Following updates to the standard Focus earlier this year, Ford has now unveiled the new ST, featuring a refreshed design, updates to the 2.0-litre turbo and a new diesel variant for the first time. The car is all set to make its public debut at Goodwood Festival of Speed 2014.
Those narrower headlights are lifted from the standard Focus, but Ford has fitted more aggressive bumpers and the classic hexagonal grille from the old car. At the rear, the smaller headlights help tidy up the slightly awkward design of the outgoing car, while there’s a bolder lower bumper and the same centrally mounted exhaust tip.
A new dark grey paintjob, called Stealth, has been added to the range along with Deep Impact Blue. As ever, Tangerine Scream, Frozen White, Panther Black and Race Red are also available.
In terms of performance the 247bhp 2.0-litre EcoBoost doesn’t offer anything extra. Acceleration from 0-62mph still takes 6.5 seconds but Ford has boosted fuel economy up from 39.2mpg to 41.5mpg. That’s down to the addition of a stop-start system for the first time. It also drops CO2 emissions from 169g/km to 158g/km.
But if you’re after better fuel economy then Ford’s new 2.0 TDCi ST will be a welcome addition. It uses the same engine that produces 148bhp elsewhere in the Focus range but through a tweak to the software, a revised air intake system and a new exhaust, power is up to 182bhp. It’s also capable of 64.2mpg, with CO2 emissions of just 114g/km – not too far off the Golf GTD’s 67.3mpg and 109g/km figures.
Ford says the diesel ST will go from 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds – six-tenths slower than the GTD – but claims that it’s the in-gear acceleration that’s more impressive. In sixth gear, the Focus ST diesel will go from 50-75mph in 9.7 seconds. When we last tested the petrol model it managed the same in 6.4 seconds.
As well as the engine tweaks and visual makeover, Ford has also made a few careful changes to the handling. The steering has been adjusted to deliver quicker responses, the torque vectoring system is now better suited to maximizing traction in the bends and there have been tweaks to the ESP, too.
Inside, the more intuitive layout of the standard hatch is carried in to the ST. It all focuses around a new eight-inch touchscreen in the centre console, which now controls the SYNC 2 infotainment system. Just above it are the dash-mounted gauges that have become a bit of an ST calling card. Also new to the Focus ST is a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel.
Rounding out the updates is a range of new technology, which was introduced as part of the standard hatch’s refresh. That includes Adaptive Front Lighting – which adjusts the headlights based on distance to objects, speed and steering angle – and Cross Traffic Alert, which aims to stop drivers reversing in to traffic approaching from the side. There’s been an update to the Active City Stop system too, so that it now works up to 31mph – previously it was 18mph.
The Focus ST is available in the same ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 trim levels as before, and will be available to order from autumn, with prices from around £22,000. The first deliveries are expected in early 2015.
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