The petrol version of Ford’s high-tech new Focus ST will go on sale for £31,995, almost £1000 less in the UK than the cheapest Volkswagen Golf GTI.
With Volkswagen having ditched the entry-level GTI from its order books, the entry option is the £32,985 GTI Performance with its 241bhp and DSG transmission. The 286bhp Focus ST is therefore £990 cheaper, as well as more potent. We’ve previously pondered whether it should have been cheaper still.
Further savings are yours if you plump for the 187bhp diesel version. Available from £29,495 it’s £2500 cheaper than the full-fat petrol model, brimming with more than twice the torque of the original Focus ST170 – and an extra 17bhp. Interestingly, it’s also the exact same price as a Hyundai i30 N Performance…
The range has been simplified and instead of ST-2 and ST-3 trim grades Ford offers a single ST spec. As a halfway house, a new ST-Line X trim grade with a 180bhp 1.5-litre petrol engine has joined the range beneath the ST.
It doesn’t get the ST’s rear-view parking camera, Bang & Olufsen stereo or adaptive cruise control, though, or the e-diff.
The ST is manual as standard with an electronic limited-slip differential and optional rev-matching tech. There’s also a seven-speed automatic gearbox if you must. New drive modes encompass Wet, Normal and Sport, while adding the Performance Pack brings a Track mode and red brake calipers (worth +10hp, natch).
Petrol cars come with the trick Continuously Controlled Damping system that Ford promises will make the new ST the most multi-talented yet, able to switch from comfy cruiser to stiff and responsive action man almost instantly, and to greater extremes.
With 0-62mph claimed at 6.0 seconds, the ST would be 0.2s quicker than the Golf GTI Performance and half a second faster than the hot Focus this one replaces. We look forward to seeing how it drives.