Rapid Focus – 3 Easy Ways To Cheap Speed


As I drove this car frequently, I did find myself being overtaken fairly regularly. My old focus was not rapid. This did annoy me, until I caught up with the ‘offenders’ again at the next junction or set of traffic lights. Then I would spot a slow-coach, someone who’s forgotten which pedal does what. I would size them up, wait for the dual carriageway and complete the move. Only for them to catch up with me at the next roundabout. A certain irony there I’m sure. Those who know me will no doubt have been surprised that it’s taken me this long to talk about speed! So now you can all breathe a huge sigh of relief. Or can you? I will be sharing 3 tips to ‘extra’ speed, after a short intro.

Before we begin, don’t forget that MotorKwirks will find you a car in record time. You won’t do any of the work. If you refer a friend to us, you will receive 10% of their fee. Everyone wins!

Lambo Vs Golf. Any surprise which is the more rapid?
Lambo Vs Golf. Any surprise which is the more rapid?

Even this 2.0 version of the Focus is not that fast. There are many other cars that are more powerful and faster. But the Focus can feel pretty fast. And to be honest, that’s what we’re after. A Caterham Super-light feels faster than a 747, even though I can assure you that the plane has a higher top speed. Anyone who’s driven a go-kart will be able to appreciate this. Cars these days are so well sorted, so quiet and stable at speed. The national speed limit feels like walking pace, such is the depth of engineering that goes into the vehicles.

I don’t claim that my car is badly engineered (because it isn’t), but the wind noise at speed is a reminder that we are getting a move on. Therefore it’s also a welcome reminder not to go too much faster. Over the years I found that three simple tricks can make any car feel faster. Without further ado:

Adjust Your Driving Position
This is the one that’s really turned my car into a GTi (of sorts). The Focus seats the driver reasonably high up as standard, but lowering the seat, moving it back and lowering the steering wheel completely changes the driving experience. Ensuring that our back makes full contact with the seat backrest at all times is good for support. This also ensure that we feel the acceleration more, which will make the car feel faster. By moving down, we also affect the car’s centre of gravity (slightly). This can affect the cars’s agility on a winding road. Or certainly our perception of it, which can be just as effective.

Those of us lucky enough to see a (real) Lambo will likely make do with this view
Those of us lucky enough to see a (real) Lambo will likely make do with this view

Moving the seat back moves the driver’s weight backwards, which is better for weight distribution. Especially if, like me, lock-down has not been kind to you or your scales! We are forever hearing car makers striving to keep the weight central, in their performance machines. We can do it here as well!

The final stage is to move the steering wheel down, if adjustment allows. This enables us to adopt a more racy driving position, with straighter arms. The car will feel very different going into corners and round winding roads. So now we have a ‘faster’ and ‘better handling’ car, and at exactly no cost to you. Try it, and let me know what you think!

Get The Window Down
I realise that this goes against the fuel saving tactics that we’ve been through earlier. But occasionally getting the window down for short periods will increase the noise and the airflow within the car. This will make the car feel faster, and we can always bring our actual speed down by a few mph to compensate for this. Doing this is short bursts won’t affect our mpg too much. Driving from London to Glasgow with all the windows down is not something I would recommend. A bit cold I think.

Song choice makes a big difference in how rapid a car feels
Song choice makes a big difference in how rapid a car feels

Name That Tune
The final free tactic is to keep an eye (or an ear) on what’s playing on the stereo. Almost any speed can feel reasonably quick if it’s accompanied with some fast paced tunes. The music we play in the car truly affects the overall ambience (especially if we have passengers). So our choice here affects whether we are driving for economy, or for ‘speed’. Even if we’re not actually going any faster. I’m not trying to get anyone into trouble!

All these tactics are a simple way of re-calibrating our minds into thinking we are going faster than we actually are. And that’s definitely the safer way round to think. Leaving the car in gear for longer (which is what automatics do in sport mode) is another option. But this goes even further against my fuel saving mantra, so I will leave the choice entirely up to you. Do you have any other tips for cheap speed? If so, get in touch. Don’t forget that MotorKwirks will find you a car if you’re struggling, and save you doing all the hard work. Try us out today. Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?