IT'S official – Ford is readying an all-new hot hatch version of the Focus. Speaking on the eve of the Geneva Motor Show, product development boss Derrick Kuzak confirmed that a new fast Focus is on the way.
"It will get an EcoBoost turbocharged engine, be exciting to drive, great to look at and certainly worth waiting for," Kuzak said. Likely to be badged ST, the new model will ditch the current car's 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine for a more efficient and more powerful direct injection EcoBoost unit.
Ford is staying tight lipped for now about exact details, but it's thought to be a 2.0-litre offering 250bhp. Along with 350Nm of torque, it should rocket the new ST from 0-60mph in six seconds and onto a top speed of 155mph. That will put it ahead of the VW Golf GTi and as rapid as the RenaultSport Megane 250.
And while enthusiasts will miss the sound of the old ST's warbling five-cylinder unit, they'll welcome the new car's increased efficiency. Expect 35mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 175g/km. Factor in torque vectoring and a range of driving modes – two of the new Focus' highlight features – and it should be a riot to drive.
The new Focus 5dr hatchback will go on sale early 2011, though, so don't expect to see the ST until later that year at the earliest. Before then, Ford will launch a last-of-the-line RS 'Clubsport' before embarking on a replacement for the RS which will get the same 2.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine, hooked up to a hybrid system complete with four-wheel drive.