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by Tim Beissmann

Ford Australia has confirmed the Ford Focus ST will keep its global name when it hits local showrooms, rather than adopt an XR moniker.

Ford Australia says it is yet to confirm an on-sale date for the all-new Ford Focus ST, but says it is definitely on the way. We expect the Focus ST to land Down Under sometime in 2012.

A Ford Australia spokesman today confirmed the ST name was locked in for our market.

“There’s has been a lot of speculation about whether it will carry the ST name. We can confirm it will be called the ST when it arrives,” the spokesman said.

The second-generation Focus ST (called the Focus XR5 Turbo in Australia) is currently being sold alongside the third-generation Focus line-up. As the name suggests, it is powered by a five-cylinder turbocharged engine.

The new model, however, will be powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This means the XR5 name no longer applies, and calling it an XR4 could cause confusion with the sports variant of the old Fiesta.

The decision from Ford Australia is in line with the company’s new unified, global ‘One Ford’ ethos.

The new 2012 Ford Focus ST will produce approximately 184kW of power and 360Nm of torque – up from the current model’s 166kW/320Nm output.

The clip above gives us our first good look at (and listen to) the new Focus ST in action, as Ford director of global performance vehicles, Jost Capito, tests a prototype at Ford’s European proving grounds.

“We are determined that the new Focus ST will meet the very high expectations of our fans around the world,” Mr Capito said.

“Focus ST will deliver on the promise of great technology, exciting driving dynamics and high levels of refinement – making it as enjoyable to use for everyday driving as it will be on exciting and challenging roads we performance enthusiasts deliberately seek out.”

Read more about the 2012 Ford Focus ST.

What do you think of the decision to keep the ST name? Is it better, or should all Aussie performance Fords get an XR badge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.




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