The new Ford Focus ST will arrive in the UK this summer, powered by a 280ps 2.3-litre turbocharged petrol or 190ps 2.0-litre diesel engine, and in a choice of five-door hatchback or estate body styles.
Ford claims the new Focus ST is the most responsive and agile ST ever, and features a number of technologies making their first appearance on the Focus line-up.
An electronic limited slip differential, developed by Borg Warner and incorporated into the transmission, uses hydraulically actuated clutches to redistribute torque away from a spinning wheel.
The company claims the system can redirect up to 100% of available torque and with greater precision than a traditional mechanical LSD.
By monitoring inputs from other sensors around the vehicle, the system can also pre-emptively adjust torque distribution rather than waiting for wheel-spin to set in.
The eLSD system is included with 2.3-litre STs, while the diesel models feature a torque vectoring set-up instead.
The new Focus ST also boasts a 15% quicker steering ratio – quicker even than that in the new Fiesta ST – and now requires just two turns lock-to-lock.
Larger 330mm front discs with dual-piston callipers join 302mm rear discs that are said to offer four times the fade resistance of the previous Focus ST.
Changes to the chassis configuration – based on the new short long arm (SLA) suspension system – include 20% stiffer damping at the front, 13% stiffer at the rear, and a 10mm lower ride height. Estate models have their own unique set-up.
Ford’s Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) system, available as part of a Performance Pack for 2.3-litre models, adjusts damping responses every two milliseconds in response to prevailing inputs.
Billed as a new generation of 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, the four-cylinder powerplant uses a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with anti-lag technology from the Ford GT and F-150 Raptor.
Peak power of 280ps is developed at 5,500rpm with peak torque of 420Nm available from 3,000 – 4,000 rpm.
Performance figures haven’t been quoted, but a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds is anticipated.
A six-speed manual transmission is standard, complete with rev-matching, while a seven-speed auto is available.
Three driving modes are standard – Slippery/Wet, Normal and Sport – while the Performance Pack adds a Track mode, each altering parameters for the throttle mapping, power steering, eLSD, CCD, stability control, automatic transmission shift scheduling, and even the climate control.
Inside, the most obvious addition is the Recaro front seats, although a sports steering wheel and a smattering of ST trim also feature.
From the outside, ST touches seem almost minimal: revised front grilles, a steeper roof spoiler, rear diffuser and twin tailpipes, red brake calipers and unique alloy wheels.
Colour choices include Ford Performance Blue, Orange Fury, Frozen White, Magnetic grey, Race Red, Ruby Red and Shadow Black.
Prices haven’t been announced yet. The new Focus ST is expected to go on sale across Europe in summer 2019.