Our digital team at crankandpiston has been pretty busy as of late. Really quite busy in fact. I mean, this month we’ve brought you the RAUH-Welt Porsche 993, the Backdraft AC Cobra, a Harley Davidson Softail Slim, the Lexus GS-350 F-Sport and the Drift UAE finals at the Dubai Autodrome among others. And that’s not even including the long-term projects we’ve ‘encouraged’ the guys to put on the backburner for a day or two.
For our intrepid crankandpiston lensmen then, this has involved a fair amount of schlepping from shoot A to shoot B, creating – rather handily – an ideal first test for the Management Fleet Ford Focus. In between stopping for petrol and a quick Burger King refuel here and there, the Focus has been a home away from home for the guys as of late, and that’s given them plenty of opportunity to mull over the basics.
Let’s start with practicality. Those of you who think a photo shoot needs just a disposable camera and a reasonable eye for shadows may be surprised. No crankandpiston shoot is complete, for example, without a selection of lens (three or four usually do the trick), spare battery packs and memory cards, a couple of tripods, at least two flashes and their respective stands, a dolly, and – if we have room – a camera. This being a hatchback, a big boot and back seats that fold all the way down would be a big help here. Check and check.
Next there’s comfort. Burning the kilometres away is made easier if there’s a comfortable seat, a spacious cabin and user-friendly instruments. Once again, the Focus performs admirably. Granted the central console is a bit cluttered, and it may take you three or four teeth-gnashing attempts to manually tune the radio.
But we’ll forgive the Focus these trifling issues simply because the looks – both inside and out – have quickly won us over. Check the jutting front bumper and delicately styled headlights. It is quite a handsome little beast.
And lastly, there’s performance. Plant the right foot and…okay, the Focus gets off to a slightly lumbering start, but soon gets into its stride and may even surprise you when you hit the higher revs. Let’s not forget good solid handling and brakes that will rebuff even the latest of late-braking bike messenger onslaughts. We’re not too sure about the manual shift button on the gearlever, and downshifts can be a little temperamental when we’re cruising to a gentle halt. We’ll see how these fare in the upcoming few weeks.
All told though, the Ford Focus has made quite an impression on our digital team. As indeed the digital team has made on me. They promise that the tank was empty and the passenger footwell full of rubbish before they borrowed the keys, although I’m a touch sceptical about that.