I do and I would. My 2000 SPI wagon is still the most enjoyable car I've
owned in 45 years of driving. 2001s are even better, 2002s better yet.
Mine's a 5-speed, so has plenty of pep, but I have read that some people
find the SPI wagon with auto somewhat sluggish. I think it's significant
that in the U.S. you can only get a wagon with the Zetec.
Welcome aboard and enjoy. I recommend the on-line Auto Trader as a good
research tool for price etc.
top end is 106 mph (if only because the engine computer governs that
Canadian models have a 220kph speedometer -- what a laugh, considering
the speed is governed to 171kph.
My '88 Mustang was different though, I buried the 220+ kph needle a
couple of times (just to check it out mind you :-)
Trying to find a stretch of DECENT road that you can leg out without
attracting attention is a little tough.... A friend of mine has a '86
Porsche 928 - straight ahead performance is (was) similar although his
car far out handled the 'stang.
I have a ZX3 for over 3 rears now with no problems other than the recalls
with two more left to fix! I'm very happy with it. I'd like a bit more room
in the rear, so I may consider getting the wagon. I would only get the
heavier wagon with the up and coming 2.3L 148hp Duratec engine because of
the extra weight over the ZX3. The extra 18 horses over the zetec, higher
and broader torque curve (so they say it will have) will improve low rpm
response. Hell, it may give the SVT focus a run for its money until the SVT
get wound up!
An alu block could have wet iron linings, dry iron linings, hard cromium
plated cylinders or high silica alu where the pistons move. Each will have
their own plusses and minuses. Also, the pistons and the cylinder heads are
almost always made from aluminum. And the alu block will expand more like
them when getting warm. Renaults from the swinging sixties had wet cylinder
linings in their alu blocks and those were prone to work loose, but nowadays
I hear of no such problems. Iron blocks are also known to give quiter
running, but the smaller alu Zetecs are quiter than the 2 litre iron zetec.
The real reason to use alu is the weight issue which affects the fuel
consumption issue. I would not worry. There's no way to state in a thick
headed manner that iron blocks are quiter, lasts longer and give less fuel
consumption or are hard started when cold. There are way too many other
uncontrollable factors involved.
I live in cold Sweden and have not heard about any "hard to start"
phenomenom with alu blocks. With a synthetic motor oil (the original Ford
5W30 or 5W20 oil is not all bad for cold winter starting either) and a good
battery, the car can be expected to start down to -30 centigrades at least.
Otherwise the block heater will do it's stuff.
Aluminum (Al) has a specific heat twice that of iron. This means it takes
twice the energy input to raise Al's temp by the same amount of the same
volume of material. Al blocks will use more material to strengthen them as
compared to iron blocks. In fact, the Duratec engine is said to weigh less
than the Zetec, but by only 50 lbs. even though iron is three times as dense
as Al. Because there is more material that has a higher specific heat, it
will likely warm up and cool down slower than an iron block even though this
is offset somewhat by Als higher thermoconductivity.
Thermoexpansion is a concern, but good design will eliminate problems. Al
engines have been around for a long time. Even iron blocks with Al heads
have been successfully implemented, but there used to be problems with this
in some cars (some GM V8s as I recall).
Unless Ford really screws something up, The Duratec engine will be a godsend
for Focus enthusiast who find the Zetec weak in the lower rpms and slow
compared to many of the newer cars.
While some people find the SPI engine to be suitable, I find the Zetec weak
in the low rpms and sluggish in the lower rpm range with the AC running. The
Zetec pulls well at higher rpms but as I said, It is being surpassed by the
stronger engines in many new cars.
The Duratec is a welcome edition in my book. Ford, lets not screw this up!
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