WHY THE NEW FORD FOCUS ST COULD BE THE BEST HOT-HATCHBACK
We all love a fast Ford. STs offer buckets of driving fun at affordable prices and because of this, they’re arguably the best in the segment. The previous Focus ST was a roaring success thanks to strategic pricing that was deliberately cheaper than Volkswagen’s Golf GTI, along with the sheer driving pleasure that was produced from both the petrol and diesel engines. But this new model is more expensive, so how will it fair against its rivals?
The new Focus ST looks quite understated at first glance, but that’s the whole point of an ST. They’re designed to blend in on the road but have the ability to annihilate a B road when the driver fancies flicking the switch into sport mode. The ST has a slightly wider mouth to help suck in cool, clean air and it certainly looks the part, but it’s the back end in which things start to get interesting.
Similarly to the new Fiesta, the Focus has quite a bottom-heavy rear end. Now some will love the new design but others, won’t so much. Either way, the new split-exhaust pipes are a mature yet sporty addition to the car which replaces the centrally-mounted hexagonal pipes found on the previous generation ST which weren’t to everyone’s taste.
The gunmetal-style wheels contrast well with the red brakes and the grey accents around the front and rear of the car. The new ST has a great stance, giving it a poised and ready look - like a cat preparing to pounce on a unknowing mouse.
The interior is very similar to that of the new Fiesta ST. Here we see a very supportive set of leather and cloth Recaro seats that come fitted with ST branding. This particular model had a manual six-speed gearbox (woohoo!) and a leather armrest. Also seen is Ford’s legendary cup-holder setup that caters for almost every cup and small bottle in existence.
The latest Ford Sync system is also included which is a pleasure to operate. The cabin feels plush, premium and well-built. However, despite a large panoramic sunroof, the interior feels very dark which is partly down to the use of black colours on almost every surface.
The new Focus ST comes with two engine choices; the first is a 2.3-litre 280 horsepower petrol engine and the second is a 2.0-litre 190 horsepower diesel. The petrol promises a sub-six second 0-60 time and the diesel will have so much torque that it’ll pull like a freight train.
Pricing is said to start at around £29,000 for the diesel and around £32,000 for the petrol. It’s rumoured that Ford has scrapped the spec levels found in the previous Focus ST. This means that the price should include a multitude of extras and gadgets. The only things you might want to add are an automatic gearbox, different wheels and paint colours.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW FORD FOCUS ST? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS
A huge thanks to Ford UK, Allen Ford Brentwood and Ford Events for giving us early access to the Focus ST: