Ford Performance has finally unveiled the Focus ST, their all-new hot hatchback based on the fourth-gen Focus.
Like the outgoing ST, the new car will get a choice of both petrol and diesel engines, along with a choice of manual and automatic transmissions.
The headline powertrain is a 2.3-litre turbocharged ‘EcoBoost’ four-cylinder borrowed from the Focus RS and Mustang. It produces 206kW (276hp) of power and 420Nm (310lb-ft) of torque, sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual (with rev-matching) or a seven-speed automatic transmission. Ford claims it can do the 0-100km/h (62mph) sprint in “less than 6.0 seconds”. The 2.3-litre unit features anti-lag technology, and allows the new ST to rev more freely than ever before.
The diesel variant is more powerful too – the 2.0-litre EcoBlue motor now produces 140kW (187hp) and 400Nm (295lb-ft), channeled through the same transmission options.
Sending drive to the wheels is, for the first time, an electronically-controlled limited-slip differential, which detects wheelspin and can route up to 100 per cent of the power to just one wheel. However, this is reserved solely for petrol-powered STs, as diesel models instead get brake-based torque vectoring.
Under the skin, the Focus ST rides lower, with stiffer suspension and unique suspension geometry over standard Focus models.
Wheels up to 19 inches in size are available, which are wrapped in bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and hide large performance brakes (330mm front and 302mm rear) with two-piston calipers.
A number of drive modes are available for the driver to choose from. With the optional Performance Pack fitted, the Focus ST’s Track mode adds weight to the steering, improves throttle response, configures the eLSD, loosens the stability control and turns the sports exhaust up to full volume.
Visually, the Focus ST differs from the standard model via black-accented sporty bumpers, a larger rear spoiler, dual exhaust tips, aggressive rear diffuser and red brake calipers.
Inside, it gets Recaro bucket seats (available in cloth or leather), ST gear knob, ST sill plates, silver trim and greay contrast stitching. Technology is identical to the regular Focus – that means an 8.0-inch Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Ford Focus ST goes on sale in Europe in June, with an Australian launch scheduled for 2020. Sadly, it won’t reach US shores.