(car engine) – It’s the once upon a time
world’s best selling car, the Escort’s modest step brother, and the vehicle Ford built
to connect with the youth. (car tires screeching) A humble four door sedan, a
forgettable coup cabriolet, and a bunch of sporty models,
that the American brand didn’t want us to have. (engine sputtering) It’s time to Focus you nerds, because this is everything
you need to know to get up to speed on the Ford Focus. (imitating guitar sounds) – No, you can’t dude – Yes I can Nolan, you don’t
know what you’re talking about. – It’s literally impossible. – No, It’s not because I can do it. – Nuh uh.
– Yeah, huh. – Nuh uh.
– Yeah huh. – Nuh uh.
– Yeah huh. – Nuh uh
– Yeah huh. – Nuh uh.
– Yeah huh, watch this. (tires screeching) (engine revving) See told you, did it look cool? (laughs) (rock music) In the late 90s, Ford
was looking to replace their long standing and outdated
compact car, the Escort. The once beloved everyday driver and World Rally Championship winning racer had evolved into a sixth
generation basic in the UK and a third generation
pile of jelly in the US. Now Ford had learned
from previous experience that it wasn’t wise to
completely dump a model from their lineup, to make
way for its replacement. They did that with the
Cortina when they released their new and improved Sierra and that upset all those
sensitive Cortina snowflakes, aka British people in 70. So, Ford kept the Escort in the lineup and released the all new Focus in 1998 to the European market,
and in 1999, to America. The new little sporty compact was met with mixed reception at first. Up front had sharp lines
and distinctive headlights, while oout back, it was kind of boring. People either loved it, or hated it. It’s like the pineapple pizza of cars. – I love pineapple pizza. I’m from Hawaii, so I
like pineapple everything. Polarizing as it was, the look stood out and got the attention of younger buyers, which was exactly what
Ford was hoping for. Maybe it was the aesthetics, or maybe it was because the Focus
sponsored Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” tour, and partnered with Dawson’s
Creek to be featured in various episodes of the
groundbreaking teen drama. ♪ I don’t wanna wait ♪ ♪ For our lived to be over ♪ If you have no clue what Dawson’s Creek is ’cause you’re not old like
me, leave a comment below. The Focus was affordable,
got great gas mileage, and came in all sorts of configurations to appeal to just about anyone. Also, it was a great handling
car and fun to drive. (tires screeching) (engine revving) It took a bit for the
Focus to catch some heat in the sales department, but
once those loyal Escort fans began to dig the new cool kid in town, (Spanish music) Sales of the Foucs reach
close to 500,000 cars in its second year. And then as the new car
from the land of Hot Cheetos started to take off, it
was plagued with recalls. (car crashing) Left rear wheels were falling off, roof pillars were folding
in during crashes, and the ignition cylinder failed, making it impossible to turn the car on. The first two years of the
Foucs got banged over the head with 12 safety recalls, and
seven defect investigations. It was one of the worst cases
of vehicle recalls in history, second only to the X-Platform
cars GM released in the 80s. But Ford pressed on, fixing the problems that plagued the Focus
during its first few years. Improving upon their build quality and trying to get the public to forget about the Focus’ tarnished reputation. And one way Ford went about giving amnesia was by building a more sporty model. The 2002 Focus RS. (tires screeching) Only 4,501 of the MK 1 Rally Sport Focuses rolled out for public sale. Using a turbocharged
version of the two liter Ford Zeta engine, the RS got 212 horsies, and 229 pound thicks of tuerwerks. (engine sputtering) That might not sound all that impressive compared to current day hot hatches, but in the early 2000s,
this made the RS a great buy for the performance. It didn’t get all wheel
drive like the Cosworth, it got front wheel drive with
a torque bias differential designed to compensate for torque steer, which occurs in high power
front wheel drive cars. A tightened up suspension, Brembo brakes, 18 inch Oz racing wheels
and upgraded bodywork completed the package. Timeout. Is it Oz, or is it O-Z. I think it O-Z. What do you think? By the way we’re going to
start doing a thing now, anytime we talk about a
car that we didn’t get here in the States, I’m going
to go on our subreddit, and do a post called James List. So go to R/Donutmedia to see my list. And while you’re there,
let me know other cars that we didn’t in the US. So, we didn’t get the RS, but we did get the next best thing. We got the SVT. The special vehicle team took
the 2 liter Zetec four banger, and massageed the lactic
acid out of that pony, to get an extra 40 buff
horses for a total of 170. (engine revving) The SVT got variable intake cam timing, a dual stage intake
manifold, and high flow, high compression cylinder head. This thing was a blast to drive. I’m guessing, because
I’ve never driven one. During the same time Ford also decided to make statement cars. Special Edition Focuses
built from 2000 to 2003. You got the Sony edition that
came with a high performance Sony Xplod audio system. A Centennial edition, and a Kona edition that came with a bicycle,
specifically, the Kona Blast. And they sold them to their
young and hip Focus buyers. Ironically, a crank bolt
problem on the bicycle led to the first ever automaker
issued bicycle recall. (groans) You can’t catch a break. So aside from the
statement cars they built, they offered specialized
packages marketed as, tailored for you kits. Pet lover? You can get the pet package
that included a custom pet bed, a lint roller and a pet safety belt. The friends package, which
came with a ice cooler and a candy dispenser, and
the complete first season of Friends on VHS. Well if you’re a business person, maybe you’d offer the professional package which got a mobile
workstation that had a tray to hold your laptop and other supplies needed to run a business out of your car. I can’t imagine anything more depressing than working out of your car while parked in the parking lot of a Carl’s Jr. If you are working in your
car you need to get a new job, unless you’re a private detective, or cop, or an Uber driver or a race car driver. Sometimes I’m at work when I’m in a car, being the host of Top Gear would be cool, I guess you work in cars there. Turns out working in cars
is actually pretty tight. Saleen even got in on the
Focus fever with the S121. Although it was more of a looks package. Using the Duratec 2 liter Inline four, the cars got a 10% performance bump by replacing the factory paper air filter with a more freely flowing air filter. And a cat back exhaust
system, but the cool thing is, you can get an N20 addition. nitrous oxide anyone. – Yes, please. (breathes in) Wow, wow. – You got a factory
installed 75 horsepower shot of nitrous with the
bottle mounted in the boot. (air hissing) But if you hooked up the bottle, it would void your warranty. So, whatever, in 2004,
Ford took away the SVT. And England, got the ST. This was also the first
year, where a Focus model split up into various markets. The MK2 makes its debut in the UK, while here in the States,
we have to wait until 2008. Gone was the two liter Zetec,
now the Focus was powered by 2.3 liter 155 horsepower Duratec motor developed by Mazda. The Ford Focus ST got the restyle as well as a 2.5 liter five
cylinder turbo Volvo motor that pumped out 225 horsepower. Getting the car from zero
to 60 in 6.4 seconds. With all these different
models and packages, it’s funny that Ford left out one particular group of car goers. – Oh yeah who? – Someone who likes to
take a spin on the coast, with the wind blowing through your hair. – You mean a convertible Focus? – Yeah – Well actually they did make one, it’s called the Coupe Cabriolet. – Huh, yikes, that does not look good. The RS made a UK come back in 2009, this time getting 300 horsepower out of a turbocharged five cylinder. Ford used the ST motor and
beefed up the internals gave it a new intake and exhaust, and threw on a larger
Borkwarner K16 turbo. The hot hatch could get it. (tires screeching) With a top speed of 163 miles per hour, and a zero to 60 in 5.8 seconds. Of the second gen Focus, the
one that tops the food chain is the RS500, the swan
song for the second gen RS. And an homage to the Sierra
RS500 racer of the 80s, only 500 of these matte
black mobiles were made. Sporting 345 horsepower, the
RS500 got a larger intercooler airbox, and downpipe. (engine sputtering) All helping it scoot to 60, faster than his little RS bro bro by four tenths of a second. (engine revving) And if you’re a Focus fan
that lives in the US of A, And have never seen this version it’s because yes, (record scratch) we didn’t get it. You’re an American car
company, and you’re not even giving America any of
the cool frickin’ cars. It’s going on the list. Yeah, we haven’t talked
much about WRC cars because they share literally zero
parts from the street model. From 99 on, manufacturers were
no longer required to build homologation specials in order
to meet requirements to race. But similar to how it is in NASCAR, the brands would tag their cars
with a model in their lineup in order to get people to buy
one off the showroom floor. Even if it’s nothing like
the race car you see on TV. Good old Frankie boy might
mosey into a Ford dealership thinking he’s gonna get that WRC edition. Sorry Frankie, you got duped. The Focus RS WRC did win 44 rallies and two manufacturer titles
during its run from 99 to 2010. So, very successful. Ford reignited the international
and North American Focus with the MK3 in 2011. Design of the MK3 was developed
using the Third Age Suit. A wearable device that simulates
the physical limitations of being old, weird. Ford pushed to make the
Focus a global phenomenon, and it worked. The third generation Focus
was the best selling car in the world in 2012, with
over a million cars sold. That same year, Ford
brought the ST package back, built as part of the One Ford program. Which was Ford’s way of
combining all the various design and engineering teams around the globe to produce a single car worldwide. Which sounds great, because
now I get to cut down the list of fun cars we don’t
get here in the States. – Well, unless you want
to get the Focus ST Wagon, we didn’t get that, only Europe got that. (groans) – The ST uses a tuned two
liter Ecoboost four banger that makes 250 horsepower
and 250 pound feet of torque. When horsepower and torque
are the same number, I call that Horsepork. Half buff horse, half
buff pig, 100% delicious. They got all those 250 horseporks by way of a high pressure
direct injection system, a low inertia turbo and twin independent variable cam timing. It took them a few years but
the RS line returned in 2016 to outshine the ST. Hey ST, I got more power baby. And for the first time
in the Focuses history, it got all wheel drive. Making this car eat is
a 2.3 liter Ecoboost, the same one that’s in the Mustang. We did an episode of The New
Car Show on the Focus RS, so you can check it out here. It’s basically the tip top hot
boy hatch, that you can buy. Sorry, could buy. 2018 was the last year of
the Focus here in the States, as you might know, Ford has stopped making a bunch of passenger cars,
Focusing (clicks tongue) on building crossovers and trucks. The last MK3 Focus for the NA market rolled of the assembly line in May, 2018. Ending an era that spanned two decades. But the Focus name will still
live on in the Focus Active. A Chinese made version
that will be imported into the States. While other countries across the world still get to enjoy the
new ST and RS models, we’ll only get one model to choose from, a five door hatchback from China that looks like a crossover. – Hey guys, huge announcement,
we’re launching a podcast finally, it’s called “Past Gas” about the cars you love them,
and the people behind them, and we’ll be telling the best
stories in automotive history. And because it’s longer,
you get to go deeper into the juicy details, the fun stuff that we sometimes have to
skip in our shorter show, so you can watch it here on
our YouTube or Facebook page, every Sunday, and then you
can listen to the next episode Monday, wherever you get
your podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, wherever
fine podcasts are delivered. Go check it out, Past Gas, it’s
about cars, not about farts. It’s a podcast. Enzo, come on. – No, I don’t want to race anymore. – Come on, Enzo, if you stop
racing, your brand is dead, we all know that. – You don’t even care if
a Ferrari go to waste. – Don’t say that. – It’s how I feel all the time. – Oh, what’s the problem? – I feel like everybody like
a Ford, nobody like a Ferrari.