Following several test prototype sightings and no teasers whatsoever, Ford has lifted the veils off its all-new Focus ST hot hatch.
Just like its predecessor, the new Focus ST is available with two engine and two body style flavors. The big news is the gasoline version ditches the 2.0-liter turbo-four for a larger, more powerful 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder unit that makes 280 PS (276 hp) at 5,500 rpm and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque from 3,000 rpm to 4,000 rpm.
That’s 12 percent more power and 17 percent more torque compared with the previous Focus ST’s 2.0-liter gasoline unit.
0-100 km/h (62 mph) in under 6 seconds for the EcoBoost model
According to Ford, that results in a 0‑100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint of under 6 seconds. For the first time, the Focus ST benefits from an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) that improves traction and stability, as well as Selectable Drive Modes.
The all-aluminum 2.3-liter unit benefits from lessons learned with the Ford GT supercar and F-150 Raptor pickup as it features anti-lag technology that promises “immediate power delivery” in Sport and Track Drive Modes. When the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, anti-lag keeps the throttle open, maintaining compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.
The most powerful production diesel engine ever fitted to a Focus
Besides the gasoline engine, Ford also offers a 2.0-liter EcoBlue turbo diesel in the new Focus ST. The unit is rated at 190 PS (187 hp) at 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque between 2,000 rpm and 3,000 rpm. It’s the most powerful diesel engine ever fitted to a Ford Focus.
Both engines will be mated as standard to a short-shift six-speed manual gearbox featuring rev-matching (optional as part of a Performance Pack for the 2.3L engine) or an optional seven-speed automatic transmission. The rev-matching function can be deactivated for those who prefer an unadulterated driving experience. The automatic comes with standard paddle shifters and Adaptive Shift Scheduling, which evaluates individual driving styles to optimize gearshift timings.
Unique suspension, braking, and powertrain configurations over the regular Focus
The new Focus ST builds on the all-new C2 architecture from the latest Focus, adding unique suspension, braking, and powertrain configurations. In Ford’s words, this results in “the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever – on road and track.”
The hot hatch also features Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), which is offered as standard for five-door EcoBoost models. CCD is said to enhance the short-long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration for improved refinement. As a result, Ford says customers will be able to sample the best of both worlds, switching from a comfortable tourer to a focused performance car at the push of a button. According to Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director Europe, the new Focus ST offers “a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”
Compared to the standard Focus, the damping stiffness increased up to 20 percent at the front and 13 percent at the rear, while the ride height is reduced by 10 mm (0.39 in). As for the electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system, it is 15 percent faster than the standard Focus, requiring just two turns lock-to-lock. The brakes feature larger discs overall with dual-piston calipers at the front and Electric Brake Booster technology which is said to build brake pressure faster than a hydraulic system.
Going on sale in Europe this summer as a five-door hatchback and wagon
Styling-wise, the 2019 Focus ST has a rather understated yet tasteful appearance, combining a sharp exterior kit with a sporty interior featuring Recaro front seats (available with cloth, leather, or leather/Miko Dinamica upholsteries), sports steering wheel, and aluminum trim.
The all-new Focus ST will be available both as a five-door hatch and five-door wagon and will go on sale across Europe this summer. The United States won’t get the latest Focus ST at all.