Focus ST is Ford's first global performance car

  • 03-Nov-2011 08:47 EDT
Focus ST.jpg

The new Focus ST will be sold in more than 40 markets, including the U.S., Canada, Mexico, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and 15 countries in Europe.

The Sport Technologies (ST) badge goes global in 2012 with the launch of the Ford Focus ST, the first high-performance model powered by an EcoBoost engine.

"It's a specially tuned version of the 2.0-L EcoBoost engine," Jamal Hameedi, Chief Engineer for the Special Vehicle Team (SVT), told AEI during a media preview event in Dearborn, MI.

The all-aluminum four-cylinder EcoBoost engine—featuring high-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging, and twin-independent variable camshaft timing—will provide an estimated 250 hp (186 kW) and 250 lb·ft (339 N·m). It will mate to a six-speed manual transmission.

Focus ST's electric power steering gets an assist from the Ford-developed torque steer compensation technology. "The system can sense those unwanted torque inputs and (virtually) eliminate them," said Hameedi.

A uniquely tuned version of the base model Focus' Torque Vectoring Control is another technical attribute of the front-wheel-drive Focus ST.

Upgraded shock absorbers and springs lower the Focus ST chassis by 10 mm (0.4 in) compared to the base Focus. The car's revised rear suspension will use uprated suspension knuckles as well as an all-new anti-roll bar design.

Focus ST's exterior design cues—including a rear spoiler, sculpted side skirts, and rear bumper with diffuser-style vents in the lower fascia—as well as the vehicle's unique driving dynamics were handled by Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group, a partnership between Europe's Team RS and North America's SVT.

Ford of Europe introduced the ST nameplate in 2000 within the Mondeo, Fiesta, and Focus lineup, but Europe's Team RS was solely in charge of the specially engineered performance models.

The interior of the globally sold five-door ST hatchback will include Recaro seats, an all-new rear bench seat, as well as specially designed pedals, steering wheel, and gearshift.

Ford will show a high-performance version of its best-selling B-segment car later this month at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

"It's a concept of what a five-door Fiesta would be in an ST version," said Hameedi.

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