The new 2015 Ford Focus ST range is now on sale in the UK, priced from £22,195, with first customer deliveries scheduled for February 2015.
Sporting a subtly refreshed exterior design and improved interior, the Focus ST is offered in two engines, three series and two body styles in the UK.
Both the 250PS (184kW) EcoBoost petrol and 185PS (136kW) TDCi diesel 2.0-litre engines are offered in the ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 series. The latest Ford Focus ST line-up continues the acclaimed estate bodystyle alongside the five-door hatch alternative.
The ST’s new 2.0-litre diesel develops 185PS/400Nm and emits only 110g CO2/km. The CO2 output of the 2.0-litre 250PS petrol engine is reduced by 10g to 159g.
In addition to the full ST body styling kit, sport tuned suspension and 18-inch unique ST alloy wheel standard features on the new Ford Focus ST-1, ST-2 has LED daytime running lights as standard and the top ST-3 series is enhanced by a series of upgrades, including ‘Rock Metallic’ alloys with red brake callipers, illuminated scuff plates, privacy glass, SYNC 2 with 8-inch touchscreen and cruise control with speed limiter.
Both petrol and diesel models offer Auto-Start-Stop for the first time, improving the EcoBoost engine version’s fuel efficiency by six per cent and making it the most fuel-efficient petrol Focus ST ever.
“The new Focus ST delivers an even more sophisticated balance of performance, driving dynamics, refinement and style – the core of Ford’s Sports Technologies DNA,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe.
“Even more enjoyable and rewarding to drive and with the choice of diesel power for the first time, the new Focus ST is in a class of its own.”
The Focus ST also will benefit from technology and craftsmanship revealed this year for the new Ford. The sporty and aggressive new five-door and wagon models will offer class-leading driver assistance technologies and connectivity features including the SYNC 2 in-car connectivity system.
Enhanced driving dynamics
Ford Team RS, the award-winning European arm of Ford’s Global Performance Vehicle group, made improving the entire driving experience the number one objective for the new Focus ST.
The sports suspension features all-new front springs and sportier new shock absorber tuning front and rear. In combination with the model-specific anti-roll bars and rear springs from the previous generation ST, these enhancements deliver an even sharper dynamic performance.
The calibration of the Electronic Power Assisted Steering and electronic vehicle control systems also has been revised to meet the specific sporting requirements of the new Focus ST.
These changes deliver:
- A quicker response from the variable ratio steering, improving turn-in and delivering better overall balance
- A new Electronic Transitional Stability function in the advanced three-stage Electronic Stability Programme. This senses vehicle stability and driver inputs, intervening as required to maintain optimal precision and control during rapid changes of direction at speed – for example in a lane-change situation
- Revised Electronic Torque Vectoring Control settings that further optimise wheel torque distribution, maximising traction through corners and increasing agility
Power delivery refinement under hard acceleration – particularly front wheel traction and gear shift quality – is also assisted by engine mounts engineered specifically to accommodate the performance of the new Focus ST. Additionally,Ford worked with Michelin to develop a new 19-inch tyre that complements the driving dynamics, especially maximising lateral grip.
“Ford has long enjoyed a reputation for producing performance hatchbacks with superb driving dynamics and the new Focus ST more than lives up to that pedigree,” Bakaj added. “The engineering enhancements to the suspension, steering and electronic control systems deliver greater responsiveness, agility, precision and an exhilarating driving experience – whichever powertrain you choose.”
Power of choice
The new 185PS 2.0-litre diesel engine that debuts in the new Focus ST has been optimised to deliver ST performance and character alongside fuel efficiency and everyday practicality.
The increased power output of the Focus ST 2.0-litre TDCi – a 23 per cent gain over the 150PS 2.0-litre engine in the new Focus range – is achieved by electronic calibration, a revised air intake system and a new sports-tuned exhaust.
Peak power is developed at 3,500 rpm and there is 400Nm of torque available from 2,000-2,750rpm, enabling the new Focus ST diesel to achieve a maximum speed of 135mph. The torque output enables impressive in-gear acceleration and strong performance at low rpm. In 4th gear, acceleration from 31-62mph takes just 5.5 seconds, the combination of a shorter ratio and the increased power enabling the Focus ST to outpace the 150PS 1.5L EcoBoost Focus by 2.7 seconds.
Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine uses turbocharging, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing technology, and high-pressure direct-injection to deliver uncompromising performance. Peak power is available at 5,500rpm, 360Nm of torque is available from 2,000-4,500rpm, and maximum speed is 154mph.
Both engines use a six-speed manual transmission with a performance-oriented, short-throw shift. The gear ratios – exclusive to ST and matched individually to each engine – deliver rapid acceleration in lower gears and comfortable cruising at speed.
The new Focus ST features sportier and more aggressive styling than the previous generation, with a lower, wider stance; new dynamically sculpted bonnet; slimmer headlamps and rectangular foglamps.
The sports bodykit also includes body?coloured side skirts and diffuser elements either side of the exhaust, and a rear roof spoiler optimised for aerodynamic performance. All new Focus ST models feature twin-hexagonal centre tailpipes.
Black lamp bezels, ST badging and new 19-inch ST Design alloy wheels – that are available as an option – complete the look.
“Focus ST has proved very popular with Ford’s sporty customers and the new model takes that to an even more striking and dramatic level,” said Bakaj. “The signature honeycomb upper grille has been reproportioned, there are new rectangular fog lamps in the outer apertures, and the lower fascia offers a much sharper definition and profile. At the rear, the width of the car is emphasised by a new full-width graphic.”
A new dark grey exterior paint colour called Stealth is introduced exclusively to the Focus ST3. Deep Impact Blue is new to the full ST range that also includes Tangerine Scream, Frozen White, Panther Black, Race Red and Moondust Silver
Ford has redesigned the Focus interior for a more intuitive layout that also is simpler, with a clearer visual connection between the key components and significantly fewer buttons in the cabin.
An additional bank of three gauges – an ST hallmark – is situated on the instrument binnacle and displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information. A new, flat-base sports steering wheel with a soft-feel leather covered rim; a satin chrome-topped gear lever; and ST pedals deliver the interior that ST drivers expect.
Satin chrome door grab handles and illuminated aluminium scuff plates add extra touches of refinement, and sports seats developed jointly by Ford and Recaro provide the support required to fully enjoy the ST driving experience, and also are comfortable for every day driving.
Driver assistance, convenience and connectivity technologies that will be introduced for the first time include the Ford SYNC 2 connectivity system. SYNC 2 offers access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones using class-leading voice control and a high-definition, 8-inch colour touchscreen that displays the ST logo on start-up.
Adaptive Front Lighting, available for the first time on the Focus ST, adjusts the intensity and angle of the Bi-Xenon HID headlamp beams according to vehicle speed, steering angle and distance to objects to provide optimal illumination. Cross Traffic Alert also is a new addition for Focus ST, and warns drivers reversing from parking spaces if other vehicles are about to cross their path.
Ford’s enhanced Active City Stop collision avoidance system – now operative at speeds of up to 31mph – readies the brakes if a potential impact is detected and – if the driver does not respond – will automatically apply the brakes. Lane Keeping Aid applies steering torque to guide the Focus ST back in to lane if drifting is detected.