Ford Reveal New Focus ST
The latest family hatch gets injection of sporting pedigree
Following the much awaited reveal of the new generation Ford Focus, the popular hatchback has now been given the ST treatment.
Combining the sweet handling of the fourth-gen model with a duo of more powerful engines, multiple drive modes and clever suspension tweaks, the new ST sounds like a hoot.
As before, the Focus ST offers both petrol and diesel options. The 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol now pumps out 280bhp and 310lbf.ft, whilst the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel offers 190bhp and 295lbf.ft – increases of 11 and 17% respectively over their predecessors. These will be paired with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic, and the new version will feature an electric limited-slip diff (eLSD) for the first time on a front wheel drive Ford. This will be useful for grip when shooting out of corners – especially as both engines offer maximum torque low down the rev range (3,000-4,000 for the petrol, 2,000-3,000rpm for the diesel). The model also includes the rev-matching abilities found in the current Mustang coupe.
Another new addition to the fiesty Focus is the continuously controlled damping (CCD) – standard on five-door petrol models – that retains the refinement in the ride alongside its sporting characteristics.
The trio of driver modes included are Slippery/Wet, Normal and Sport. However, models equipped with the Performance Pack also get a Track setting. Each of these adjust the characteristics of the eLSD, CCD the steering, along with the throttle response and, where applicable, the ratio between automatic gear changes.
Across the digital driver information readout, the ST offers turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and pressure gauges and when in Sport or Track modes, the note of the exhaust is enhanced, too.
Inside, the ST is set apart from other Focus models with its sports steering wheel and Recaro front seats, and the aluminium gear knob and scuff plates are embossed with the ST logo. Outside the exterior is bolstered by subtle yet functional styling tweaks that highlight the performance DNA, such as a unique set of alloy wheels, a revised grille and the lower wing at the front complete the facelift. A bigger and bolder rear spoiler sits atop the hatch, whilst the rear also features a more purposeful rear diffuser and features twin exhausts.
All of the standard safety features from the civilian Focus are retained, so the ST will feature smart adaptive cruise control, adaptive front lighting, active park assistance, evasive steering aid and a heads up display. Ford's SYNC 3 connectivity suite will also be included, bringing mobile connection, for both Apple and Android devices, plus a WiFi hotspot, voice command and an 8-inch colour touchscreen.
The new Focus ST is set to go on sale in the UK this summer, with prices specifications to be confirmed in due course.