The Blue Oval yanked the covers off the facelifted 2015 Focus ST prior to the car’s dynamic debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s hill climb. As one of Ford’s global models, most changes are common on both sides of the Atlantic. What isn’t is the availability of a new diesel-powered version that was not mentioned in the company’s North American release.
The first-ever diesel Focus ST uses a tuned variant of the European Focus’ 150PS (148hp) 2.0-liter TDCi with Auto Start-Stop that packs 185PS (183hp) at 3,500 rpm and 400Nm (395 lb-ft) of peak torque from 2,000-2,750 rpm.
Paired to a standard 6sp manual, the diesel Focus ST completes the 0 to 100km/h (62mph) sprint in 8.1 seconds and tops out at 217km/h (135mph). In 6th gear, acceleration from 50-75mph (80-120km/h) takes 9.7 seconds, 2.2 seconds faster than the 150PS Focus. Ford says the diesel model returns a combined economy of 4.4 l/100km (64.2 mpg UK or 53.5 mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 114g/km.
For those who prefer gasoline fuel for their hot hatch, the regular Focus ST keeps the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four delivering 252hp in North America and 250PS/247hp on the other side of the Atlantic. However, in Europe, for the first time, the petrol Focus ST gains a stop-start system that improves fuel economy by 6 percent to 6.8l/100km (41.5 mpg UK or 34.6 mpg US) and drops CO2 emissions from 169g/km to 158g/km. According to Ford, the gasoline Focus ST will go from 0-62mph (100km/h) in 6.5 seconds.
Ford’s European Team RS may not have shared the diesel engine with their North American counterparts, but they did take care of the Focus ST’s chassis, retuning the suspension that features new front springs and shock absorbers on all four corners, and recalibrating the Electronic Power Assisted Steering and electronic vehicle control systems.
According to Ford, the chassis upgrades deliver the following:
- A quicker response from the variable ratio steering, improving turn-in and delivering better overall balance
- A new Electronic Transitional Stability function in the advanced three-stage Electronic Stability Programme. This senses vehicle stability and driver inputs, intervening as required to maintain optimal precision and control during rapid changes of direction at speed – for example in a lane-change situation
- Revised Electronic Torque Vectoring Control settings that further optimise wheel torque distribution, maximizing traction through corners and increasing agility
In addition, the Euro model also gets new 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in new tires specially developed by Michelin.
You’ll be able to tell that you’re looking at the 2015MY Focus ST mainly from the revised fascia with the slimmer headlamps (just like on the regular Focus facelift), a sculpted hood, rectangular (instead of round) fog lamps, and the simpler grille that discards the fang-like vertical elements. At the rear, Ford incorporated smaller taillights and a bolder lower fascia for the bumper that retains the trademark exhaust tips.
In Europe, Ford added two new exterior colors, a dark grey paint called Stealth and the Deep Impact Blue. North American versions gain darker 18-inch aluminum wheels and a new shade named Magnetic Metallic that replaces Ingot Silver.
Inside there’s a redesigned center stack with purportedly improved climate controls and new finishes, a new flat-bottom steering wheel with available heating, and updated front door cupholders.
Among some of the new options available for the North American car are an eight-way power driver’s seat and Satin Black and High Gloss Red exterior stripes with matching mirror skull caps.
By John Halas