I know, I know: this one isn’t exactly off-the radar. But I realized something about the Focus SVT the other day: it’s really cool.
For starters, some background. We all know the first-generation Ford Focus, because it came out in 2000 and lasted for like a decade, as if it was a Mercedes SL-Class. Well it wasn’t an SL-Class, and anyone who drove one knew that. But the SVT was kind of cool.
Here’s the deal on the SVT Focus: it came out for the 2002 model, initially as a 3-door hatchback. In 2003, a 5-door SVT model was added. And 2004 was the final year, which means these things aren’t really that common.
In a world of hot hatches, the SVT Focus was pretty cool. Power wasn’t exceptional, at just 170 horses, though I’m sure people all over the rural South are putting down “two fifty to thuh whuls.” But it was the manual-only transmission, the sweet (and very subtle) bodykit, the unique wheels, and that gorgeous blue color that made the SVT Focus really stand out. The fact that you could get it in five-door was icing on the cake.
You never see the SVT Focus anymore, likely a result of the fact that a) it was unreliable; b) it was pretty rare, even when new; or c) you don’t spend enough time at rural dragstrips. But they’re out there, somewhere, a reminder of a rare bright spot during one of Ford’s darker periods. Some might even be that gorgeous blue color.