In all the Goodwood Festival of Speed and British Touring Car Championship excitement, the full details of the revised Ford Focus ST were also announced. So here they are, with lots of Tangerine Scream paintwork action.
Did you know, ST stands for Sports Technologies. We’ll admit that we didn’t, until writing this, but consider us all now educated. But anyway, following the revised regular Focus earlier in the year, the ST gains updated styling, more upmarket interior trim and the addition of a diesel model.
You can’t blame Ford for adding the oil-burner to the lineup. The proven success of Volkswagen’s Golf GT TDI / GTD models have shown that the market very much exists for a diesel hot-hatch. In addition, Ford has the wonderful 2.0 TDCi to slot into place. It’s almost a surprise they didn’t do it from the off, but never mind; it’s here now.
With 185 PS (183 bhp) the 2.0 TDCi has a tiny power advantage over the VW GTD (184 PS / 181 bhp) along 295 lb-ft of torque – again 15 lb-ft more than the Golf. The best part of 300 lb-ft of torque, from just 2,000 rpm, means the ST TDCi hits 0-62 mph in 8.1 seconds with a top speed of 135 mph. In-gear acceleration is noted to be equally impressive, whilst official combined fuel economy is 64.2 mpg with CO2 emissions of 114 g/km, aided by standard Stop-Start technology. Power to the front wheels is via a short-throw six-speed manual gearbox only – no flappy paddle affairs here.
Likewise, the petrol engined ST is manual only, with the 2.0 litre EcoBoost unit carried over from the previous generation. Like the diesel, it gains Stop-Start tech which helps increase fuel economy to 41.5 mpg and lower emissions to 158 g/km CO2. Again, down on the Golf GTI but as we’ve seen real-world figures are likely to be much closer. With 250 bhp and 266 lb-ft of torque, the petrol ST accelerates to 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds, whilst the top speed is 154 mph – not bad for a family hatchback. Interestingly, that top speed in 1 mph quicker than the equivalent Golf GTI…
External changes are aimed at making the new ST look more aggressive than before. New front and rear bumpers, a changed rear diffuser, side skirts and rear spoiler up the aggression of the exterior, which also includes slimmer headlights, rectangular fog lights and a sculpted bonnet from the facelifted Focus. The signature trapezoidal exhaust tailpipe remains; standard on both petrol and diesel models.
18″ alloys come as standard, with new 19″ ST-Design wheels on the options list. Also new is the choice of (pictured) Stealth grey or Deep Impact Blue paintwork, along with regular Frozen White, Panther Black, Race Red and ESM favourite Tangerine Scream options.
Like the normal Focus, the interior now features a reduced button count which, really, was our criticism of the previous generation ST. There’s also a new flat-bottomed leather steering that’s, thankfully, a three-spoke one which eliminates the only other gripe we had about the old car. Problem solved! There’s a new leather / alloy trim gear knob, special ST pedals, the standard additional 3 dials on the dash (boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure) along with other refinements. Seats come courtesy of Recaro, with part-leather standard on ST2 spec with full-leather on the range-topping ST3. The base ST1 makes do with just cloth, but they’re still Recaros.
Take your pick of petrol or diesel, hatchback or estate and then wait until the autumn to place an order with your Ford dealer. Deliveries are expected to start from early 2015. No information on prices yet, but we’d expect them to remain as competitive as the outgoing model i.e. undercutting Volkswagen.