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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am moving to Michigan and it just so happens that I am passing 5 miles from the Cleveland Auto Show tomorrow.. So I said what the heck, I'll go see the Focus ST, and the Simulator. I'll have 1 hour to take photos and try the simulator. :)


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EDIT:
Before I went to the show I emailed the Focus ST Brand Manager to see if she was going to be at the show to answer some questions. Unfortunately, she was not going to be there becuase they are working on launch right now. However she did offer to let me into the car if it was locked or off limits the public visitors. So I was able to get into the car and get some very good observations about the car that was at the show.

2013 Focus ST from a visitors point of view:
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Hood Gap:
The gap that we have seen in the hood is there because the car's hood does not close all the way on this particular model. I do explain that little in my video DSCN0015.JPG
 

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I'm going to be there on Saturday... Let me know your time and I'll try to beat it :D
 

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The attachments aren't working for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The Focus ST Simulator
What a really neat play toy to have at home... While the game does shift for you, you do have the ablity to shift when you want as well. The steering was strange as well, because you can only turn the wheel 90 degrees in both directions. A lot like what the Focus ST's new steering system is suppose to be like. It was very challenging becuase you only get 1 lap, so if you don't know where the braking points are on the track and how well the car can corner; you won't do well. Pretty much, the brakes were as expected with a normal sports car, fairly good stopping power. The cornering was alright, although the car is tight (pushes) center off, which is very typical for front wheel drive cars.

The Turbo sound was awesome! I really wish it to sound like that in real life.

The Track was Nurburgring GP short and the plateform used was a PC with rFactor installed, with the Focus ST loaded. That would be VERY neat to get my hands on. I could play it at home if I had the files for the car. :)

My lap time was 2'02 which is kind of slow. The guy who runs the equipment said he has a best lap of 1'52... I had a chance to try it one more time, but I did have to get back on the road.


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From the outside


This is me driving :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Like I said before I was able to get into the car. Kristina, one of the product specialist was very helpful.

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No ST Logo on shifter
The ST logo on the steering wheel is plastic, and so is the gear shifter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The headlamps are very nice. I will definately spend the money for them.

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Discussion Starter #9

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Discussion Starter #10
2013 Focus ST Video :)

There is a thread here on the forum about the seats comfort level? Well these Recaros, were the most comfortable seats I have ever sat in. In any car, better than BMW, Audi for real. Trust me I have sat in BMW quality before and Audi. These seats are great! I am talking about the full leather seats.


on a side note, some guy was trying to talk to me near the end of video. He must have thought I was a Ford Rep. But I did not want to be rude, and tell him to buzz off. lol I was filming, and trying to be nice as the same time... It came out ok any ways. :D
 

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Is it just me or does this car seem a lot less finished than the other concepts? Like it was a mule used in testing or something. No sport pedals, not the right shift knob, horrible looking brake calipers, and that hood gap... Also, the seats look worn. Another thing, aren't the full leather seats supposed to be heated? Thanks for the great pics, though, can't wait to see it up close!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Great observation. This model does not seem up to par as far as the specs. The shifter is not right. The pedels are not right. The seats look good, but yes they were worn a little. It does look like the car was driven before, and also like the car was out side alot, because the paint job looked a little swirling. Thats why I want to see what we get when we see the build a ST page. Because those details will be finalized.

Don't get me wrong, it was great to see this car close up, but some of the aspects and quality were not what I expected. We can't rely on this particual pre-production car as a good guage for the "real" quality and features.

It also seems like this car has no engine as well. :)
 

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Chad,
Don't bet on any of the shiny bits being aluminum. The brake lever is the standard Focus one and its plastic on all trims, additionally the shifters on all regular Foci are plastic w/leather. I would infer from this that since they already have the supply chain for the shiny plastic, they will just carry that over to the ST shifter and wheel badge. I remember hearing somewhere that they are trying to be as "off the [Ford] shelf" with the ST as possible to keep costs competitive; with arguably the most bitchin' powerplant in the ST and the best [reported] handling of the hot hatch bunch, I completely understand and appreciate Ford's frugality.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That is the issue. Lisa told me in the interview that she thought it was aluminum. But you are right. I am not going deduct points from this car because of some plastic pieces. This car has a lot MORE to offer other than some plastic pieces on the shifter and steering wheel.

Take a look at the Mazda 3 Speed, the most boring interior....
 

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Great shots. Now I'm more tempted by the car than before. I just have to rationalize the purchase since my current car is very enjoyable and still has quite a bit of useful life left in it. Is that blue a current Ford color or new for the ST?
 

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To be honest, I read the interview you had with Lisa, and from everything I can gather - she doesn't know what she is doing, or talking about.

I do not expect her to be an Engineer, but Lisa needs to be a car person, or at least be able to fake it, and she comes off as a person who would buy a car out of a vending machine if she could. She knows nothing more than a small collection of facts that some stupid phrase on a website is based off of.

These are a few examples of her poor performance as the ST brand manager as I see it:

The general public has no idea about this car (-1)
The Facebook ST site sucks (-1)
The Ford ST site sucks (-1)
Their is almost NO media on the car from Ford (-1)
The ST simulator (steering) sucks (-1)
And, as before, she knows nothing about the car (-5)!!!!!

Now, this is all a subjective opinion from a prospective consumer, but it is her job to influence the opinions of prospective consumers. Therefor, she has failed to do her job adequately in, at least, my case.
 

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I think she knows plenty about the car, but NDAs prevent her from talking about it until the NDA is lifted. It's just like media embargos, due to competition you have to wait as long as possible from revealing pricing/equipment information so the car has a better chance being "top dog" for as long as possible.

The ST site/facebook page is mostly just to increase awareness.
 

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I think she knows plenty about the car, but NDAs prevent her from talking about it until the NDA is lifted. It's just like media embargos, due to competition you have to wait as long as possible from revealing pricing/equipment information so the car has a better chance being "top dog" for as long as possible.

The ST site/facebook page is mostly just to increase awareness.
I see your point that she is in a hush state about the car, but if we asked her how she thinks the TQ distribution curve over the RPM band will help fuel economy in a performance vehicle, she would look at us with a mile long blank stare. Or worse, she would start throwing the hype words into random sentences.

Her comment about the inlays may come to fruition, but for someone who owns a '12 Titanium, I highly doubt it and I can near guarantee she threw out the word aluminum because she knows it markets well.

I know she isn't one of the bone-head models that prances around a new car attracting customers with looks, and I am almost certain that she knows the marketing process of a product very well and has already developed a solid plan to push the ST in multiple markets and with a broad-spectrum approach. However, she is not knowledgeable enough about the car to be doing any sort of major content distribution (i.e interviews, publications, media) herself. She needs to either bone-up on cars, and more specifically the ST, or try and beg an engineer to help her out more directly with her job.
 

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As an engineer myself, trust me, you do NOT want any of them around a PR person, lmao...
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
To be honest, I read the interview you had with Lisa, and from everything I can gather - she doesn't know what she is doing, or talking about.

I do not expect her to be an Engineer, but Lisa needs to be a car person, or at least be able to fake it, and she comes off as a person who would buy a car out of a vending machine if she could. She knows nothing more than a small collection of facts that some stupid phrase on a website is based off of.

These are a few examples of her poor performance as the ST brand manager as I see it:

The general public has no idea about this car (-1)
The Facebook ST site sucks (-1)
The Ford ST site sucks (-1)
Their is almost NO media on the car from Ford (-1)
The ST simulator (steering) sucks (-1)
And, as before, she knows nothing about the car (-5)!!!!!

Now, this is all a subjective opinion from a prospective consumer, but it is her job to influence the opinions of prospective consumers. Therefor, she has failed to do her job adequately in, at least, my case.

We are most likely best to agree to disagree here Craig. Lets start this discussion from the stand point that I might know a lot about marketing and advertising. I am not sure of your age group/demographic, but this car is trying to hit a very specific market segment.

I think in today's world, the traditional media (Radio. newspapers, mailers, TV) is not the most effective way to get this product out there. And especially in my age group, where we spend a lot of our time playing video games, and surfing the internet. When say say the general public doesn't know about the car. That might be true, but why would Ford waste their money and resources marketing to someone who won't buy this car? I believe their marketing efforts have been a mix between traditional marketing and the internet. Ford is also using viral marketing. This website works off of that strategy. So Ford ST Nation is helping them promote this car.

I want to point out that the car is at almost every major auto show. Also, if you own Forza 4 you can drive the Focus ST. :thumb: That was released 4 months ago. I think there have been plenty attempts to market the Focus ST via non-traditional advertising.

The Ford ST FaceBook page is perfect. For a long time, there was the Ford Focus facebook page, which is not specific to the ST brand. She (Ford) is able to directly communicate to the consumer via that page. Which is so great, because 10 years ago, even 5 years ago you would not of had that kind of interaction with. And the fact that is actually responds to each and everyone is very cool. She is very receptive to my feedback, and requests.

The Ford ST site is far better than just pictures that they had for over a year on the Focus site. It is meant to be a hype mechanism right now, but you can spin the colors and car in 360 degrees, request information, and look at some of the features the car has to offer. This is in line with every other car they have not launched yet. The Ford ST site lacks information because they are not ready to release that information.

When you say there is almost no media on the car? Take a look at my website. This place is filled with TONS of pictures and videos for you to enjoy.

The simulator steering is a minor detail that is not important to how or what his car is going to be. I will agree I did not like the steering input the simulator had, but I think Ford is at the mercy of Sim-zilla company who sets that up for the auto shows.

I understand your pessimism, but I think its not 100% fair or correct.

I think she knows plenty about the car, but NDAs prevent her from talking about it until the NDA is lifted. It's just like media embargos, due to competition you have to wait as long as possible from revealing pricing/equipment information so the car has a better chance being "top dog" for as long as possible.

The ST site/facebook page is mostly just to increase awareness.
:thumb:

I see your point that she is in a hush state about the car, but if we asked her how she thinks the TQ distribution curve over the RPM band will help fuel economy in a performance vehicle, she would look at us with a mile long blank stare. Or worse, she would start throwing the hype words into random sentences.

Her comment about the inlays may come to fruition, but for someone who owns a '12 Titanium, I highly doubt it and I can near guarantee she threw out the word aluminum because she knows it markets well.

I know she isn't one of the bone-head models that prances around a new car attracting customers with looks, and I am almost certain that she knows the marketing process of a product very well and has already developed a solid plan to push the ST in multiple markets and with a broad-spectrum approach. However, she is not knowledgeable enough about the car to be doing any sort of major content distribution (i.e interviews, publications, media) herself. She needs to either bone-up on cars, and more specifically the ST, or try and beg an engineer to help her out more directly with her job.
She is not a engineer man. She is not a mechanic. I would not expect her to know about those kinds of things. I want her to know what the brand of turbo is. What kind of stopping power the car has. Is the leather made of xx.

Another thing you have to remember, she is also at the mercy of her boss or project manger of the Focus ST. I believe Lisa knows everything about the car, but cannot tell anyone about it.

Everything is will be fine once you get a price, and a test drive. :) None of this will matter when that happens.

The wait is killing us all.
 
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