Ford Focus ST will have auto’ box for the first time
In yet another contradiction of previous reports, fresh spy shots have emerged confirming that the new Ford Focus ST will in fact, be offered with an automatic gearbox for the first time.
Pictured wearing nearly no disguise last week, the first batch of interior images by Britain’s Auto Express not only sees the sportiest version of the new Focus receiving an ST branded steering wheel, stitched sport seats with ST branded seatbacks and bold Recaro lettering on the side bolsters, but also the rotary dial signifying the fitment of the eightspeed automatic ‘box used in the standard model.
Expect more sporty touches to be added for final production though. Back in July, Australia’s motoring.com.au reported that the ST will be offered with an auto ‘box to rival the likes of the Renault Megane RS, Volkswagen Golf GTI and rumoured Hyundai i30 N, although a later claim by Britain’s Autocar suggested the opposite in that the ST will only be available with a three-pedal layout similar to the Honda Civic Type R.
The latest shake-up to hit the ST comes after Ford initially announced that it scrapped the idea of fitting it with a 1.5 EcoBoost engine on reliability grounds or even retain the outgoing model’s 2.0 EcoBoost, while instead opting for a detuned version of the outgoing RS’ 2.3 EcoBoost that will produce the same 184kW due to the limitations of being frontwheel drive.
Reportedly arriving next year, the ST will be followed a year later by the RS, which will allegedly swap the aforementioned 2.3-litre motor for the 2.0-litre, albeit with a 48-volt mild hybrid battery system translating to an output of 298kW, the same as the forthcoming Mercedes-AMG A45 and BMW M140i.