by Brett Davis

Ford has been spotted testing the upcoming production version of the 2012 Ford Focus ST (XR5) sports model on Germany’s Nurburgring. The test mule in question was wearing a conservative outfit at the track but upon closer inspection, we can confirm this is the sports ST model undergoing final checks.

Wearing a fairly standard front bumper and grille, this test car at first appears to be just a normal 2012 Focus. It’s not until you see the brakes, details around the rear end and the wheels that you figure out what Ford is trying to do here. The company may have had some fooled but not us.

Ford has already unveiled the 2012 Ford Focus ST in pre-production form. This test mule is said to be equipped with a similar, if not exactly the same, specifications as the model unveiled in September last year.

This means the new Focus ST (XR5) will feature a 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder engine offering 184kW of power and 360Nm of torque. The unit will be matched to a six-speed manual transmission as standard.

Ford says the new engine, which will replace the existing 2.5-litre five-cylinder unit, consumes up to 20 percent less fuel than the old model. Even so, the smaller, newer engine still produces 18kW and 40Nm more than the current set-up (using Australian specifications of the Ford Focus XR5).

From behind, we can see this test mule showcases those trademark central outlet exhaust pipes. We can also see the car includes a lower, sportier suspension layout compared with the entry-level variants.

The 2012 Ford Focus ST is expected to hit international showrooms towards the end of this year.

  • Jazrod

    I really dislike the front end on the upcoming ST. The standard end “tarted up” a bit with xenon lights and honeycomb grill etc would’ve looked far better!

    I hope Ford keep the ST name – rather than XR4Turbo (from what I’ve heard . . . )

    • Joker

      That looks to be a Stock Focus externally..
      My guess is that its not wearing a body kit yet.
      I believe the ST will lose the diagonal bars in the air dam

    • FordSTNation

      It turns out that the it doesn’t look like the normal Focus. Which is good. I think the new styling is a lot better. It has a mean look to the front end.

  • Grammar Nazi

    Take out the two diagonal bars on the front grille and I think this would look a lot more complete. That and those tail-lights…

  • mjb

    Ford’s designers must be huge Star Wars fans; that front looks like Vader’s helmet.

    • Sumpguard

      That front is Vader’s Helmet!

  • delux

    “From behind, we can see this test mule showcases those trademark central outlet exhaust pipes”

    Any chance of a picture, CA?

    • Brett Davis

      Sorry mate, my mistake. Fixed.

  • Des

    Half the allure of the Focus ST (XR5) was the quirky 5cyl engine. Now it’s just a bland 4cyl turbo engine in a bland body. It may be a great car with a great engine, but it’s not exciting anymore.


      I tend to agree. I’m buying a current model XR5 in the next couple of weeks because I fell in love with that engine – especially the fact that it sounds like a mini V8. The 2.0l 4-cyl setup that’s now kinda par for the segment worries me a little, because it’s going to lose one strong point of differentiation against the rest of the offerings from VW, Renault, etc. Similar thing has happened with the Golf R – it’s a lot less charismatic now that it’s no longer powered by that glorious V6 it used to have.

  • pezza

    turbo charged direct injection four cylinder…. honestly what more do you want?

    • jon_leong


      • Adonis

        An extra cylinder

  • Benno5693

    AWD in a car this size is a) too heavy and thanks to Ford’s ‘RevoKnuckle’ suspension / Quaife diff etc. is b) a waste of engineering for little to no gain. That is all.

    Also, why would FoA call it the XR5?! It’ll either be XR4T or ST, hopefully the later.

  • Aristo

    uuummmmmm….this is the RS mule, not the ST.

    Especially when the ST (XR5) has been shown to the public and we know what it looks like?

    • Maz

      You’ll find the RS is a two door coupe.

  • Pam

    What does RS stand for ?

    • Rob

      Rallye Sport

  • Mirzet Sehic

    uglyy shape love the old ones better

  • John

    I dont like it, looks like a Prius, Ill keep my XR5