Ford Fo­cus ST will have auto’ box for the first time

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO CLASSIFIEDS -

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 mo­tor­ 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.

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