|Hotshoe's Focus ST. True as claimed in the buff press: amazing performance and value-for-money.|
This post goes up mostly to provide Hotshoe a link to my GoPro video of half of one of his passes, from the Overlook to Parsons Branch:
Live and learn: there's far too much engine noise from my car with hood mount. I was trying to get a clear field of view. Next year, I'll hang the GoPro from the winshield inside the car. And I managed to delete Watchtower's entire pass by mistake. Just an electro-mechanical guy living in a digital world... But it gives us another excuse to return to the Dragon--as if we needed one.
The rave reviews the ST has gotten in the automotive press are true:
On the long uphill pulls over the mountains into Knoxville, Hotshoe maintained an effortless pace... in excess of... the speed limit. My Civic Si was panting to keep up with a well-buried throttle. Hotshoe drove most of the Dragon, most of the time, in 3rd gear. If he needed more power, he just opened the throttle. The boost gauge goes to 30 p.s.i. (which I guess is two atmospheres). You don't need to downshift unless you want to. Just push the pedal and the turbo responds instantly with 7 pounds or more of boost, even at low-ish revs. The ST pulls out of the Dragon's low-speed corners brilliantly.
The clutch is light, the gearbox is slick, the practicality of a 5-door hatchback is obvious. The Goodyear Eagle F-1 summer-only tires are grippy compared to the all-season Michelins I'm used to in my car. My only complaint is an over-sensitive and hard-to-modulate brake pedal. What a bargain the ST is!