The shame was that they were really mod friendly, and the Duratec V6 was pretty solid. They used a 2.5L, but there was a 3.0L variant used in the Contour SVT (Cougar, Contour and Mystique all shared the same platform btw) that was a straight drop in since it was the same block. Variants of that engine were used by some Jags too.Ew, just googled those. Yup, I have to admit I really didn't think about competing against Focus if they made it smaller. Good point.
Hopefully, being able to add mods will continue in the future. Seems like it would as it is such a big market.
The car had potential, but they kept it gimped because it would have competed with the Mustang for much less money. Even though the V6 was only putting out like 170HP, keep in mind the Mustang GT was only putting down 260HP. The 3.0L duratec from the CSVT was over 200HP in a smaller, lighter platform and there were a few guys running turbo setups pushing 400FWHP. The were kicking the crap out of stangs on the strip.