The all-new Ford Focus ST will arrive in Australia in early 2020 with a wider line-up including the first paddleshift automatic to the high performance model to broaden its appeal.
“Local enthusiasts have made it clear that there’s a desire for highly engaging performance hatches,” said Kay Hart, President and CEO of Ford Australia and New Zealand.
“The all-new Focus ST builds on a tradition of legendary hot hatches, and will deliver an exhilarating driving experience as the latest model from Ford Performance
Sourced from the same factory as the Focus RS and previous generation Focus ST in Germany, the all-new Focus ST is built on the new C2 platform as the regular Focus range but enhanced with unique suspension, brakes and powertrain.
“Intelligent technologies like eLSD and Continuously Controlled Damping make our all-new Focus ST the most ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ yet, able to switch from refined tourer to focussed performance car at the push of a button,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe.
“We’ve incorporated learnings from programmes including our Ford GT supercar and the acclaimed Focus RS to develop a mid-size performance car with a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”
The Focus ST sits 10mm lower than the regular Focus and rolls on unique 18-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, behind which hide red brake calipers. Up front, the ST has unique honeycomb upper and lower grilles – including an Active Grille Shutter – finished in striking dark grey. It is flanked by a pair of LED headlights with daytime running lights and adaptive cornering LED foglamps.
Along the sides, the Focus ST features ST-specific side-skirts, while the rear features a roof-mounted spoiler and rear fascia unique to the model.
The colour palette is also distinct from the base Focus range, with Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury paint choices specific to Ford Performance vehicles.
Interior features include a flat-bottom steering wheel, supportive RECARO seats and a unique digital instrumentation for the Drive Modes – another Focus ST first.
An 8.0-inch full-colour touchscreen with SYNC 3, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a 10-speaker B&O Play audio system, DAB radio, built-in sat-nav and reversing camera is standard on Focus ST. In addition, an optional Performance Pack for manual models includes Launch Control, Shift Lights, Rev-matching and an exclusive ‘Track’ Driving Mode.
Under the bonnet, the Focus ST features Ford’s 2.3-litre EcoBoost all-aluminium four-cylinder engine delivering 206kW – an increase of 22kW over its predecessor – and 420Nm of torque, up from 360Nm. Ford says it’s also the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever and has the ‘raw character and appeal’ of the Focus RS with sporty ‘pops and bangs’ soundtrack to match the hot hatch’s feisty performance.
An innovative anti-lag technology developed for the Ford GT supercar is introduced to the Focus ST, for immediate power delivery in Sport mode and, as part of the optional Performance Pack, in Track mode. Anti‑lag keeps the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, alleviating the reversal of airflow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.
For the first time, the Focus ST will be available with a seven-speed automatic with paddle-shifters and Adaptive Shift Scheduling which assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timing. A six-speed manual is standard while Ford’s new selectable rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang forms part of the optional Performance Pack. The technology is also accompanied by a shift indicator light.
The all-new Focus ST will also have Launch Control – as part of the Optional Performance Pack – for the first time. In addition, Slippery/Wet, Normal, Sport and Track Drive Modes (Performance Pack only) adjust eLSD, Continuously Controlled Damping, EPAS, throttle mapping, automatic transmission shift scheduling, electronic stability control, electronic sound enhancement (ESE) and climate settings to suit the driving scenario.
Full pricing and specifications will announced closer to launch.