Introducing the Ford Focus ST
Since 1998, the Ford Focus has been the textbook family hatchback. Spacious, good looking, affordable and good to drive. The Focus has gained a reputation for quality and reliability. So, in 2002 when Ford announced they were giving the Focus the fast Ford treatment, it was only going to get better for the Focus success story.
It's no secret that the UK loves a hot hatchback, and with the Focus already being a top seller, giving it more power, performance and style was another masterstroke from Ford.
Today, the Focus ST is in its fourth generation and offers a handsome route into hot hatch ownership. Discover all the quirks and features of this textbook fast Ford icon below.
Engines and Performance
The Ford Focus ST is available with two engine choices. The most powerful 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine offers 276bhp. This is good for a 0 to 62mph time of just 5.8 seconds, when specified with a manual transmission.
There's also an automatic available with the same powerplant, with the 0 to 62mph time taking 6 seconds. Both versions can return up to 34mpg.
A diesel engine is also available with the ST, in the form of a 2.0-litre EcoBlue unit, producing 187bhp. Acceleration sees this engine do the 0 to 62mph sprint in 7.6 seconds. Being a diesel, and offering a little less power, it's no surprise the economy is more impressive, with the ability to return up to 50mpg.
Chassis and Handling
The standard Ford Focus is recognised for its fine drive and superb handling characteristics, but the ST takes the driving experience even further thanks to suspension that has been lowered 10mm. The suspension is also stiffened for a tighter chassis, complemented by either 18 or 19-inch Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres - providing the Focus ST with superior levels of grip.
Handling is improved further still in Sport and Track modes, with these modes working in conjunction with the limited slip differential, keeping it firmly locked for improved on-track performance.
The damping is unsurprisingly firm, but it's beautifully judged, giving the Focus ST the poise and interaction that a hot hatch needs in order to deliver a thrilling driving experience.
Technology and Drive Modes
As with many new Ford models, the Focus ST is loaded with clever tech to keep you entertained on long journeys, whilst ensuring every trip is safe, convenient and enjoyable too.
Ford SYNC 3 Navigation with DAB and an 8-inch Touchscreen are central to each journey meaning navigating to any destination is a doddle, thanks to voice recognition via SYNC 3. Useful driver aids such as Adaptive Cruise Control with Lane-Centring Assist, Pre-Collision Assist and Lane-Keeping Alert make sure safety isn't forgotten about either.
It wouldn't be a modern hot hatch if there weren't any driving modes on offer too. Luckily the Focus ST features a 'slippery/wet', 'normal' 'sport' and 'track' mode - depending on specification - that can tailor the character of the ST to your driving mood.
Ford Focus ST Edition
Building on the excellent foundations of the regular Focus ST, this special edition model offers enhanced driving dynamics that make it the ultimate track and driving experience.
The three main enhancements include:
- Flow-formed 19-inch alloy wheels
- Two-way adjustable coilover suspension
- Unique 'Azura Blue' body colour
The lightweight alloy wheels have been designed to reduce unsprung mass by 10 percent at each corner of the car, aiding agility and responsiveness. To improve grip, they are wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
Courtesy of the adjustable coilover suspension, this special edition model sits 10mm lower than the standard Focus ST, and also benefits from 50 percent stiffer spring rates. There are 16 rebound settings available, allowing you to tailor the vehicle to your driving style.
Focus ST Specification
- 19" 5x2-spoke alloy wheels with Magnetite finish
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Powered hands-free tailgate (estate only)
- Unique ST front and rear bumpers
- Unique ST upper and lower grille with full bodystyling kit
- Large rear spoiler, front and rear ST badge
- e-LSD (Electronic Limited Slip Differential)
- Unique ST sports suspension
- Recaro partial leather seats in Ebony with Metal Grey piping and contrast stitching
- Head-up display
- Adaptive Cruise Control
- B&O Premium Audio System
- Front polished stainless steel scuff plates with ST logo
- Front and rear floor mats with Metal Grey stitching and ST logo
- Heated, unique ST steering wheel
Test drive the Ford Focus ST
As family cars go, the Ford Focus has always been a textbook answer. The overall package is very good, and offers everything you could ever need.
Enhanced looks, sportier characteristics and of course more power and performance from the ST take an already attractive package and boost its appeal, without having to sacrifice practicality in the process.
If you're looking for an excellent day to day hatchback, that can be both comfortable and exciting to drive, look no further than the Focus ST. Contact your local Evans Halshaw Ford retailer today to find out more.