This is the new Ford Focus ST which will go on sale next year. Gone is the 5 cylinder engine, and in its place a new 2 litre Ford EcoBoost unit with 250 PS (247 bhp) and 360 Nm of torque. In other words more power, better economy and lower emissions from a smaller engine.
The high performance comes from high pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) and redesigned intake and exhaust systems. The whole thing will be managed by a six-speed ‘box.
Ford is also promising one other significant attraction – a sporty exhaust note, but we’ll have to wait till the Frankfurt Show is over before we can fire it up. They’ve done something with the exhaust without making an ‘active exhaust system’ as found on exotic supercars, but they reckon the ST will be quiet at low revs and sound quite fruity the higher up the range you go. It might not be a BDA, but here’s hoping!
Putting the power on the road is always a problem for FWD cars, but the latest development of Ford’s Torque Steer Compensation (TSC) system claims to allow drivers to accelerate at full throttle and yet still find grip on any road surface, although they didn’t actually say anything about gravel surfaces! Anyway, I look forward to seeing if that’s true
There will also be three modes of ESP to choose from although Ford claims it can also be switched off completely. That will allow people like Clarkson to go hedge trimming. However, the Enhanced Dynamic Cornering Control (EDCC) will remain active thereby ensuring that severe hedge trimming antics and extreme wall-vaulting are significantly reduced.
Uprated shock absorbers and springs have lowered the ST by 10 mm and there are new uprated suspension knuckles and a new anti-roll bar.
There will be three trim levels, ST1, ST2 and ST3, with the base model getting cloth Recaros. The ST2 gets leather Recaros and the ST3 adds heated seats plus a few extra little luxuries.
Price? We’ll just have to wait.