Ever since its first-generation, Focus provided a sportier version named ST. Later on, an RS version with more ponies under the hood and race-inspired technology took the flagship role.
When Ford updated the fourth generation of the Focus in 2020, it couldn't leave the ST version aside. Even though the car was not fuel-efficient and the carmaker had to deal with European penalties for that. It was built because a flagship model was needed. Something to brag about. And thus, the Focus hot-hatch returned as a different kind of animal in the Focus stable.
There is an important change at the front fascia, where the carmaker installed a black honeycomb grille that sported the Ford badge in the middle. It was flanked by the LED headlights with an option for Dynamic Pixel LED lamps. The foglight was also included on their inner side. Its daytime running lights were converted into turn signals when needed. From its sides, the 18" light-alloy wheels were standard, with an option for a 19" set sported a unique design for the ST version.
Ford bragged about their in-hose designed and developed front sport bucket seats with high bolstering for the interior. They were made for excellent lateral support during high-speed cornering. With its TFT display instead of analog dials, the ST version tried to ditch the older gauges but provided more information for the driver. A 13.2" large infotainment display that featured the SYNC4 system sat atop the center stack.
Under the hood, the carmaker installed the same 2.3-liter powerplant mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. Yet, a seven-speed automatic (dual-clutch) was on the options list for those who didn't enjoy the three-pedal setup.
Ford was one of the pioneers in the hot-hatch segment. The carmaker has been offering the Focus ST and the mighty RS for more than one generation. In 2019 it came with the new generation of the FWD Focus ST hot-hatch, and it has only 5 doors but the same need for speed as its predecessors.
There is a new generation of the 2.3-liter engine, which can also be found on the Mustang mounted longitudinally. Ford even borrowed an ALS (anti-lag system) from the rally world and installed it in the new ST. It takes effect only when the car is in sport or track-drive mode. With all these upgrades, the new engine offers 280 HP and 420 Nm (309 lb-ft). The car may be ordered either with a six-speed manual transmission or with a new seven-speed automatic with shift-paddles behind the steering-wheel.
For the diesel lovers, Ford also offers a 2.0-liter EcoBlue engine, with 190 HP and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque. But only the EcoBoost gasoline engine has the intelligent limited-slip differential (eLSD).
Performance numbers are on top of their game, with the gasoline version toping the 0-100 kph (0-62 mph) in 5.7 seconds and the EcoBlue version in 7.6 seconds.
Both variants comes with a new infotainment system, which is ready to pair with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Ford introduced an updated version of its Focus ST on the European market and built the car according to the Euro6 emission standards powered by gasoline or turbo-diesel engines.
The times of the three-door compact hot hatches were over. Customers started looking for five-door versions they could use as family vehicles. In addition, the younger generations needed more room in the back and easier access to the rear seats for friends and/or family. The updated version of the Focus ST was unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2014 and proved its worthiness on the track.
The car's overall look didn't seem to be changed from its predecessor. But still, a keen eye for detail could have noticed the new front bumper that sported a taller air intake and the upgraded rectangular fog lamps. Fortunately, Ford kept the distinct elements that made the ST so special to its customers. The flared wheel arches and the aerodynamically profiled side skirts were complemented by a big wing mounted on top of the tailgate. The rear bumper was also redesigned and featured a broad black grille with a dent in the middle to make room for the twin exhaust.
Inside, the automaker installed an 8" touchscreen atop the center stack for the SYNC 2 connectivity system. In addition, like the previous Focus ST versions, it sported three gauges placed on the dashboard, showing information about the turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature, and oil pressure. Ford also introduced a new flat-bottom steering wheel. As expected, only the front occupants were spoiled with high-bolstered sports seats, while the rear passengers had access to a split-folding bench.
Under the hood, Ford installed a choice of two engines: a 184 hp turbo-diesel and a 250 hp turbocharged inline-four powerplant.
Shown for the first time at the Paris Auto Show in 2010, Ford’s hot-hatch was a smooth combination of a sport’s car capabilities and the practicality of a hatchback.
For 2012, the old 5-cylinder engine was replaced by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that developed 250 hp.
The tweaked suspension stiffened the ride, however, the ST’s handling was improved considerably, taking turns with no body roll at higher speeds.
The ST offered the power of a supercar within an ordinary body and at a reasonable budget. It seems that the ST offered a better driving experience than the competitors on the market at the time.
For 2012, Ford didn’t offer a 3-door version of the Focus ST.
In the sprint to 100 kph, the ST needed only 6.5 seconds, fast enough for enthusiasts to enjoy the ride.
Compared to the Renault Megane Cup and the Astra VXR, the Focus ST was more practical, offering, for starters, 5 doors. However, the trunk size was smaller than the one the Golfi GTI featured.
The ST was offered in three trim levels: ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3. The base version didn’t look very different from the models in the Focus range, however, it featured Recaro sport seats.
The ST-2 added part-leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, automatic lights and automatic wipers.
The top of the range offered fully powered and heated leather seats, bi-xenon headlights, rear parking sensors and keyless entry, however, choosing the ST-3 would bring the ST’s price to around $25,495.