While all four trim levels of the new Ford Focus, including the S, SE, SEL, and Titanium, are propelled by the same 2.0 liter 160-horsepower engine, only the S and SE are currently offered with an manual transmission — a five-speed, by the way. However, the 2012 Ford Focus will change that by offering a row-it-yourself option on the top-of-the-line Titanium.
According to Car and Driver, an adequate amount of Focus customers have requested a manual tranny on the flagship Focus that The Blue Oval will put one forward. We imagine that the stick will go nicely with the optional handling package, a $595 option that includes 18 inch alloys, sport suspension components, low profile summer tires, and a full-size spare. How many buyers will opt for the standard gearbox on the otherwise up-market trim level is unknown, but we’re looking forward to seeing if the number of manual-equipped Focuses will outnumber the seven percent of S and SE buyers that opt for the manual.
The base Focus has a starting price of $16,500 but the Titanium starts at a more lofty $22,200. Whether the addition of a stick to the Titanium trim level will decrease the base price is unknown, as the option of a manual gearbox hasn’t made it to the online configuration just yet, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground. And while we’re at it, what’s up with the five-speed manual? It’s 2012 — and five speeds are so 1995.