The all-new Focus ST has been spied testing at the Nurburgring – and it doesn’t look half bad.
Ford unveiled the latest-generation Focus in April with a much improved design and a plethora of new features. These images of the performance-focused ST variant show that it could be the best looking Focus ever, combining the perfect amount of aggression with attractive curves and flowing lines.
As expected, Ford has started the visual modifications at the front fascia and fitted a bespoke bumper. While it’s covered in camouflage, we know it’ll adopt large air intakes and an altogether sportier design.
The designers also appear to have gone to town with the rear fascia, outfitting it with a roof spoiler, distinctive bumper, a bold diffuser and two circular tailpipes. From some angles, it reminds us of the Mercedes-AMG A45; and that’s certainly no bad thing. Less obvious changes present on this prototype include a lowered ride height, new wheels and enlarged brakes.
While the exterior styling changes are fairly dramatic, the modifications to the cabin are significantly more restrained as the interior largely echoes the Focus ST-Line. Despite the similarities, there are a handful of differences.
The biggest change is the addition of some rather generic looking sport seats which feature contrast stitching and “ST” embroidery on the backrests. The seats are heavily bolstered and appear to use two different kinds of fabric. While they should be an improvement over the base chairs, they’re certainly not as glamorous looking as the old Recaros.
The other changes are less noticeable, but we can see a revised instrument cluster which has new gauges with red dials. The cluster should also have a revised splash screen which indicates this is the Focus ST.
In case drivers aren’t paying attention to the splash screen, there’s a large ST badge on the flat-bottomed steering wheel.
The rest of the design largely carries over and we can see the car will come equipped with metallic trim and a stylish gear knob. The model could also have additional features including illuminated sill plates and stainless steel pedals.
Powertrain details remain unknown, but our sources claim the new Focus ST will be outfitted with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder pumping out between 250 – 275 hp (186 – 205 kW / 253 – 278 PS) through the front wheels.
While the next Focus ST will be eventually outshone by a new RS, when the latter comes up, Ford’s ST-badged models have always offered excellent bang-for-your-buck performance and driving thrills. We expect no different for the latest-generation model.
A launch date for the warm hatchback remains unknown, but we believe it will premiere next year, most likely as a 2020 model. Ford will probably let it sit at the top of the Focus range for a couple of years before launching the next-generation RS that should deliver in excess of 400 hp from its turbocharged mill.