One for the fast lane, the latest Focus to wear the ST badge, has been developed by Ford Performance with advanced sports technologies and will be available in five-door hatch and estate body styles.
The ST enjoys choice of two powerful engines, a 280PS, 420Nm, 2.3 litre EcoBoost petrol with twin-scroll turbo and anti-lag or a 190PS two litre EcoBlue diesel with 400Nm from 2,000rpm.
The new ST is to be the first front wheel drive Ford to have an electronic limited-slip differential to improve traction and stability. There is a transmission choice, either a rev-matching short-shift six-speed manual gearbox or an all new seven-speed automatic.
Selectable Drive Modes are a first for the Focus ST, adjusting features including Electronic Brake Booster and fastest Ford electric power-assisted steering to match performance to the relevant scenario.
Driving and comfort experience are optimised with Recaro sports seats and advanced independent rear suspension configuration with Continuously Controlled Damping. Ford is giving their new offering a double personality, a performance hatchback of course- but also a practical family car.
Building on the class-leading driving dynamics of the fourth generation model, Ford’s new C2 architecture is enhanced with unique suspension, braking and power train configurations for the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever on road and track. So during the week this car can be everyday transport and at the weekends it is, of course, ideal for a track day.
The choice of an electronic limited-slip differential for a front-wheel drive car further enhances the cornering and stability of this new model, sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.
Driving modes are not exactly new in the industry, and Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicle’s character to suit the driving scenario while Continuously Controlled Damping (standard for five-door EcoBoost variants,) enhances the short long arm independent rear suspension configuration for ultimate refinement.
The most powerful engine is a new generation of Ford’s 2.3 litre EcoBoost all-aluminium engine and is the most powerful ever offered in a Focus ST. Using advanced turbocharging technology to the end result is 280PS at 5,500rpm and it is also the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever, and travels from rest to 100kph (62mph) in less than six seconds.
Engine response is enhanced using a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which scavenges exhaust gas energy more effectively using separated channels to minimise interference between gas pulses. An electronically actuated waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for optimised engine performance. In addition, a unique exhaust system that reduces back pressure, a bespoke air intake system and an optimised intercooler further improve breathing.
Anti-lag technology, developed for the Ford GT and F-150 Raptor, is introduced to the Focus ST, for immediate power delivery in Sport and Track drive modes. Anti lag keeps the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, alleviating the reversal of air flow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.
Diesel fans will adore the 190PS two litre EcoBlue engine which features a low-inertia variable geometry turbocharger; steel pistons for less expansion when hot; and an integrated intake system with innovative mirror-image porting for optimised combustion help to deliver a diesel power train that produces ten per cent more power and more than twice as much torque as the two litre Duratec ST petrol engine in the first generation Focus ST170.
Looks in this sector are important and the new Focus ST features subtle, functional styling changes and unique alloy wheel designs. Revised upper and lower front grille designs are optimised for increased cooling capability, and bold signature lower wing elements channel air in to the air-curtain inlets for improved aerodynamic performance.
A larger, more steeply angled rear roof spoiler increases downforce to support the Focus ST’s driving dynamics and a twin exit tailpipe configuration borders the aggressively styled rear diffuser element.
Exterior colour options chosen to emphasise the Focus ST’s dynamic styling include exclusive Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury, alongside Frozen White, Magnetic grey, Race Red, Ruby Red and Shadow Black. Bold alloy wheel options include 18-inch Dark Sparkle and Magnetite designs, with a 19-inch wheel also offered in Magnetite.
The Focus ST also features a comprehensive range of sophisticated Ford driver assistance technologies that have helped the all-new Focus win 13 awards and a 5-star safety rating since going on sale last year.
However to get your driving hands on one, you will have to wait until Summer, just a few months away.