Ford Focus ST exclusive ride

15 Feb, 2012 9:00am Ross Pinnock

We help sign off the new 247bhp Ford Focus ST, and set off for an exclusive passenger ride

The wait is nearly over for fast Ford fans. The all-new Focus ST has taken a big step closer to showrooms, and Auto Express was invited along to be part of the process.

We joined Ford’s engineers in the Eifel Mountains, Germany, as part of the team which prepared to sign off the 247bhp hot hatch for production.

Don’t be fooled by the plastic wheel trims fitted to the car in our pictures. With temperatures dipping as low as -9 degrees Celsius, Ford’s team wisely decided to fit a set of winter tyres to our test car. Not that the ST is ever likely to be mistaken for a basic model...

Even our car’s subtle black paintwork couldn’t disguise its racy exterior. It rides 10mm lower than Titanium cars, and features a gaping grille and LED running lights. This gives the car a much more aggressive look, while a large spoiler above the rear windscreen and centre-exit exhaust set it apart at the back.

Paul Wijgaerts is technical specialist for performance cars at Ford of Europe, and has the job of looking after us for the day. He explains that the visual changes are more than simple cosmetic tweaks, as they’re also designed to improve high-speed stability.

He then runs through the list of mechanical changes. It includes a tuned version of the Mondeo’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, plus revised suspension geometry, new springs and dampers, a variable-ratio steering set-up and upgraded transmission.

Inside, there’s a smattering of ST logos, a pair of racy Recaro seats and a trio of trademark gauges on top of the dash. And it’s easy to see which car Ford is targeting with the ST, as the team has brought along a VW Golf GTI for comparison. There’s also an old ST to show us how much the new car has changed. As we set off in the old five-cylinder model, the size of the job that faced Paul’s team is audible.

“It was an absolute nightmare to get the noise of the car right,” admits Paul. “It’s impossible to get a similar sound to the five-cylinder with a four-cylinder, but 
I think we’ve done a good job.”

It’s hard not to agree when we get into the new ST. A sound tube feeds the engine noise into the cabin with a butterfly valve that opens when you press the throttle. Once the revs are above 3,500rpm, it sounds great, with a hard-edged note that’s loud enough to put a smile on your face without becoming tiresome over longer distances.

The Focus is as quick as it sounds, with the acceleration enough to pin you back into the body-hugging seats as we blast out of second-gear corners. Paul says the car can do 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, but the ST has never been about raw speed; the best fast Fords are defined by agile handling and sharp responses. 

This is where Paul thinks the car will have an advantage. “We have variable-ratio power-steering, which is a big step over the GTI, and I think agility will be the ST’s biggest selling point,” he says.

However, Ford’s Continuous Damping Control (CDC) won’t be available. “We decided not to spend money on CDC, but to get the dynamics right instead,” Paul explains. From our position in the passenger seat, the result feels like a good compromise. It’s firmer than the Golf GTI but more forgiving than a Renaultsport Megane. And Paul is clearly having fun as he uses the throttle to help steer the car through corners – a sure sign the chassis is playful and engaging.

It’s impossible to tell if the car torque steers from our vantage point, but Paul isn’t having to wrestle with the steering as he accelerates out of tight bends. And our car isn’t even fitted with the latest software for the torque steer compensation system, which works through the electric power-steering.

So, it’s easy to believe Paul when he says the new ST is faster than the old model. The outgoing car could lap the Nürburgring in eight minutes, 35 seconds. While he claims not to have timed the new car around the famous track, he estimates a time of 8m20s is easily within its grasp. We can’t wait to put his theory to the test.

This article was updated with the full story on 22 February 2012.

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What no German made Chavmobile Orange? Chavs will be disappointed with you Ford.

Would rather buy a British made Mini Cooper much more fun to drive, and it helps the British not German trade deficit keeping Brits not Germans in employment.

Fords are crap,expensive and very unreliable. On my 3rd MINI and is much better. I spent 18K on Focus Tdci Titanium a few years back, had it 18 months and was off the road for 13 of them with issues,

We have had fords in our family for years, including a focus with over 150,000 miles on. Most reliable car ever, bar none! Its never had anything more than a service and wear & tear parts.

Could always pay over the odds though for a some German rubbish. I know if it came down to it I'd rather have the focus over a 1 series anyday of the week.

What seems to be forget Ivor is that most of the parts are still made in Germany then shipped over here to be just bolted together. It is by no means a British car.

Bland and even more drab!

Seriously, making a comment like "Not that the ST is ever likely to be mistaken for a basic model..." implies that anyone can stand looking at the new dreary Focus for any prolonged time without nodding off or their eyes refusing to focus...

The original Focus was a great looking car but this is just a dreary slab of reheated Kia Rio (the old ugly one...)

Interesting to see how it compares with the new Astra VXR when it's launched (though knowing AE it'll be -10 points for the Griffin badge)

Come on IvorBiggen you must have some other point of view than not British built must be crap! How about having a drive in something without any preconceived ideas then making your own mind up based on something other than where are the German parts assembled? Hey you could always look at a Ford Diesel (the engines are made in Dagenham!) Please change the record now, we all know about how outraged you are that things aren't built in the UK anymore (besides I am sure that if you look around your home most f the stuff that even you buy is a foreign import of some description!!!!!)

@IvorBiggen and followers: MINI has not been a British brand for quite some time now. BMW does not stand for British Motor Works...

The Focus ST is going to compete with the MS3 and company. The MCS is out of its league when being compared to a MS3 or Focus ST. I own a mini and love every bit of it but it can't compete with 250HP with 250 torques. My mini has 270 BHP (lots of modifications) and it would probably still get beaten just due to the sheer difference in torque.

The outside looks better than I thought it would, I think it benefits from losing the air intake above the grille of the standard model. The interior looks very well made but I don't like all the buttons and chintzy chrome everywhere, personally I would find it very distracting. Also, am I the only one who has noticed the irony of the hyperlink to this article being directly above a link to a report about older Fords rusting...

Come on the mini is a hairdressers car ok for women,to be honest i would be embarressed to be seen driving one,being a bloke that is, you wooofterssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
P.S.
fords also handle very well unlike vauxhalls!!!!!.

sorry fastpepi but i dont believe you,are you sure you've not been on dr.WHOs
time machine.or did you just lose the ignition keys,you know those are the things that start up the engine

Well, to me in that pic it just looks like a 'normal' Focus. Nothing special that would make me want to buy one for it's looks. It just shows what a set of good wheels does for a car eh.

Mini is a german car you tweet. It is a BMW owned, developed, financed car etc.

What? Is it made in the uk? So do some toyotas. Buy them instead of the focus...

Mini compared with Ford ST? Comedy. But also, German comedy! Hahaha....

LOL firestorm, you shot yourself in the foot. My hairdresser who has been cutting my hair for the 25+ years drive a Focus. Not a ST though. Thats the Gods honest truth. Fell under my computer laughing when l read your post.

Mini is an absolute fabulous little car with BMW quality designed into it. Mini has always been a car that transcends classes very well. You will find one just on about every other driveway parked up next to a BMW or Mercedes on millionaires row where pop stars to Captains of industry live, right down to one of the workers who work for a big company, they are also driven by at lot of men as well, l know a guy who owns 2 e-type Jags but uses a Mini as a every day car, he has done nut and bolt restorations on both e-types and done all the work on his own, he is a first class.

I live in quite a well to do area Mini's are the first choice after the Mercedes Benz or a BMW, occasionally l have to cut through or pas s to council estates in my Jag, and know of at least 3 or those bright lurid CHAV orange horrible gastly things sitting on the council house driveway.

Come on Ivor - when was the last time you got off your soap box and actually drove a Ford? It just goes to show that you know very little about cars or the industry if you think a Mini is British. It is a BMW with a Peugeot engine (in fact in the Cooper D is the Ford / PSA DV6 diesel engine as fitted in the Fiesta, Pug 208 and Citroen C3 among others etc.).

There really is no such thing as a purely British car. We have no real industry so to speak of thanks to Maggie Thatchers Government. Cars assembled in the UK or anywhere else in the world use components from all over the place.

I took delivery of my new Focus 2 weeks ago (Titanium X 2,0 163PS TDCi) and am absolutely over the moon with it. The fit & finish are impeccable and the quality of the interior / exterior is on a par with anything from VW / Audi (sorry they aren't British either). It's getting 55.1 MPG too which I think is great for the size and performance of the car. That is sure to improve as it loosens up too.

PS there are lots of Chavs with Mini's too - typically lowered so they won't travel over speed bumps, and how many 5 year old BMW's do you see parked at the base of the local council flats? Loads. Typically the only cars Chavs don't drive are those that have no street credibility. Don't forget these are the same people who take their kids toys to Cash Converters so they can buy the latest fashion trainers and iPhones.

Mini is British assembled employing 100,000's of Brits just on the component side of the Industy.

Go buy your German assembled Focus you CHAVs, but don't come complaining when you lose your jobs, or when your neighbour who works on a British Astra assembly line has just been put on the dole, just because you decided to keep German Ford assembly workers in employment.

Don't complain because your county can know longer afford the teachers, police, doctors, don't have pension more stealth taxes are on the way because we have no manufacturing base left in the UK.

German made Focus buyers look in the mirror you are the cause of the Great Britain's economic problems filling the German assembly lines, not British assembly lines with your Chav car orders. Just don't complain about the lack of work that will be around for your Children & Grandchildren in the future with high unemployment benefit costs that you will have to support prop up.

2011 JD Power Quality Customer Satisfaction Results top 100 models/Top 28 makers.
Model
Above average rated
18TH Position - MINI Made in Great Britain
Below average rated
75TH Position - FOCUS Made in Germany

Maker
Above average rated
5TH position Mini assembled in the UK
Below average rated
19TH position Ford lions share of vehicles assembled by Ford of Germany.

@firestorm & Flyboy - My brother in law had a 2003 mondeo with 90000 miles, which he had to spend over 3000 euro on in just 18 months. Steering rack, brakes, aircon, electrical problems, door locks, clutch...the list goes on. Every problem when described to a mechanic was met with the usual "Oh yeah, that a common problem with the mondeo". Local mechanics sometimes would refuse to even try to fix the problem because they knew there was so much work with it that they wanted him to just take it to the main dealer, who were ridiculously expensive. The mondeo is one of the most expensive cars to get a warranty for with warranty direct, even more expensive than an alfa 156. And on that point, ford were nine places lower then alfa in the last JD Power survey. Your 2 week old focus might be fine now, but just wait until the electrical gremlins kick in. A friend of mine bought a brand new focus which was back with the dealer THE NEXT DAY because he tail lights weren't working. He eventually got it back about 10 days later only to have ALL lights go out while driving at night because of an alternator problem.

@firestorm & Flyboy - My brother in law had a 2003 mondeo with 90000 miles, which he had to spend over 3000 euro on in just 18 months. Steering rack, brakes, aircon, electrical problems, door locks, clutch...the list goes on. Every problem when described to a mechanic was met with the usual "Oh yeah, that a common problem with the mondeo". Local mechanics sometimes would refuse to even try to fix the problem because they knew there was so much work with it that they wanted him to just take it to the main dealer, who were ridiculously expensive. The mondeo is one of the most expensive cars to get a warranty for with warranty direct, even more expensive than an alfa 156. And on that point, ford were nine places lower then alfa in the last JD Power survey. Your 2 week old focus might be fine now, but just wait until the electrical gremlins kick in. A friend of mine bought a brand new focus which was back with the dealer THE NEXT DAY because he tail lights weren't working. He eventually got it back about 10 days later only to have ALL lights go out while driving at night because of an alternator problem.

@firestorm & Flyboy - My brother in law had a 2003 mondeo with 90000 miles, which he had to spend over 3000 euro on in just 18 months. Steering rack, brakes, aircon, electrical problems, door locks, clutch...the list goes on. Every problem when described to a mechanic was met with the usual "Oh yeah, that a common problem with the mondeo". Local mechanics sometimes would refuse to even try to fix the problem because they knew there was so much work with it that they wanted him to just take it to the main dealer, who were ridiculously expensive. The mondeo is one of the most expensive cars to get a warranty for with warranty direct, even more expensive than an alfa 156. And on that point, ford were nine places lower then alfa in the last JD Power survey. Your 2 week old focus might be fine now, but just wait until the electrical gremlins kick in. A friend of mine bought a brand new focus which was back with the dealer THE NEXT DAY because he tail lights weren't working. He eventually got it back about 10 days later only to have ALL lights go out while driving at night because of an alternator problem.

Ivor, you are a joke. How can you blame members of the public for their choice of car for the reason for the state of the economy, you're making yourself look like a prize idiot.
Nissans are built in Sunderland, but I bet you haven't got Japanese people complaining about it, its just the way of the world now.

What about the thousands of people in the UK that employed by Ford and their dealers including aftersales, service, Ford Credit parts deparments, bodyshops etc, all kept in work by people who buy focus's.
I don't think you see the bigger picture because people like you are so stuck in your bigoted ways that you only see red.

Enjoy your fisher price german mini...the engine was probably built by a chap called Hans.

@firestorm & Flyboy - My brother in law had a 2003 mondeo with 90000 miles, which he had to spend over 3000 euro on in just 18 months. Steering rack, brakes, aircon, electrical problems, door locks, clutch...the list goes on. Every problem when described to a mechanic was met with the usual "Oh yeah, that a common problem with the mondeo". Local mechanics sometimes would refuse to even try to fix the problem because they knew there was so much work with it that they wanted him to just take it to the main dealer, who were ridiculously expensive. The mondeo is one of the most expensive cars to get a warranty for with warranty direct, even more expensive than an alfa 156. And on that point, ford were nine places lower then alfa in the last JD Power survey. Your 2 week old focus might be fine now, but just wait until the electrical gremlins kick in. A friend of mine bought a brand new focus which was back with the dealer THE NEXT DAY because he tail lights weren't working. He eventually got it back about 10 days later only to have ALL lights go out while driving at night because of an alternator problem.

You cannot help the car you fall for. In the past I have had Mini's, Alfa's and Volvo's, but they proved unreliable eventually. However if that's what I want to spend my money on...

@ IvorBiggen
1. The problem with the Mini is that it's only assembled in Britain. The real value is in the making of the components, which in this case are made in Germany, France and Belgium.

2. The majority of the workforce who assemble this car are either on a temporary contract or employed by an agency. This has a profound affect on the quality of the car produced.
As these employees can be laid-off within 24 hours, less care is taken during assembly. A lot of these people do care about their jobs and the products they make, however if they get the slightst inclination they will be 'sent-home', the quality of the finished vehicle is reduced.

I have seen this first hand on the production line of the new Range Rover Evoque. You hear temporary employees saying things like, "They're having issues with supply, so they're going to lay people off" or "They're not selling enough of this vehicle, so they're going to lay people off". The quality of the car suffers.

3. I had one of the first generation BMW Mini's and it was fun to drive, but suffered with power-steering pump problems and thermostat/heating problems. Bought and maintain by BWM too! I dare you to type into Google 'Mini power steering problems'. Shambles.

4. Ford's were rubbish until a few years back when they started to adopt design, materials and the quality standards of Volvo (Before recently selling Volvo). Now their cars are bigger, safer, use similar technology and materials. The last Focus/Mondeo shared alot of components as the Volvo S40/V50/C30 (And other cars if you know your stuff). Within the European market, this has enabled them to atleast attempt to keep-up with German designed vehicles like VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, BMW etc.

5. Figures from the JD Power Quality Customer Satisfaction Results are slightly skewed as they also account for your interaction with the dealer, service provided during and aftercare.

6. Mini's are for girls.

"I live in quite a well to do area Mini's are the first choice after the Mercedes Benz or a BMW" That goes to show money doesnt buy you taste right there! ;-)

ivor, what you don't seem to be grasping here is that most of the Mini is made in germany!! Its just bolted together here, if you want a truly british made car you need a jap motor from Sunderland! Interseting that Ford seem to be getting classed as Chav cars, not like you ever see anyone driving a Mini/BMW covered in fake gold and wearing a baseball bat is it.

If you want a truly class-less motor you need an Alfa Romeo in your life.

Oh and who ever had the 2 week old focus, dont worry about reliability. They just dont go wrong, ever. Like I said one in our family has never had a single problem, same as my old fiesta never did, same as my old mans mondeo never did, hence why he is on his 5th one now. Then compare that to my mates BMW that cost him 9k to buy and in the first 12 months of ownership cost him 7k to repair!!

You cannot help the car you fall for. In the past I have had Mini's, Alfa's and Volvo's, but they proved unreliable eventually. However if that's what I want to spend my money on...

@ IvorBiggen
1. The problem with the Mini is that it's only assembled in Britain. The real value is in the making of the components, which in this case are made in Germany, France and Belgium.

2. The majority of the workforce who assemble this car are either on a temporary contract or employed by an agency. This has a profound affect on the quality of the car produced.
As these employees can be laid-off within 24 hours, less care is taken during assembly. A lot of these people do care about their jobs and the products they make, however if they get the slightst inclination they will be 'sent-home', the quality of the finished vehicle is reduced.

I have seen this first hand on the production line of the new Range Rover Evoque. You hear temporary employees saying things like, "They're having issues with supply, so they're going to lay people off" or "They're not selling enough of this vehicle, so they're going to lay people off". The quality of the car suffers.

3. I had one of the first generation BMW Mini's and it was fun to drive, but suffered with power-steering pump problems and thermostat/heating problems. Bought and maintain by BWM too! I dare you to type into Google 'Mini power steering problems'. Shambles.

4. Ford's were rubbish until a few years back when they started to adopt design, materials and the quality standards of Volvo (Before recently selling Volvo). Now their cars are bigger, safer, use similar technology and materials. The last Focus/Mondeo shared alot of components as the Volvo S40/V50/C30 (And other cars if you know your stuff). Within the European market, this has enabled them to atleast attempt to keep-up with German designed vehicles like VW, Audi, Skoda, Seat, BMW etc.

5. Figures from the JD Power Quality Customer Satisfaction Results are slightly skewed as they also account for your interaction with the dealer, service provided during and aftercare.

6. Mini's are for girls.

I really like the design of the new Focus, and the handling appears fantastic. My old Fiesta Zetec-S was so easily caught by a new Focus on the twisty back roads from Skipton to Kendal late last year, and I was definately pushing along quickly. I guess the new Focus ST's handling will be even better! I wish I could afford one, alas I can't.

Ivor, you are a joke. How can you blame members of the public for their choice of car for the reason for the state of the economy, you're making yourself look like a prize idiot.
Nissans are built in Sunderland, but I bet you haven't got Japanese people complaining about it, its just the way of the world now.

What about the thousands of people in the UK that employed by Ford and their dealers including aftersales, service, Ford Credit parts deparments, bodyshops etc, all kept in work by people who buy focus's.
I don't think you see the bigger picture because people like you are so stuck in your bigoted ways that you only see red.

Enjoy your fisher price german mini...the engine was probably built by a chap called Hans.

i have to say i bought a min cooper s in 2003, i bought it brand new, 8 weeks later i got rid, performance was dissapointing, struggled to beat a golf tdi and a 2ltr petrol mondeo. economy was dreadfull for such a small car, my cosworth did more mpg and was a whole lot faster. and if the mini is so good why was it beaten on the topgear show by a diesel skoda. ENOUGH SAID

Reading the BS that some have written, makes me laugh.
Fact is people buy BMW's Audi's and to a lesser extent "Mercs" for Driveway Kudos. Purely because it impresses those that like to bash what is perceived as working class vehicles.

Do people like Skoda's because they're Skoda's or Audi's under the skin?

Do people dislike Fords because they used to be made in Dagenham? Most probably yes. Now they are made in Germany alongside the likes of other "quality" German brands you dont have that excuse.

Fact is just because one person has a bad experience with a brand doesn't make it rubbish. I have owned fords of one description or another for over 20 years and have had the odd thing go wrong. But never had one die as seems to be the perception, I have equally seen enough BMW's and Audi's on the back of recovery trucks to know they are not immune to the same problems.

The later focuses are bland just like most EuroBox cars but do i want to impress the neighbours of drive something equally practical for less money.

Fancy making a comment like that Ivor, the only biggun you've got is between the ears, we hear the same rubbish echoing round your skull every time Ford build a new car.
I've been running an ecoboost 1.6 Focus for a while now (all the bells and whistles ala Titanium)and as a halfway house to the ST and it is brilliant, no problems and all the performance you would expect from 150bhp and as reliable as you want.

German Focus 1.6T 150 Ecoboost Titanium X 5 door
£21,495 new in Four years time its worth £6,399

Mini One Clubman 5 Door
£14,430 new in four years time it's worth £6,375

Agree with a lot of what has been said buy a British made Nissan Toyota or Honda, Mini transcends class because it is class, a Focus ST is to Chavy to be found anywhere other than on a council estate, Skoda are better quality than Ford and cost a lot less these days.

I

Ivor, think about where the engineering is done, not just the manufacturing....

macsui 2003 was a crappy year for bummers oops sorry bimmers & audis for repairs & audis if somebody touched their frt end in a parking lot $7K min (3" clearance) to engine and goodies so don't lay blame on just one .
On this side of the Atlantic The Focus sells like Hotcakes and everybody RAVES . Mileage/handling/interior/styling/fit/room/ finish and longevity and -40F+ here in the Prairies .Consumers are becoming more conscious now and the Mini is classed as a fun car , not a young family type and they are more and more saying that Toyota/Nissan/Hyundai/kia small affordable vehicles are too many steps below FORD. We only have gas engines here not diesel .

After everything that has been said about what is wrong with the UK I think it is very telling that Ivor finds it necessary to belittle everyone that lives on council estates. News flash chappy, the vast majority of council tenents are at least as good as you! You may like to think that you are superior but your comments on the AE pages just go to prove how wrong you are!!! Thank you, no further comment required!

Hocus Pocus understeering FWD rubbish, love watching FWD car drift out at roundabouts seen, have seen a few FWD car spin a few times looked liked they had no control over the matter, and were on a bit of wing and prayer at the time.

Still FWD are "Cheap" to slap together and that what the buyer wants is "Cheap" these days you can't argue with that,

Cosworth don't cooperate with Ford anynore....
AWD gets too expensive, the cars (ST or RS) would remain in the showrooms and not on the roads...
and btw Focus RS (300hp/350hp) ruled... nothing before nothings comes after.... unless a new RS from FORD

Focus ST with all that snow we just had, must have been a nightmare to handle, most are probably in a ditch.

Ford sold 20 million off the back Escorts RS success, one can't complain.

When was the last time any crap FWD car or FWD Focus ever won the British RAC Rally asters on a postage stamp please.
FWD Mini 1964
RWD Escort RS1600 - 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975
RWD Escort RS 1800 - 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979 (last 2WD to win WRC was a Ford)
FWD Hocus Pokus Focus never won or been entered single RAC or WRC event.

Ford have never sold a Focus that is 60% driven from the rear like WRC.

Ivor is full of crap. Always pratting on about buying British built cars.
As for the chav orange, I guess if its on a Lambo, Audi, BMW M3 GTS etc its also a chav mobile too.
In reality if you look at most of the people driving Focus ST they far from the chav image; majority of the council estate clientale probably could not even afford it.
Take a look at many of those driving the Mini, many are either women, chavs, or the metrosexual type guy. Go and look at any council estate in reality and your guaranteed to find a Mini or some clapped out old german barge tarted up to give the chav the image that they still have class.
You cannot buy class.

A minority of comments on here are moronic! Ivor Bigot is just a troll best just to ignore him and his incorrect and idiotic views. How about we call you Ignore the Biggot!

Oh goto the reliability index website and compare a Ford Focus to a Mini, guess what the Focus is more reliable, in fact I think you find Ford come off really well. Also the JD power surveys are skewed by bias for or against the vehicles people own, whereas the reliability index is based on raw fact. Additionally I think the Focus is pretty much engineered in the UK in Dunton.

Fords are not crap, they aren’t expensive as you never pay the asking price, if you do you’re an idiot, and they are not unreliable as said above, in fact they are rated 4th, that’s pretty good I think!

Around my way the council estates are usually populated by 4-5 year old Audi’s, BMW’s and VW’s the normal working class people drive normal cars like Ford, Toyota’s, Vauxhall’s, Mazda’s etc. and the really well off people drive brand new premium cars, which fall out of bed and are sold on!
Also aren’t FWD cards better in the snow than rear wheel drive, I’ve owned both and FWD’s win every time. I had a Focus RS MKII that was a little jittery in the snow but worked fine, passed many a stranded BMW!

While I’m not a massive fan of the new Focus looks wise, it is however a bloody good car, it’s a little on the small side but the ride, handling and engines are top notch, the 1.6 Ecoboost is excellent; the interior is good quality too with lots of standard extras and a nice list of optional’s too. It’s great car, in fact other than space I would argue it’s better than the Golf. I’m looking forward to the ST just a shame with all the EU emissions regs the 2.5 lump has gone.

Please, please base your arguments on proven fact other than some misguided bigoted views!

It looks like a character from star wars google Nien Nunb and see what I mean

Dear Ford, you spend so much money developing this car, and you are still using a metal rod to hold the bonnet open, please invest in some gas struts like everyone else is doing, thanks..

John prescott two jags your mate then.berks in mercs,dreamers in beamers all as common as ---- today,bet you.ve got a big car,big ego and a little ????.usually have.
Still have to smile when seeing a bloke driving a mini,keeps me happy though.GET YOUR HAIR CUT BOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

FACTS! - The Mini may be a BMW product, but it is assembled in Oxford. Its Engine is manufactured in the BMW Engine plant at Hams Hall Birmingham - This plant also builds 4 cylinder petrol engines for BMWs. Buy a 116i or 320i and its engine will have been built in Birmingham. The Minis body panels are pressed at the former Pressed Steel Fisher/British Leyland/Rover Group stamping facility in Swindon. Its transmission is a Getrag unit built on Merseyside. So the Mini is far more British than people give it credit for. Most of the design and development for Ford of Europe is still done at Warley in Essex. The Focus was effectively designed there. Focus diesel Engines along with all Diesel Engines for European built Fords are built in Dagenham. Focus Petrol Engines are made in Bridgend South Wales and its transmissions are made in the same Merseyside Getrag plant as the Minis. A significant chunk of the Ford Focus and most of its high value content is British. GM/Vauxhall may still manufacture cars here, but it is just an assembly operation, bolting together a kit of parts manufactured abroad.

It don't matter where it'sbuilt. Were does the blame lay for a brand new S-max picked up from the dealer, driven nine miles home just so it can dump its oil on the drive via a falty oil seal. It wasn't 'enrys fault he just fitted the turbo he was given.We can't expect everything to be perfect all the time although it would be nice. Oil seals probably manufactured by Firestorm. As for Shaun34 if you've got that much money to waste go buy your own gas struts, why fit something you don't need.

>As for Shaun34 if you've got that much money to waste go buy your own gas struts, why fit something you don't need

Not a good look by Peugeot so what on earth were Ford thinking when they came to style the new Focus ST?! "Hey, let's copy the French - cos people love the gaping hole look" ... We do not. I've had TWO Focus ST's. I was looking forward to getting back into a decent fast Ford after several years of owning BMW's. I won't be bothering.

Dear Ivor if you did a little bit of research before you put your foot in your mouth I think you will find something called TANGERINE SCREAM you might find that that color is chavvy enough even for you

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