Pick of the Day: 2004 Ford Focus SVT

Over the last few days, I have been reflecting on the passing of the legendary Ken Block. Ken was an amazing driver and a really nice guy as well. His skills behind the wheel were the stuff of legend, and he turned his talent into a YouTube career with his amazing Gymkhana video series then went on to a rally driving career. He did this basically all by himself, hiring a terrific technical crew and just having them create videos showing what he could do with a car. He introduced millions of people to high performance driving and in the process created at least 2 new generations of car enthusiasts. I reckon than Block may be the most influential driver of the 21 century that we have seen.

In his Gymkhana videos he usually drove Ford based vehicles which included the Mustang, Fiesta, Escort, and Focus models. Just to be clear, he also drove the Subaru Impreza, however the Ford cars were most used.

While thinking about Block and re-watching several Gymkhana videos this week I got an idea for a Pick of the Day that seems to have been somewhat forgotten: the original Ford hot hatch, the SVT Focus.

The SVT Focus was nothing new in the Ford car lineup, but it marked the first time those of us in the US could buy a Ford hot hatch. Ford cars like the SVT Focus had been available in Europe for decades, but they were never imported into the US due to emissions and crash regulations at the time. In 2001 we finally got a fun Ford hatchback.

The car was developed by Ford with the assistance of their Special Vehicle Team (SVT) and included revised front and rear bumpers, side skirts, fog lamps, a rear diffuser, a rear spoiler, and 17-inch (430 mm) 5-spoke alloy wheels with “Y” rated 215/45R17 Continental tires. The SVT Focus was not just a trim package, it featured a upgraded version of the 2.0-liter Zetec engine that was developed with help from Cosworth. The engine had a special aluminum cylinder head with bigger intake ports, high compression pistons, forged rods, a 4-2-1 tubular exhaust header and more which raised horsepower from the stock 130HP to 170HP.

For 2003, the SVT was offered as a five-door with an exclusive European Appearance package as an option. The European Appearance package included all available options of the standard SVT Focus but then added full black perforated leather Recaro and fifteen-spoke Dark Argent colored wheels. There were only two paint colors available colors, Screamin’ Yellow and Competition Orange.

The Pick of the Day is one of these cars, a 2004 Ford Focus SVT in Competition Orange.

The dealer offering this car states that this SVT focus is equipped with the desirable European Appearance Package, heated perforated leather Recaro seats, power windows, power locks, power disc brakes, AM/FM radio with a CD player and has covered only 24,000 miles from new and looks to be in excellent condition.

I had the opportunity to test drive one of these cars when they were new at a press event, and every one of us was pretty blown away with just how good this car was both on the street and on track. It is no wonder that Block would use a modified one as his Gymkhana 3 car.

In my opinion the Focus SVT is poised to see an increase in value quite soon and the asking price for this somewhat off the radar collector car of only $19,900 makes it a buy it now car for me.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

The ClassicCars.com Journal

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