Ford Fo­cus ST

Hot hatch will beat Golf GTI to mar­ket early next year, armed with re­vised RS en­gine

Autocar - - THIS WEEK -

Due next year with up­dated RS mo­tor

Ford is putting the fin­ish­ing touches to a new Fo­cus ST, due to be un­veiled at the start of next year. The launch of the hot hatch will fol­low that of the reg­u­lar car this sum­mer, and will be timed to beat the Mk8 Volk­swa­gen Golf GTI to mar­ket.

A Ford in­sider has con­firmed to Au­to­car that the new Fo­cus ST will fea­ture an up­dated ver­sion of the 2.3-litre Eco­boost four-cylin­der en­gine found in the cur­rent Fo­cus RS, al­beit de­tuned from the 345bhp it cur­rently puts out to suit the pa­ram­e­ters of the ST’S front-wheel-drive plat­form. Ini­tial spec­u­la­tion was that the cur­rent range­top­ping 1.5-litre en­gine in the stan­dard Fo­cus would be up­rated to suit, but achiev­ing the nec­es­sary power gains would push that unit be­yond its re­li­able limit.

Power out­put has yet to be con­firmed, but a fig­ure in ex­cess of 250bhp, pos­si­bly nearer to 275bhp, from the 2.3-litre unit would give it the po­tency re­quired to take on the lat­est hot hatches such as the Hyundai i30 N and Re­nault Mé­gane RS. A mod­est power boost will be bol­stered by the fact that the new Fo­cus is up to 88kg lighter than the old car; and even with the ST’S heav­ier, larger-ca­pac­ity en­gine, weight sav­ings should still be ap­par­ent.

The Fo­cus ST will ini­tially be of­fered solely with a man­ual gear­box, but an au­to­matic ver­sion is also un­der de­vel­op­ment for both

Cur­rent St-line es­tate’s looks will carry over to the new model

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