Sunday, September 03, 2006

Ford Focus RS

Hot-hatchbacks don't get much hotter than this. Ford's 212bhp Focus may have been a long time in gestation, but marks the welcome return of the RS (Rallye Sport) brand, a moniker which first appeared in 1970 on an Escort.

There have been a succession of RS Fords since then, most of which came with a reputation that the RS will have to try hard to live up to.
Just as well, then that the Focus RS comes well-equipped for the job of Meeting Expectations.

Along with that turbocharged, 2.0-litre engine, the Focus RS boasts Brembo brakes, a Quaife limited-slip differential, an AP-Racing clutch, an up-rated gearbox, unique 18" OZ alloy wheels, the same track as the World Rally Championship Focus, and a Sparco interior.

Only sixty or so engineers have been working on the Focus RS, and it's claimed to have been created for enthusiasts, by enthusiasts. That could be perceived as bull, but it doesn't come across that way.

The Focus has got what it takes to be a stupendous hot-hatchback. And it's definitely worthy of the RS tag.

Although it's a specialist car, there shouldn't be too many worries about the quality of the RS Focus. Some 30 a day are going to be made, and they roll down the same production line as the standard Focus. In fact, the main reason that the Focus RS took so long to reach the market was because productionising the car took longer than expected.

Focus RSs can be bought and serviced at any Ford dealer, and the warranty is the same as for any other model in the Focus range. That said, Ford has used aftermarket suppliers such as Quaife (limited-slip differential) and AP Racing (clutch) and has modified the five-speed gearbox for the Focus RS, and these components haven't yet been customer-proven like in the standard car (though they have all been chosen because they can handle the power).

The carbon insert on the dash, unique seats, steering wheel and trim all appear of pretty sound construction. But though our test cars were pre-production models, one suffered from some minor squeaky trim. Given the stiff suspension, this maybe isn't so surprising.

Editor's note: I recently sat in one as a passenger in a circuit and boy it was very responsive and fast, taking corners at 70mph and straights at 110mph ( short circuit, if its a longer straight we could have gone up to 140mphish i was told ).

Friday, September 01, 2006

Koenigsegg CCX 806 bhp All In A Package.

The Koenigsegg CCX is the latest iteration of the Koenigsegg CC family. The CCX is in many ways a new car since it has been re-engineered to comply with the US regulation and market demands. Still, it has been a key issue for the Koenigsegg Team to keep the distinctive and record braking CC shape. Koenigsegg believes it is important to avoid trends and instead hone the aerodynamic shape of the CC range for the future, only enhancing its unique look and appearance with tighter lines and a more aggressive stance.

Koenigsegg also believes in continuity. A new Koenigsegg shall show a clear lineage from its predecessor and shall not follow any other design trends, but enhance its already proven concept and shape to perfection.CCX stands for Competition Coupe X. The CCX marks the 10th anniversary of the completion and test drive of the first CC maiden prototype, which rolled out from the R&D department in 1996.

The Koenigsegg CCX features a completely new set of body and interior parts. The new body incorporates a new front bumper design, engineered to function well in the stringent 2.5 mph bumper test, including enhanced brake cooling, fog lamps and US side position lights. The front lamps have been slightly redesigned to suit the new bumper line. There is a new scoop on the front bonnet acting as a larger fresh air-intake for the occupants and new air vents have been added behind the front wheels in order to further evacuate air from the cockpit. The frontal shape revisions now allow for effective track use options to be added.

The side rocker panels feature side skirts in order to further enhance downforce by increasing underbody area. The new exterior of the car has been created using the industry leading Icem Surf CAD software, guaranteeing a perfect fit and finish as well as optimal highlights. The car is 88 mm longer in order to comply with the US rear impact regulations and in order to free up space around the rear muffler. The rear clamshell now features a glass window over the new CCX engine, clearly showing off the bespoke and unique Koenigsegg Block casting. The mufflers have received improved cooling, by incorporating grill vents above in the clamshell. The number plate area is now adapted to suit both US and Euro size number plates.

The Engine in the CCX retains the incredible performance and power of the CCR engine, while running on US 91 octane fuel and complying with California emission regulations. In order to reach this challenging goal, extensive rework had to be done to emission related items, such as new cylinder heads with larger valve area and more optimally flowing cylinder head ports. Dual smaller injectors per cylinder were integrated, as well as new camshafts, a new carbonfiber individual runner intake plenum, a new engine management system, updated fuel and EVAP system.

New exhaust system where the catalytic converters are moved closer to the engine for earlier light-off time. A returnless fuel system has also been implemented with pumps integrated into the new fuel tank. All in all, a heavy rework in order to retain the unique performance of the CCR engine and at the same time comply with the strictest emission regulations in the world.

Performance Acceleration: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 3.2 seconds
Top speed: 395+ km/h (245+ mph)
Standing Quartermile: 9.9 seconds, end speed 235 km/h (146 mph)
Braking distance: 31m (100-0 km/h)
Lateral G-force: 1.3 G
Fuel Consumption:
Highway travel: 13 l / 100 km
Combined: 17 l / 100 km

Special note: The engine produces 806 bhp (601 kW) and 678 lbf.ft (920 Nm) on 91 octane (U.S. rating) gasoline, 850 bhp (634 kW) on 98 octane (Euro rating) gasoline and 900 bhp (671 kW) on biofuel.