Embrace a sporty addition
Ford has launched the highly anticipated Focus ST range
ANY petrol head will tell you that Ford has an illustrious history when it comes to performance models. From the early Escort Mexico and RS2000 to the iconic Escort and Sierra Cosworths and more recently, the Focus ST and RS, the blue oval has created some true sports cars from what were essentially family hatchbacks and sedans.
The RS badge, or Rallye Sport, only appears occasionally these days, with ST (Sports Technologies) being the more readily available models. A new Fiesta ST is waiting in the wings, but its larger brother, the Focus ST has now been launched in SA and will go on sale next month to take on the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTi, Renault Megane RS and Alfa Romeo Giulietta.
Equipped with a 184kW 2.0l turbocharged EcoBoost engine, the new ST is claimed to hit 100km/h in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 248km/h. The company is also claiming a combined consumption figure of 7.2l/100km and CO emissions of 169g/km. As well as styling updates, the chassis and suspension have also been enhanced along with some of the driver dynamics settings and the six-speed manual gearbox.
“The new Focus ST will be available in 40 countries around the world as Ford’s first global performance car. As such it has been highly anticipated and we are extremely excited to introduce it here in SA and allow Ford fans the opportunity to experience the true essence of what the ST badge represents,” says Ford marketing manager Gavin Golightly.
The One Ford approach to delivering an all-new, global Ford Focus paved the way for the new ST. Ford’s Global Performance Vehicles group established the DNA of the ST as a key part of its global performance car strategy following collaboration between Ford Team RS in Europe, and the Special Vehicles Team (SVT) in the US. Ford engineers from the Asia-Pacific region also provided input.
“Ford’s performance strategy is based on the fact that performance fans globally want the same thing. As a result designers focused on combining a rewarding driving experience with the ability to enjoy the car on a day-today basis,” says Golightly.
“Every detail has been considered, including optimising the sporty sound occupants experience. It leaves the driver in no doubt that this is a special car,” he says. The exhaust system, with a unique twin hexagonal centre exhaust tailpipe, has also been tuned to deliver the right sound at the right time, refined at lower revs and a purposeful growl as the revs rise.
The new Sport Steering System variable ratio steering rack reduces steering sensitivity when driving in a straight line and increases sensitivity when cornering. The Electronic Power Assisted Steering system has been specially calibrated for the new model and is claimed to detect and counter torque steer using a more aggressively pitched version of Ford’s Torque Steer Compensation. It also features Torque Vectoring Control, which applies brake torque to the inner wheel through a corner to reduce understeer. Cornering Under Steer Control, applies torque to create yaw torque based on the vehicle’s under steer behaviour prior to ESP, both in power-on and power-off conditions.
The suspension has also been enhanced courtesy of uprated shock absorbers and springs, which lower the chassis by 10mm, as well as new suspension knuckles and a new anti-roll bar. The ST also gets specially developed Goodyear Eagle rubber.
The interior features a speciallydesigned steering wheel, gearshift and pedals. The Recaro seats have been designed to offer more comfort and support. Trim options include ST1 and ST3. The ST1 offers keyless start, a tyre deflation detection system and cruise control. The ST3 model adds auto folding mirrors, keyless entry, rain sensitive wipers and bi-Xenon headlamps including LED daytime running lights, auto-dimming rear view mirror and automatic wipers.
Ford Sync is also available, which provides hands-free, voice-activated in- car connectivity. The system allows you to connect a compatible cellphone via Bluetooth or USB. It allows the driver to make calls via voice commands and steering wheel mounted audio controls. It also connects calls seamlessly into/out of the vehicle and transfers all call data to the Focus ST.
The Focus ST is priced at R309,530 for the ST1 specification and R353,700 for the ST3 spec. All models are five door versions and include a fiveyear/90,000km service plan.
Ford has launched the new Focus ST with a raft of updates, and its interior has been tailored to meet the sporty ST genre.