Will we get the Focus ST?

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The new (global) Ford Focus, which is to be manufactured at the new Ford plant at Rayong (amongst other global sites) has received good reviews everywhere; however, it is the performance version, the Focus ST that has been receiving the rave reviews.

Body styling is the common or garden Focus but with a bigger grill and gaping air intakes, big wheels and lowered, but it is the engine that has captured the imagination of the motoring world.  This is the Ford EcoBoost engine – a turbo four-cylinder sending 184 kW and 360 Nm to the front wheels of what is Ford’s most powerful ST yet and its first global performance car.  The engine is mated to a six-speed manual at this stage.

2013 Ford Focus ST. 2013 Ford Focus ST.

With Ford looking very much at the ‘drivability’ of this small performance car they have used a new electric variable steering that’s less sensitive in the straight-ahead position but requires less turning, for example, through a hairpin.  This is supplemented by a Torque Steer Compensation system that, along with the steering, uses software to counteract torque steer, which is always a problem with a potent FWD chassis.

The ST is also fitted with an improved Dynamic Cornering Control system for a quicker and lighter turn-in and it can re-arrange the torque distribution between the front wheels electronically.

Focus ST interior. Focus ST interior.

Those who have driven the ST in Europe state that the ST is utterly composed, cornering fast and flat while a prod of the throttle serves to pull the tail back into line while the (standard) Recaro sport seats do a good job of restraining the driver and passenger.

The opinion is also that the ST is comfortable as a daily driver, too.  The Focus ST’s ride was incredibly comfortable on the motorway and rural sections of the route through the south of France and the dramatically revised chassis did a good job of soaking up the rough patches and dips.  Suspension enhancements for this ST include uprated shocks and springs and a revised rear suspension with new knuckles and an all-new anti-roll bar.

Specifications

Engine

Type: Ford EcoBoost 2.0 L I4

Displacement: 2000cc

Fuel supply system: direct injection

Max power 184 kW @ 5500 rpm

Max torque: 360 Nm from 1750 – 4000 rpm

Compression ratio: 9.3:1

Bore x stroke: 87.5/83.1mm

Fuel type: Petrol

Transmission

Type: six-speed manual

Performance

Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 6.5sec

Maximum speed: 248 km/h

Fuel consumption: 7.2 litres/100 km (combined)

Overall length x width x height (mm): 4362 x 2010 x 1484

Wheelbase: 2648 mm

Brakes

Front: 320×25 mm discs, 57 mm wheel cylinder diameter

Rear: 271×11 mm discs, 37 mm wheel cylinder diameter

Anti-lock: Yes

Suspension

Front: Macpherson strut suspension with isolated sub-frame and electric variable ratio power steering.  Shocks, springs, anti-roll bars and spring aids adapted to ST requirements

Rear: Control blade rear suspension derived from Focus RS.  Shocks, springs, anti-roll bars and spring aids adapted to ST requirements

Wheels: 8.5x18in

Tyres: 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle AS2