The next Ford Focus ST mule has made it to the Nürburgring again for some more hi-speed testing. We still expect it to get a more aggressive front bumper to match the big central mounted exhaust pipe, as presented at the most recent Paris Motor Show.
Previously known as the Ford XR5 Turbo in Australia, the next generation performance Focus will feature a high-output tune of the new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine producing around 185 kW (250 bhp) of power to the front wheels.
The car is said to get “the muscular performance – and inspirational sound – that is deserves.” Let’s hope so, because the outgoing five-cylinder turbocharged unit provided one of the best hot hatch exhaust notes in the business and it didn’t go half bad either.
Advanced technology plays a major role in the new powertrain, with a combination of high-efficiency and low Co2 output via the use of; high-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging, and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) for performance and efficiency.
Standard transmission for the Focus ST is a six-speed manual box with gear ratios calibrated to match the EcoBoost characteristics.
Not only will the chassis be stronger and stiffer than the outgoing ST, it will also be lowered along with high performance brakes and a unique sports suspension tune for “exceptional agility”.
The steering should have plenty of feedback too with a variable-ratio electric power-assisted steering system (EPAS).
For enhanced cornering ability, the Focus ST has employed a torque vectoring control system, which performs the role of a limited slip differential.
Looking more like a Focus RS than any previous ST or XR5 Turbo, the heavy front spoiler and spoiler blades should easily meet with approval from the enthusiasts.
The same goes for the new rear bumper and lower diffuser style vents. Especially tasty is the centrally mounted dual pipe outlet, which we hope provides the same kind of mid-range growl that was a unique feature of the 2.5-litre five-cylinder model.
You’ve got to like the contrasting Reacaro seats in a leather and fabric combination, which work well with the unique instrumentation with plenty of technical highlights throughout the Focus cabin.
This will be the first time that a performance focus will produced for a global market and we believe it will sell in big numbers as will the entire 2012 Focus model range.