s the base version of the 2nd gen pre-facelift and post…much more vanilla:

If they look like Volvos, they kinda are. The second gen platform was used for the Mazda 3 and Volvo C30/S40/V50.

Lastly, note that the Focus has been the top selling car in Europe since the early '00s Ford is thought of in Europe like Honda is in the US. They are mainstream, but known for being a little more sporty than ordinary.

Mr-914: Thanks for the education. I’m sort of in the same boat. I drive a Toyota Matrix XRS, which is the ‘sport’ version (bigger engine, 2wd i/o AWD) of that car, its pretty invisible but satisfyingly quick.

Its a shame that the NA market is denied so many nice cars. :unamused:

No the NA market did not deny these products, because the company’s marketing denied the NA market’s access to these products.

It’s kinda weird how NA works. Remember when the WRX came out? Subaru thought it would be a halo product, they ended up being 50% of the Imprezas sold…and all of the conquest buyers! You would have thought everyone would bring the hot models over after that…