New Ford Focus ST Development Prototype Undergoes Harsh Testing

Ford Focus ST prototypeFord Focus ST prototype
As the all-new high-performance Focus ST is due for launch next year, Ford engineers are now hard at work, putting the development prototypes through a punishing testing regime in both Europe and North America. There are about 60 pre-production prototypes involved in the process, based on standard new Focus vehicles and, in some cases, prior-generation Focus ST models.

The new Focus ST will be propelled by a high-performance version of Ford’s new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, which is said to develop in the region of 250 horsepower, while beating the previous generation Focus ST sold in Europe in terms of fuel economy.

Recently, the development team completed demanding cold weather testing in northern Europe, as well as exacting tests and exercises to refine steering performance. Another key aspect the team is working on is the enhancement of the driver experience, from a highly tuned Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system to driver-orientated seats.

“The seats and seating position were very good in the previous Focus ST, but the new model is sleeker and the driver will sit lower. The new seats which will provide even more support,”
said Matthias Tonn, chief program engineer, Global Performance Products, Ford of Europe.

The all-new Focus ST is Ford’s first global performance car, conceived under the One Ford strategy. It brings the ST performance badge to North American and Asian customers for the first time.

“The new Focus ST is eagerly awaited around the world, which is appropriate as this is our first global performance model,”
explains Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. “We’ve done all the engineering groundwork, and now we’re using some of the most demanding roads we can find in Europe and North America to validate and fine tune the performance and driving dynamics.”

“Like the Focus ST and RS models before it, the new Focus ST’s final set-up will be achieved after painstaking tuning on some of the most demanding roads we can find from California to the Nürburgring, and from high-speed German autobahns to classic British B-roads,”
Capito added.
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