For motorists of certain generations, the concept of driving a 1 litre petrol car, conjures up images of the days of learning to drive in the Micra, the Yaris, Polo or the Fiesta.
So, there you were, trying to crank into gear, revving the tailend out of the car with bucketloads of sweat spilling from every pore imaginable. Ah yes, those 1 litre days when you thought you were king of the road with a set of wheels.
Well, you can imagine the surprise when the good folks in Barlo Motors, Racecourse Rd. Thurles suggested that we test drive the latest Ford Focus – a one litre petrol engine powered car. Excuse me, did you say a one litre? “This will blow your mind, it is that good,” said James McVicker, Head of Sales at the Thurles showroom “ and yes, it is a 1litre engine,” he laughed.
So, with much scepticism and a shedload of nostalgia, we jumped into the new Focus and if first impressions really do last, then this one would be a very pleasurable piece of work. This car has technology coming out of its oxters – you can even start the automatic transmissions remotely using your smartphone through the FordPass Connect app – Star Trek, or James Bond type thinking, you might say. That's just the start of it – Ford are streaking ahead when it comes to technology and it seems as though they packed a fair portion of their innovations into the new Focus.
You almost come to expect the likes of air con, bluetooth, lane assist, cameras and class leading connectivity in your cars, these days, but it's one thing to have them, it's another thing entirely to have them to easily accessible and understandable. Most customers won't care less about most of the bells and whistles included, but for those who do, its happy days.
Of course you still get the class leading reliability of the Focus, with a sharper look and decent enough space to warrant the tag of family car. Road holding and driveability is also top class. But, what about that 1 litre engine?
Well, whether on the motorway, country roads, or in and around town, it's performance was something to write home about. We estimate about 62mpg from an engine which is responsive with a magnificent and instantaneous injection of speed when the accelerator is applied.
In fact, when driving this car, you are constantly forced to focus the mind and remember that this is a 1 litre petrol engine - did we say that already!!
This Focus certainly left us impressed and for anyone who wishes to be wowed by a car, at a time when there are a lot of pretenders to the box-ticking crown, take one for a spin. As we were, we predict you will be too – totally smitten that is. Check it out at Barlo Motors now.
By Noel Dundon, Tipperary Star