Why you should be excited for the new Ford Focus ST
And yes, they've got rid of the hexagonal exhaust pipes
Ford Performance has a unveiled the all-new Focus ST, a car designed to deliver thrilling performance with the practicality of the everyday family hatchback. Originally aimed at rivalling the Volkswagen GTI, this all new ST gets more power, a quicker 0-60 time and improved driving dynamics.
Ford Focus ST B-Roll
The new Focus ST is available with both petrol and diesel engines and in the form of a hatchback or an estate. Which could make it quite appealing for enthusiasts and commuters alike.
The petrol variant uses a 2.3-Litre EcoBoost engine that produces a gigantic 280 horsepower with 420Nm of torque. This increased grunt gives the ST a sub-six second 0-62 mph time. This new engine set up is said to be the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever.
Engine response is further enhanced by the use of a twin-scroll turbocharger, along with a unique exhaust system that minimises back pressure, along with a bespoke air intake system and an optimised intercooler - all of which aid better breathing for the fast Ford.
The new engine line-up creates up to 12% more power and 17% more torque compared to the previous model
The diesel is no snail either, it uses a 2.0-Litre EcoBlue engine that produces a healthy 190 horsepower and 400Nm of torque, giving it a smooth overtaking capability.
The frugal diesel also uses a low-inertia variable geometry turbocharger with steel pistons for less expansion when hot and an integrated intake system with mirror-image porting. In English, these improvements help deliver maximum performance and result in a 10% increase in power and double the torque compared to the 2.0-Litre Duratec found in the first generation Focus ST.
A unique suspension and braking set-up ensure an agile drive
An electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) has been fitted to the new Focus ST - this is the first time Ford has done this to a front-wheel driven car. This is said to enhance cornering stability and to improve grip levels using the computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation system.
But do you go for the six-speed manual or the seven-speed auto?
The six-speed manual gearbox promises a short and sporty throw between gear changes, along with the same rev-matching system that debuted on the latest Ford Mustang. This is part of the optional Performance Pack for the petrol manual model.
Rev-matching will use an electronic control system to briefly blip the throttle as the driver engages a lower gear. This matches the engine rotation speed to whatever gear is selected, making each gear change perfect. This system can also be deactivated if the driver fancies a bit of 'heel and toe' action.
A good looking cabin, similar to the one in the Fiesta ST
The seven-speed automatic gearbox has also been optimised for performance by using something called Adaptive Shift Scheduling - which assesses driving styles to optimise gearshift timings. Drivers of the auto gearbox can also manually change gears by using flappy-paddles mounted on the steering wheel.
A supportive set of Recaro seats ensure support and comfort
Selective driving modes ensure that the Focus ST is set for the right driving conditions. Drivers can select 'Slippery/Wet' driving modes for those icy cold winter days, along with 'Sport' mode for a spot of B road blasting. This increases throttle response, shift times and the exhaust note and is activated by a sport button on the steering wheel.
Models equipped with the Performance Pack will have a 'Track' mode that adjusts the electronic systems specifically for racetrack use. This includes an improved braking response, increased steering feedback, maximum traction from the eLSD and a tuneful, yet more aggressive throttle response to help deliver the true potential of the Focus ST. Combine this with the Launch Control system and you've got a serious track car that could take a family of five to school in relative comfort.