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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I've been browsing the forums for a few days, and after seeing Barmabob's gearing charts, I was inspired to dig up a similar one I had for the Suburu WRX. I had also seen a sampler power chart from Ford on our new 2.0L ecoboost, and realized I could do a little more detailed power comparison between these two cars.

I've been interested in buying a new car within the next year, and while previously I was leaning heavily to WRX, after I heard of this new Focus ST I have been waffling back and forth and eating up as much info on the fast Ford as I can find. There are so many +/-'s to each car - I just HAD to know how the performance would stack up. Well one thing led to another, adding in car weight, driver weight, drivetrain losses, air resistance... FWD grip... and well here you go.

DISCLAIMER: The tables and graphs produced in this chart are not all calculated with official numbers and are intended only for serious armchair racing.

EDIT: Does anyone know how to embed pictures in a thread? It would probably help with the readability of this lengthy post... I have removed some of the WRX charts. Album here

GEARING

ST Gearing Table (gearing info from http://fordstnation.com/attachments...nfo-recieved-dealership-13_focusst_jobaid.pdf):


ST Gearing Chart:


Generated Force in Gear

I then decided to throw in the torque figures into the gearing ratios to figure how much force was being generated at the wheels of each vehicle. You always see people forever arguing the torque vs. horsepower argument to no end. Well, they're all wrong. FORCE at the wheel is what really matters, right?

ST Force @ Speed Table (via Ford press release @ http://media.ford.com/images/10031/13FocusST_Overboost_infographic.jpg)


ST Force @ Speed, in gear Chart:


Acceleration at Speed

Now the real measure of which car is faster is the force generated divided by weight, also known as acceleration. After adding driver weight, drivetrain losses for the ST (estimated optimistically at 10%), I also wanted to take into account air resistance, which becomes a huge factor at higher speeds. I used the published coefficients of drag and used a reference area of the (track width + wheel width) x (car height - ground clearance). In each chart you can see I have highlighted the speeds that you'd ideally be in for each gear for maximum power.

ST Acceleration Chart:


Comparison Chart

And now for the penultimate acceleration chart. Note I have blended each gear into each other to show a smooth acceleration profile up to top speed. The points used are those highlighted in the previous graphs. I have also added in a traction limit line for the FWD Focus, which I will explain after:


Take it as you will. The top speeds match up pretty well with reality. The ST shows to have decent power over the WRX in all gears, but it's all unusable until you hit 50 mph somewhere in the upper range of 2nd gear. And that traction limit is actually pretty optimistic, unfortunately. So in a drag race, a WRX with a perfect launch should absolutely demolish the ST, and the ST will take some time catching up from behind as you head to 100.

Explanation of FWD Traction Limit

Derivation of the Focus traction limit was based on some various data from the ST geometry, 2010 Focus static stability factor (to find the CG height), and an estimated 60/40 weight distribution (this is not released yet, but I figure it's fairly common for FWD cars).

Focus ST CG and weight distribution data:


Weight distribution at different accelerations, as determined by the coefficient of friction on the tires. Note that the brown area is an optimistic dry friction for summer tires, while the blue area is what you might expect with wet tires.
 

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Nice Objective post.
I'll vouch for the Acceleration at Speed calculations at least for first & second
They are dead on.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My brain hurts.

So does this mean you're buying an ST?
Sorry, trying to clean up some of the extra words and took out some of the extra charts. I am leaning towards an ST but it may be the hype getting to me! I love the way the 2011-2012 WRX looks, the AWD is a huge bonus, and I love me a DGM paint job.
 

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I love this.

Are you an ME? That's what I've been studying, really enjoying it.

I considered a WRX (and a GTI) at a point, but ended up ordering an ST (far before the hype got to me).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I love this.

Are you an ME? That's what I've been studying, really enjoying it.

I considered a WRX (and a GTI) at a point, but ended up ordering an ST (far before the hype got to me).
Yes sir, I do a lot of design work, but none of it on cars unfortunately! Did some of that car stuff in school though, really liked it.

I am really liking a lot of the numbers the ST is putting up. The power delivery, the gas mileage, the reports on how well it handles. The only things I am not sure about are the looks, the FWD, and the fact I couldn't care less about the Ford MyTouch Sync crap. I guess I will have to test drive to see if all the gadgets in my face bother me.
 

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Sorry, trying to clean up some of the extra words and took out some of the extra charts. I am leaning towards an ST but it may be the hype getting to me! I love the way the 2011-2012 WRX looks, the AWD is a huge bonus, and I love me a DGM paint job.
I heavily considered another WRX. But a couple of things got to me since this is a daily driver. Interior is pretty lacklustre. Gas mileage is just plain bad. Exterior styling is decent but much prefer the ST. AWD is great, but honestly I spend most of my time simply not using it and really notice that parasitic power loss while highway passing etc. If you live in a snowy area but mostly flat ground and don't contend with hills, snow tires on a focus will be perfectly fine. Hills are another story entirely in winter however.
Getting a perfect launch in a rex is not easy, it's a very fine line between bog and clutch burn, and once you're rolling that awd really eats away power.

I like the idea of voice activated nav and tried out the new MFT and Sync on an extended test drive and honestly really liked it. Whether that sticks with extended use is another thing, but I'm a sucker for techy stuff and besides bluetooth, the wrx is pretty lacking there also. Otherwise, still a great fast car, but I just felt like a change. Good luck deciding.
 

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Have you sat in a WRX? That alone should be a deal breaker, it's pretty depressing.
Lol. I was about to say I was really considering a WRX, but I didn't,t like the look, inside or out.
After looking in to it a lot more, I realized I'd be settling if I got the WRX, I really wanted the ST, just not the long (and getting longer) wait for one.


Via iPad, or Tapatalk, or something like that.
 

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Sorry, trying to clean up some of the extra words and took out some of the extra charts. I am leaning towards an ST but it may be the hype getting to me! I love the way the 2011-2012 WRX looks, the AWD is a huge bonus, and I love me a DGM paint job.
Nice, Mech-E here too, always though I should have been working for a car company instead.

Man, I couldn't agree with you more about the WRX, you really took the words right out of my mouth. I had a very heavily modified 2002 "bugeye" Wrx and had a great experience with it, unfortunately, where I moved to was nothing but stoplights and stop signs, so the whole instant-rally-fun thing was lost on these streets so I went back to more PLEBIAN TRANSPORTATION.

I planned to drive the Wrx right after my performance academy drive but could not find a single 2012 WRX anywhere. So I was unable to do a back to back comparison. I live in the northeast so the Awd is more than just awesome for powering through that next s-turn, its actually useful. But even then, I've got my Jeep for the real bad stuff and for the other 360 days of the year, it'll be nice to get decent gas mileage. Even so, it would have been nice to get that test drive in.
 

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I have always had a soft spot for Subie but have to agree with the masses; like all cars you need to concider the bad with the good a do a real Pro's vs Con's on what the key factors are in your next car.

WRX:

Pro's - AWD, Reliability, Hoonabillity, 4 season monster, Aftermarket support, huge enthusiast community, 4 doors, great color selection, option of Hatch/Sedan, resale value. Results may very but this is my Pro's list

Con's - Interior(very base), MPG's, lack of power when cruising, Maint is expensive(so ive heard), feeling of settling for something that is not the STI, 5 speed??, Glass trannies in non STI's, feeling of not getting alot for the cost(value), Have i mentioned the interior.. Woof
 

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Nice analysis. Like Brandon, I'll add some qualitative opinions from my experience (owned a 2011 rex)

Pros:
Power, can't beat it for the price
AWD good for maintaining forward momentum in snow
Established performance market & support
Reliable tuning and easy to get 300 HP (at the crank) with simple upgrades
Good reliability for a turbo car
Flat-4 rumble bumble

Cons:
No sound insulation, lots o' road noise.
Economy car interior. Rattles will happen pretty early.
Sucks gas
Turbo lag (stock map & turbo)
5 speed transmission, improved durability but still not great (clutch drops not recommended)
AWD turning in the snow, hit the gas and you're sideways pretty quick. Fun when you want it, not fun when u don't
Long heavy clutch, almost truck-like
No direct-injection or twin scroll turbo
Flat-4, ever change a plug? Hard to do engine work.
Suspension tuning, too much roll...still not stiff enough (IMO)
Shared AWD system with lesser Imprezas (no fancy LSDs from STI)
Invasive stability control

Overall: A good, fast AWD car that lacks refinement and latest tech but is a great platform if you're into modding and DIY
 

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Yes sir, I do a lot of design work, but none of it on cars unfortunately! Did some of that car stuff in school though, really liked it.

I am really liking a lot of the numbers the ST is putting up. The power delivery, the gas mileage, the reports on how well it handles. The only things I am not sure about are the looks, the FWD, and the fact I couldn't care less about the Ford MyTouch Sync crap. I guess I will have to test drive to see if all the gadgets in my face bother me.
The radio in the ST1 is much more cluttered and confusing than the MFT.
 

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Nice analysis. Like Brandon, I'll add some qualitative opinions from my experience (owned a 2011 rex)

Pros:
Power, can't beat it for the price
AWD good for maintaining forward momentum in snow
Established performance market & support
Reliable tuning and easy to get 300 HP (at the crank) with simple upgrades
Good reliability for a turbo car
Flat-4 rumble bumble

Cons:
No sound insulation, lots o' road noise.
Economy car interior. Rattles will happen pretty early.
Sucks gas
Turbo lag (stock map & turbo)
5 speed transmission, improved durability but still not great (clutch drops not recommended)
AWD turning in the snow, hit the gas and you're sideways pretty quick. Fun when you want it, not fun when u don't
Long heavy clutch, almost truck-like
No direct-injection or twin scroll turbo
Flat-4, ever change a plug? Hard to do engine work.
Suspension tuning, too much roll...still not stiff enough (IMO)
Shared AWD system with lesser Imprezas (no fancy LSDs from STI)
Invasive stability control

Overall: A good, fast AWD car that lacks refinement and latest tech but is a great platform if you're into modding and DIY
Couldn't have said it better myself. I really kind of forgot about the turbo lag in these cars, it's very pronounced. When I tested a GTI, I was like "this is a turbo? where's the lag." I hope the ST has that kind of linear feel, and by all accounts it certainly does.
 

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Couldn't have said it better myself. I really kind of forgot about the turbo lag in these cars, it's very pronounced. When I tested a GTI, I was like "this is a turbo? where's the lag." I hope the ST has that kind of linear feel, and by all accounts it certainly does.
Yeah, the ST does not feel like a turbo car at all. Very linear power delivery....feels like a bigger displacement engine.
 

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Excellent post.

I do structural mechanical design for the aerospace industry, but I know very little about automotive concepts, so this was a nice read for me.

It was interesting to see how the large amount of torque in the ST is translated to force, and eventually acceleration after considering gearing. I was also very interested to see your traction limit line. It really illustrates how much possible acceleration is lost when launching from a dig in FWD.

It shows why the Mazdaspeed3 guys love to race from a roll. After traction isn't an issue, then that mountain of torque can actually translate over to a very fast acceleration over cars with quick 0-60 numbers that post much faster 1/4 mile times.

But in reality I'm curious to know what you will choose after driving them both. I do agree that AWD is good, but it also has its trade-offs. I also agree that the current WRX looks and sounds great. I did really enjoy the feel of the ST at their performance academy event. It realized that everything I was expecting in the car was reality. I completely understood what the magazine reviews think about it. The European style engineering really does show its merit. Even when mashing squealing tires around a tight corner everything feels composed and comfortable inside the cabin (sometimes at the cost of road feel though, possibly numb feeling). The back can slide just enough to counter understeer tendencies, but it will just tuck right back in.

The ST2 package will cost the same as a base WRX, so you'll have more functional interior toys. You'll save a bit of money on gas with the Focus. I did a rough calculation while ago suggesting you might save around $2500 in gas after 80k miles.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I heavily considered another WRX. But a couple of things got to me since this is a daily driver. Interior is pretty lacklustre. Gas mileage is just plain bad. Exterior styling is decent but much prefer the ST. AWD is great, but honestly I spend most of my time simply not using it and really notice that parasitic power loss while highway passing etc. If you live in a snowy area but mostly flat ground and don't contend with hills, snow tires on a focus will be perfectly fine. Hills are another story entirely in winter however.
Getting a perfect launch in a rex is not easy, it's a very fine line between bog and clutch burn, and once you're rolling that awd really eats away power.

I like the idea of voice activated nav and tried out the new MFT and Sync on an extended test drive and honestly really liked it. Whether that sticks with extended use is another thing, but I'm a sucker for techy stuff and besides bluetooth, the wrx is pretty lacking there also. Otherwise, still a great fast car, but I just felt like a change. Good luck deciding.
I guess I have pretty low standards for interior quality, so that's one place that the WRX doesn't really matter to me. I mean rattles are annoying, but with some digging around they can be fixed. The poor gas mileage on the WRX does bother me though, these newer more efficient direct-injection engines are are really appealing.

It's a good point that even though the WRX is capable of a sub 5-second 0-60 it's not really designed to be driven like that. Pretty annoying that you have to spend an extra 10 grand for the STI to get a proper gearbox for the horsepower. Really I am leaning now towards the Focus fitting all my needs and desires much better than the WRX... the ST should really shine in the places I'd be using it most. A more forgiving gearbox if I want to give it a heavy dose off the line due to wheelspin, and loads of power where you actually use it - i.e. getting on the highway and passing on the highway.

I was driving my FWD sedan home today in the pouring rain and massive puddles everywhere, and even with mediocre all-season tires and a couple old horses under the hood I can be driving twice as hard as anybody else on the road and still have traction available. Honestly I have no use the AWD 98% of the time and on most street roads it's not safe nor sensible to go any faster just because of everyone around you. A good set of winters should solve the remaining 2% of those times in the winter I can't make it out of the parking lot.. lol
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Nice analysis. Like Brandon, I'll add some qualitative opinions from my experience (owned a 2011 rex)
Cons:
No sound insulation, lots o' road noise.
Economy car interior. Rattles will happen pretty early.
Sucks gas
Turbo lag (stock map & turbo)
5 speed transmission, improved durability but still not great (clutch drops not recommended)
AWD turning in the snow, hit the gas and you're sideways pretty quick. Fun when you want it, not fun when u don't
Long heavy clutch, almost truck-like
No direct-injection or twin scroll turbo
Flat-4, ever change a plug? Hard to do engine work.
Suspension tuning, too much roll...still not stiff enough (IMO)
Shared AWD system with lesser Imprezas (no fancy LSDs from STI)
Invasive stability control
I wonder how maintenance on the Focus ST will be? I already have seen pictures of the huge piece of plastic crap on top of the engine and was reading there's another on the bottom you have to take off just to do an oil change. Kind of frustrating. I am already used to the necessary contortions and disassembling it takes to work on small cars but it's a real pain to need to do it for the most simple of jobs.
 

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I wonder how maintenance on the Focus ST will be? I already have seen pictures of the huge piece of plastic crap on top of the engine and was reading there's another on the bottom you have to take off just to do an oil change. Kind of frustrating. I am already used to the necessary contortions and disassembling it takes to work on small cars but it's a real pain to need to do it for the most simple of jobs.
I know the bottom panel was discussed somewhere on this site, Pros are it keeps the engine and /or your garage floor cleaner. Cons Yet one more thing to take off to get to your task at hand. I do knwo that they relocated the oil filter so that much will be easier. Changing that on zetec engines is messy cause it is above the transaxel.
 
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