Ford has unleashed the new Focus ST which will lock horns against the Renault Megane RS and Hyundai i30 N. The hot hatch becomes the first Blue Oval to come with a front-wheel-drive electronic limited-slip differential. The ST-suffixed Focus will be offered in a five-door hatch or estate guise along with a host of new technology derived from flagship models like the Ford GT and the Mustang.
The Focus is underpinned by Ford’s new C2 architecture. In the ST tune, Ford Performance has enhanced it with bespoke suspension, braking and powertrain configurations. The 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine punches out 276bhp and 420Nm. Meanwhile, the 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine in the ST puts out 189bhp. Ford claims that the power is up by 12 per cent more while the torque is rated at 17 per cent higher.
The transmission choice is either a six-speed manual or a new, quick-shifting, seven-speed automatic. The 0-100kmph time is less than six seconds in the new Focus ST, claims the American carmaker. Then there is a Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD which enhances the short-long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration to control the ride quality. And for the first time, the ST comes with selectable drive modes.
The anti-lag technology from the Ford GT and F-150 Raptor has been introduced in the Focus ST. The diesel motor, on the other hand, has a low-inertia variable geometry turbocharger and steel pistons. This allows the motor to deliver 10 per cent more power and twice the torque as compared to the first gen Focus ST. Apart from that, Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models. The e-LSD developed by Borg Warner has faster deployment and offers greater precision than a traditional mechanical LSD. Meanwhile EcoBlue diesel variant gets a torque vectoring control system
Appearance tweaks to the hot hatch include sporty alloys, revised grille for aiding engine cooling and aerodynamics, rear spoiler and twin exhaust tips. On the inside, the Focus ST gets Recaro seats, sports steering wheel and a host of ST-badges all around. In the Sport and Track mode, there is the engine and exhaust noise amplification system as well.
The Ford Focus truly is the hot hatch we want. But sadly, it won’t be coming to India.