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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.

  • Seymour Butts

    I’m waiting for you!!!

    • conjob

      Bring it on!

      • scottjames_12

        My wish list for the new Focus ST (I have an LV XR5 currently):

        * ATB Diff standard
        * At least the option for a DSG (not sure if I would get it though…)
        * More tech on the inside (though I think Myford Touch has this covered)
        * AWD for the RS
        * Manufacturer covered performance upgrades available, like the Mountune upgrades in the UK
        * German build quality, like my XR5 :D

  • Phill360

    I wish they stuck with same exhaust setup as the current ST, I’m not a fan of centre exhaust pipes

    • Hendo

      If its good enough for Pagani, Lambo & co. its good enough for the Focus!

      • Seymour Butts

        But how am I supposed to tow my boat?

        • Joker

          Don’t buy a Focus

  • dailydriver

    Is there any indication of a release date yet?

    • Seymour Butts

      The first quarter of next year is my best guess

  • scottjames_12

    No 4-cyl engine will ever sound as good as the 5-cyl, unfortunately. The only one that comes close is the boxer.

    • conjob

      That is true and while a nice note is a plus, I’m more interested in performance and better efficiency than what it sounds like.

      • scottjames_12

        The Audi RS3 is my dream car currently. 250kw direct injection 2.5L 5-cyl. Pity I’ll never be able to afford one, or even have the chance the buy one as they aren’t being sold in Australia. Maybe a TTRS, then… one day…

      • http://caradvice OSU811

        In a sports model/car a good exhaust note is a very important part of the package IMO, scottjames is correct the only decent sounding 4cyl turbo engine is generally the boxer…

        • http://caradvice OSU811

          if you are buying a family hack like a camry however then it is of very little importance!

  • MattXR4

    The moment these are avail to order I’m there. Being a global release the aftermarket support should be plentyful

  • Car Fanatic

    Why would you buy one of these when for 70k you can get the Abarth Tributo Ferrari?

    • scottjames_12

      Whilst I’m sure the Abarth would be much fun, it’s not exactly in the same size class (or price range, for that matter…)

    • Joker

      Or an RS Focus….?

    • The other Brad

      ..I think this guy was having a dig at Fiat and thinking the Focus was the better buy ;)

      Internet sarcasm and all that.

  • qikturbo

    I hope we get the same seats that are shown in the pictures.

  • bangel

    Love the gold beast .

  • Gene

    DSG version please?

    • http://caradvice OSU811

      no thanks!! 6sp close ratio manual ONLY please!!

  • Car Fanatic

    Scott, I was being sarcastic.

    • scottjames_12

      Hah, fair call. Sarcasm doesn’t translate well in writing sometimes ;)

      I still think the Abarth or the new Fiesta ST would be fun to drive, though! Or that new rumored VW Polo R!

  • boss

    id rather the new fiesta over that abarth piece if crud

  • Anthony Crawford

    Sam, Ford Australia confirms with CarAdvice that there are no plans to remove the XR6 and XR6 Turbo from their Falcon line-up.

  • Kane Alto

    Terrible rear lights. 1/10