The latest Focus ST boasts more horsepower than ever before
Hot versions of Ford’s hatchback models have captured the imagination of car enthusiasts for generations. From the likes of the Sierra RS Cosworth that tore up rally stages back in the late eighties, to the Fiesta and Focus – both in RS and ST versions - that people know and love today.
The Blue Oval brand has been catering for those who want a bit of extra bite for their buck for years, but whilst the Focus ST has earned a cult following, it hasn’t quite been able to reach the top of the turbo charged table, with some of its competition faring better with petrol heads looking for power and performance.
Ford’s answer to this? Create a new ST version of the Focus, one that is more powerful and responsive than ever before. Here we look at whether the latest offering can match up to others in the field of ST performance cars.
Let’s start with the engine
The engine is a detuned version of that found in the previous-generation RS and current EcoBoost Mustang.
After much demand, it finally gets an electronically controlled limited-slip differential (eLSD) to control power through the front wheels, there’s rev-matching on downshifts, new drive modes, and ST-specific suspension and steering. A more than decent set of kit.
The ST also gets its own version of the now-familiar 2.3-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine that has served Ford Performance so well. With 276bhp, it’s the most powerful Focus ST ever – in fact you’re getting 30bhp more than the old version served up.
Perhaps even more impressive is its 420Nm of torque, which is available in the middle of the rev range - while peak power is higher at 5,500rpm. Putting your foot down even at lower revs gives a punchy response, but if you’re not in the mood for full throttle mode you can short shift and still feel a kick.
A diesel engine is also available for those who are less focused on pure performance and want lower running costs.