I want to like this car. I do. 1,500 horsepower out of 8.0 liters is amazing. That is way better specific output than my 123 hp out of 999 cc. It’s more than 7 times the power of the 8.2L V8 in a 1978 Cadillac Eldorado. In theory, it can go 260 mph. So, respect is not an issue. Objectively, it’s a marvel.
Subjectively, I am torn between love and hate with this pre-production model…
So here we go:
I applaud the use of obnoxious, flamboyant colors. I‘m on record with this. I hate this specific lighter blue. It’s awful. Plus, as far as I can tell, the fender extends seamlessly from door to grille. Presumably, this is some exotic metal over the carbon fiber monocoque, but in person and even on “film,” the color and the styling combine to say “plastic!” (Pic. 1)
The center spine is glorious. Now it repeats on the roof, down a support splitting the engine banks, and onto the spoiler. (Pic. 1,6)
Likewise, the A-pillar to B-pillar to intake to grille curve. Glorious. (Pics 4 and 5) Except for the abrupt end at the grille. (1) Look too at that rear flank line, expressed through the curve to the door. (5)
But back to the nose and that paint. I look at the light buckets and see Chrysler Concorde (3) and 3rd generation Prelude (1,2). Thematically, I see Ferrari 360 and C5 Corvette in the headlight treatment – body colored instead of set off somehow. (1)
Relatedly, the Chiron has 10 heat exchangers and 7 intakes. (Possibly 9 if the B-pillar scoop counts as two on each side.(Pic. 4)) Scoops and grilles are cool as hell, especially on ultracars like this. So why deemphasize the ones inboard of the headlights? (Pic. 2) I don ‘t get why they don’t get the “hey, look at me treatment.”
Those rims! (2) It’s a rolling Rorschach test: Do you see a 5 point stub-ended star or a ring with 5 chevrons? (There is a MPG joke in there somewhere.) Either way, the impossibly thin and delicate machined surface is what that emphasizes, not the center.
I’m just not feeling the tail. The light is cool, but so disconnected to curves of the side. The center panel looks like a giant license plate bracket/light brace in the middle of a gaping map of air outlets. It’s hard to get a read on it.
My real bitch about this car is that the configurator is not online yet so all you can do is rotate between a few color combos. Evidently the lowest skirts, the B-pillar inside the curve and the back panel all only come in one color.
So there you have it. I am excited to see a real one out on the street, and to see how they get personalized by real owners.
There will be a more in depth post to come, but for now, welcome to the fleet, Mr. 2016 Ford Focus SE. Yes, I am a sucker for a deep red clearcoat Ford. Yes, I still love my ’88 Festiva and ;06 Mustang. Yes, I also support orphan cars – this 1.0L EcoBoost Focus (2016 only). See: Fiat 500L. See also: 1971 VW 411, 1973 Plymouth Fury, 1973 Honda CB350 – Four, 1979 Futura, 1990 Suzuki Swift (remember those?!), 1993 Geo. 2008 Scion.
I get it from my dad. He always wanted a 1980s Maxima wagon with a stick. And a Taurus MT-5. No one remembers MT was a nod to Motor Trend for being named car of the year. POS orphan car with a big 4 and a stick, so of course.
Likewise this car – no one makes performance mods for this specific model: a classy car with a Geo Metro motor on speed. No worries. I am content (for now) with it not sticking out.