Ford Focus ST Petrol vs Diesel: Hot Hatch Shootout at Castle Combe

Ford Focus ST Petrol vs Diesel 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
It was facelift time for the Ford Focus ST last year and together with fresh lights and subtly enhanced bumpers, the Blue Oval also dropped a new kind of engine, an oil burner.
Following the lead set by Volkswagen and Skoda with their diesel-powered Golf GTD and Octavia vRS TDI, the Focus ST is now also offered with a diesel 2-liter engine. It's a development of the regular 150 PS TDCI found in the regular Ford range, but by offering an air intake system, freer-breathing exhaust and some electronic trickery, they've bumped the output to 185 PS.

Crucially, there's more torque than the petrol Focus ST and slightly more than the Golf GTD. The power is still run through a six-speed manual, though this has been reworked in order to make the most of the torque and give you almost 50% better fuel economy.

Performance isn't in the same league as the 250 hp model, as 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) takes 8.3 seconds, about two seconds slower. It's also a bit nose-heavy, as the block has to be made of steel for durability reasons. Power delivery starts at just 1,500rpm, but there's a very narrow power band, just like most diesels.

Up next, you're going to see an all-out track shootout between the 250 hp petrol Focus ST in yellow and the diesel model in gray estate form. This race was organized on the 3 kilometer long (1.8-mile) Castle Combe track in Wiltshire. It's worth a quick note that both cars cost the same at £22,195 in Britain, so the diesel model actually saves you money right off the bat.

The Golf GTD is a more refined car and it's available with a DSG automatic. But it isn't available in wagon form. So for outright thrills combined with diesel frugality, the Focus ST TDCi sounds like a winner to us.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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