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I would say the amount of smoke is fairly high—not enough to say it's the definite sign of a problem in that cold, but not so little as to dismiss it. What concerns me is the smoke along with how its running. Could you have gotten any snow in the intake or could you have gotten some really bad gas? That sounds like maybe there's water getting into the combustion chamber. When the head on my ST cracked and it burned coolant like a 007 smoke screen, it still idled better than that. Most it did was have a stumbling misfire at startup once that cleared right away.
 

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Premium is a more common requirement all the time, especially with the high CRs DI allows with or without FI. I was actually surprised my 2012 Focus didn't require it with 12:1. The ST had at least 91 recommended, but could run on 87. I tried it once when I was doing long, boring highway in the winter figuring it wouldn't be running under high load and it was cold out, but even under those conditions, it drove like I had three fat guys in the car and I got about 3 mpg less. The ECU senses the fuel's tendency to cause knock, pulling the timing and maybe running a little richer to reduce the heat in the combustion chamber to accommodate the lower octane, but doing so causes a loss of efficiency. It's not the same for every car and local temperature and humidity will cause it to vary to some extent, but it's usually going to be false economy to bother.
 

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I imagine they would have done a hydrocarbon test, checked the fluids for unauthorized mating, and maybe scoped the cylinders for coolant to rule out a head gasket or similar issue.

Could be water in there. When I went to school in Detroit, some of the stations got busted for putting water in the fuel tanks over night because . . . Detroit? (Literally sticking a garden hose into the underground tanks.) Got some myself. Luckily, water is heavier than gasoline, so it didn't cause an issue much until the end of the tank. One morning, it took a while to get the '84 GL started and I had to limp it a couple blocks on one or two cylinders to a quality gas station. Left it running with some weight on the throttle so it wouldn't stall while I filled it up and it cleared and ran fine shortly after I drove away from the station. That was 25 something years ago, so I don't remember if it smoked, but I also don't think it was igniting enough to turn a noticeable amount of water to steam.
 

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Just curious about how dirty does gas have to be for the filter (filters?) not to trap contaminants? I always thought that “bad gas” would merely make for a rough startup and/ or poor performance and idle until the next fill up. Or could this case be a combination of dirty gas, very cold new car, and a more high tech port injection warmup system on this design?
The filters are there for solids, so they aren't going to stop the water. You'd need a fuel/water separator for that.
 
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