Ford Focus 1.6T 180 Ecoboost Zetec S First Drive - Autocar
Test date: 17 November 2011 - Price as tested: £20,495
by Nic Cackett
...the trim level has taken less than a year to migrate to the new Ford Focus Zetec-S, tested here.
With it comes the more powerful version of the 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine already at the heart of the petrol line-up. Producing 180bhp and 199lb ft of torque in overboost mode, it improves the Focus’s 0-62mph time to 7.9 seconds, but retains the capacity for 47mpg fuel economy.
Around the beefier powerplant, Ford has hung all the usual Zetec-S trinkets. A bodykit is the obvious addition, but underneath the car has been treated to stiffened springs and dampers, while the cabin gains sportier front seats and a slightly better standard of trim...
...Impressively (or, perhaps in Ford’s case, unsurprisingly) the enhancements have not entailed a dramatic loss of comfort. There’s the occasional abrupt shiver that wouldn’t have previously filtered through, but otherwise the tighter body control barely hinders the Focus’s class-leading ride quality.
The extra power is similarly well absorbed. With a five-door hatchback to shift away from the lights the 1.6-litre lump doesn’t feel especially potent from a standstill, but up into its linear stride, it adds sufficient brio to complement the revamped handling...