- The Washington Times - Friday, December 6, 2002

Ford's Special Vehicle Team has a lot of fun taking bread-and-butter cars and trucks and putting some pep in their putter. The Focus SVT three-door hatchback is no exception to that rule.
What they did was take the basic Focus, beef up the brakes, beef up the suspension, put on the SVT-style front and rear fascias, rework the engine to put out 170 horsepower instead of the normal 130 horsepower and put it on top of 17-inch wheels.
It moves quickly, steers like it knows where you are going before you have thought it out completely and absorbs a lot of road imperfections.
Sure it's subcompact, but then I am large, and I had no trouble handling and sitting in the three-door hatchback. And I loved the six-speed manual transmission that gave it a sports-car feeling from behind the wheel.
It was a sporty red color that made it stand out in a crowd.
On fuel mileage, there had to be some compromise with that extra power and extra zip 21 SVT miles to a gallon in the city and 25 miles on the highway, as opposed to the 130-horsepower version that gets 26 miles to a gallon in the city and 34 miles on the highway.
Then there is the economy 110-horsepower engine with 27 miles on city streets and a whopping 36 miles to a gallon on the highway.
The SVT Focus weighs 2,750 pounds, slightly more than the 2,593 pounds in the unenhanced ZX3, but it stretches the same 168.1 inches.
Now to the hit on your wallet or purse: $18,585.

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