astrorob
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Wed May 02, 2012 7:46 pm

while i was using the QC at stanfurd mall last week, i drove the FFE.

it was a very short loop. the car was not fully charged, and it was showing 58miles of range. supposedly it has a range comparable to the leaf but somehow i got the idea that it had a lower range.

the displays are really nice - quite high resolution. there's one on each side of the speedo and one in the center console. each time you brake you get a readout of your regen efficiency, and instead of collecting trees, you collect butterflies for conservative driving.

i could not see the power button - one of the wheel stalks was directly in my line of sight. the dash seemed kind of crowded to me. finally going over speedbumps in the parking lot, the front suspension seemed a little loose. hard to describe.

TNleaf
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Thu May 03, 2012 6:06 am

I heard from a friend in CA that there will be a regional drive with the FFE on May 16th in Carson, CA.

I will try to find out more information, but if anyone in CA has heard something similar, be sure to post details. I'm trying to find out if this is an invitation only event or open to the public.
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scottf200
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Fri May 04, 2012 10:08 pm

A couple nice things they said about it here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/autom ... .html?_r=1
<snip>
In my week with the Focus Electric in the San Francisco Bay Area — the first multiday test of the car by a journalist — the powertrain felt as if it had been tailored for highway driving, offering rapid bursts of acceleration from 30 to 50 m.p.h., and from 55 to 75, with oomph left in reserve.

That’s one of many ways Ford engineers aimed this electric auto at drivers accustomed to the road manners of a gasoline car. “We wanted the Focus Electric to be a vehicle first, that just happened to be electric,” said Eric Kuehn, Ford’s chief engineer for global electrified programs.
<snip>
Above 10 m.p.h., the Focus becomes well-planted and controlled by taut steering. Without a gas engine up front, the Focus Electric’s weight distribution is close to ideal at 49 percent in front, 51 percent in the rear. (The gasoline car is nose-heavy at 61/39.)

Because of its 650-pound battery pack, the car is relatively heavy, at 3,642 pounds, but the engineers did a good job of adjusting springs and shocks to handle the extra weight in the rear. The car has a substantial but not ponderous feel.
<snip>
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IBELEAF
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Fri May 04, 2012 11:08 pm

FFE has maximum speed of 85 mph?
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GRA
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Sat May 05, 2012 1:23 pm

.
Last edited by GRA on Sun May 06, 2012 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GRA
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Sat May 05, 2012 1:24 pm

scottf200 wrote:A couple nice things they said about it here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/autom ... .html?_r=1
<snip>
In my week with the Focus Electric in the San Francisco Bay Area — the first multiday test of the car by a journalist — the powertrain felt as if it had been tailored for highway driving, offering rapid bursts of acceleration from 30 to 50 m.p.h., and from 55 to 75, with oomph left in reserve.

That’s one of many ways Ford engineers aimed this electric auto at drivers accustomed to the road manners of a gasoline car. “We wanted the Focus Electric to be a vehicle first, that just happened to be electric,” said Eric Kuehn, Ford’s chief engineer for global electrified programs.
<snip>
Above 10 m.p.h., the Focus becomes well-planted and controlled by taut steering. Without a gas engine up front, the Focus Electric’s weight distribution is close to ideal at 49 percent in front, 51 percent in the rear. (The gasoline car is nose-heavy at 61/39.)

Because of its 650-pound battery pack, the car is relatively heavy, at 3,642 pounds, but the engineers did a good job of adjusting springs and shocks to handle the extra weight in the rear. The car has a substantial but not ponderous feel.
<snip>

Really makes me wish they'd built in from scratch instead of just doing conversions from the ICE version. Sounds quite nice, not including the instrumentation. But the lack of cargo space is a killer (as is the price). We should be seeing auto mag tests of production versions soon, as well as comparos. I know Consumer Reports has had an i since February, but they probably took a long time to get 2,000 miles on the car before testing (given the similar difficulty with the longer-ranged Leaf's breaking-in period). I hope to test drive a Focus soon, or better yet rent one for a weekend: the 6.6 kW charger makes it a lot more useful for the trip(s) I want to try it on, which are all beyond its range.

IBELEAF wrote:FFE has maximum speed of 85 mph?

Governed, I believe. One of the first things I expect the aftermarket to hack. :D
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KeiJidosha
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Sun May 06, 2012 6:55 pm

Drove FFE and LEAF back to back today at EVS26. Short street only course. LEAF feels more roomy, with a smoother ride. Focus more sporty, tighter suspension tune. LEAF has better B pedal regen integration. Trunk volume is a wash, but shape is different. Not decisive, but Focus is very appealing.

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Boomer23
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Sun May 06, 2012 7:38 pm

KeiJidosha wrote:Drove FFE and LEAF back to back today at EVS26. Short street only course. LEAF feels more roomy, with a smoother ride. Focus more sporty, tighter suspension tune. LEAF has better B pedal regen integration. Trunk volume is a wash, but shape is different. Not decisive, but Focus is very appealing.


I got to drive the FFE also today. I agree with KieJidosha's assessment. FFE cockpit is tighter but still roomy enough for this 6 footer of average girth, doesn't have the LEAF's airy, open feel, but is more sporty. Seating is lower than in the LEAF because the batteries are not placed underneath the seating area, and I'm starting to notice that I prefer a lower seating position than that in the LEAF. Leather steering wheel is nice, and cloth seat material is grippier, looks and feels more durable than LEAF's seats. Interior trim level is same as ICE Focus Titanium level, so quite nice, comes with rear parking sensors and, I was told, rear view camera in addition.

I didn't sit in rear seats, but that area looked more cramped than LEAF's and FFE roofline slopes back more quickly than LEAF's, so it appears that rear head room is more limited on FFE. As familiar as I am with LEAF's rear luggage space, I'd say that the FFE's rear space is more cramped due to the intrusion of the battery pack, though the FFE's space is larger front to back than LEAF's. Still, the LEAF's luggage space is deep and tall and IMO is larger and more flexible and usable than FFE's.

Steering on the FFE is nice and tight, more connected and less serenely overboosted than LEAF's. Motor response was good and quick and the car felt responsive to the pedal and it rewards enthusiastic driving. With the tight city course we had available, it wasn't possible to judge handling and road holding, so the FFE's higher center of gravity and large battery mass at the extreme rear of the car weren't a factor. If I were to guess, I'd say that this issue wouldn't show up for the average driver in daily use, but more so if the car were pushed hard on a road course. Brake regen was mild and not noticeable, though I didn't shift into L gear, where regen is apparently stronger.

The EV-specific instrumentation on the main dash was pretty and colorful, but lacked quantitative kW usage feedback that the LEAF offers on the energy display. The FFE has colorful bar graphs, but as I recall, they weren't labeled as to scale. Instead of growing trees, the FFE grows butterflies. Pure fluff, both. I remember seeing a GOM, but no SOC percentage display.

All in all, I'd say that the FFE is attractively designed both outside and inside, has nice interior materials, feels more sporty to drive due to the lower seating position, grippier seats, leather wheel, and more aggressive acceleration. But the interior is less spacious than the LEAF's especially in the rear seats, width, leg room, head room and luggage area. Instruments on the LEAF are better, especially the energy use display.

If I had the two cars to choose from head-to-head, my personal choice for a driver's car would be the FFE, but that is only because I value sporty driving over interior space. I'd truly be hard pressed, though, because the FFE lacks any kind of quick charge capability beyond its 6.6 kW standard charger, and because the FFE is $40,000.
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Boomer23
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Sun May 06, 2012 8:09 pm

Trunk photos:
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Boomer23
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Re: Ford Opens Ordering for Electric Focus : $39,995

Sun May 06, 2012 8:12 pm

Under the hood:
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