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by Jez Spinks

The Ford Focus ST, the blue oval’s first global performance car, will cost from $38,290 when it goes on sale in October.

Ford Australia has released the pricing early for a model that will be highly anticipated by driving enthusiasts after the excellent Ford Focus RS model.

The Ford Focus ST is the successor to the Focus XR5 Turbo. While it isn’t as sharply priced as that model’s $35,990 starting point, the new ST features more equipment and a more powerful engine.

The Focus ST switches the XR5’s 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo for a 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine related to the four-cylinder powering the Ford Falcon EcoBoost. It’s mated to a six-speed manual gearbox only.

There’s 184kW of power and 360Nm of torque on tap for the rival to the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Mazda3 MPS and RenaultSport Megane, while fuel efficiency also improves by about 20 per cent over the XR5 to 7.4 litres per 100km.

The ST employs a so-called Torque Steer Compensation (TSC) system on its electric steering that’s designed to reduce the tugging effect that is a common symptom of powerful front-wheel-drive cars.

The Ford Focus ST also follows its predecessor by including a ‘sound symposer’ that transmits the sound of the engine directly into the cabin. Ford says it has also tuned the exhaust system for refinement at low revs and a growly note higher in the rev range.

It also features a three-stage electronic stability control system that includes a mode where it’s fully disengaged.

Equipment hightlights for the new Ford Focus ST will include partial-leather Recaro sports seats, rear roof spoiler, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, auto bi-xenon headlights, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, sports steering wheel/gearlever and pedals, and a Thatcham alarm.

Body colour choices comprise silver, white, blue, red, black and the hero hue of tangerine.

The Ford Focus ST price of $38,290 compares with $40,90 for the five-door Golf GTI, $39,490 for the Mazda3 MPS and $41,990 for the three-door-only RenaultSport Megane.

Ford Australia’s hot-hatch line-up is set to double in 2013 when the Focus ST is joined by the Ford Fiesta ST.

  • kkk

    have to say, already better value than the GTC

    • Kampfer

      GTC is $10k cheaper and 1-100km/h in 10s. It’s not comparing with ST. Pretty much a (very) good looking shopping trolley. Wait for the OPC: 206kW/400Nm, 1-100km/h in 6.0s, top speed @ 250km/h and (guessing) will be price similar to the ST. OPC kill ST on looks.

      • Wallabybob

         please tell me what you are referring to when you say GTC and OPC. Is one a VW. (Australia)

        • Pro346

          Opel astra

        • Phunken


        • Kampfer

          Opel Astra GTC (3 doors hatch) and Opel Astra OPC (hot hatch).

      • Dudeface

        GTC Sport is only 3K cheaper and isn’t as well equipped as the ST. Or as fast. Or as practical. Looks as always are subjective. IMHO the ST in blue is a great looking thing.

      • Foxfire

        Yes, but didn’t Jeremy Clarkson say it was undriveable!?…

  • Zandit75

    Does it have Cruise Control this time?

    • Jazrod

      Looking at the pictures, yes. I drive an XR5T and it’s my only gripe with it. 

    • SM

      Yup, straight from the Brochure:

      Cruise control – including speed limit function and steering wheel switches

      There’s a copy of the PDF on the etheridge ford website.

  • O123

    where the hell is the myford touch!!!!!

    • myford touch

      Yes totally agree with you. Ford says its still 12 months away, if were lucky!!!!

      Its funny how on the Ford Aus site it shows the MFT, but they are using the pics of the US model, how stupid are they?

      • Foxfire

        October 2012…

  • Al

    Good price. Now bring out an auto version. There is a market for it!

    • Phil

      Untill then, no auto should keep the posers away.

      • Hans

        Doubt it. I’m sure will still find plenty of ‘posers’ (models) standing and posing next to it at auto shows. But poseurs on the other hand…

  • SM

    Does the foot well in the interior shot look a bit weird to other people too?  What looks like a foot rest seems to be on the wrong side?   Almost looks like they’ve flipped the image from the US version, updated everything to be the right way round buy missed the foot well!

    • Zandit75

      Nah, that would be the wheel well

      • SM

         Ah! That explains it, thanks.  Looks like no foot-rest in the ST then either, (some people listed that as one of the few negatives on the XR5)

    • BMFan

      Go to Ford UK and download the ST Brochure which shows a right hand drive car with “proper” pedal layout. 

  • vin

    As a guy that wears size 12 shoes those pedals look too close together. The chance of putting your foot on the clutch and the brake at the same time when changing gears looks high.

  • Daniel

    Though I myself would buy a manual, I think that as a “world car” this needs to be available with a good double clutch automatic. Not everyone can drive a manual, not everyone wants to drive a manual, not everyone can physically drive a manual, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still want the power and handling. 

    • MattW

      You’re right, they will need an auto. I reckon the thinking is early adopters will be enthusiasts who would prefer a manual, down the track an auto will turn up for everyone else who has had their interest piqued

    • Legnab

      I still have reservations about the double clutch , brilliant in the country , but jerky in the city , i went manual on the GTI , maybe the box needs to adjust to your driving style .

      The manuals these days are pretty slick .

      Car magazine has a report on the ST in julys issue , they have dropped the LSD for the same solution as VW , electronic braking , keeps the cost down .

      No mention of cruise control at all .

      • BMFan

        The Manual GTI has a really nice slick feel to it with
        enough low down torque that you don’t have to constantly swap gears in traffic
        whereas the DSG can be jerky.

        The Focus ST does have cruse according the brochure

  • c1ee

    Arghh i hate that back side so much. Those rear lights just creep me out. I like the front though. I’m seriously considering hot hatches, but that rear rules this one out. The Veloster Turbo still feels a bit like a toy, or a child car. 86/BRZ waiting list is ridiculous. I guess I’ll wait.

    • Dudeface

      The ST wagon has a better looking rear in my opinion. Pity Ford Aus aren’t bringing it here.

      • Legnab

        Hope they do skoda have had success with the octavia RS wagon , would be a good option.

  • Norm

    In Europe maybe but here? I’m sure it’s a great car – but will Aussies by this over a Golf GTI? 

    Can’t see it having the same breadth of appeal.

    • BMFan

      The GTI is a fine car – no argument there – but option a manual GTI to the same spec as the “standard” ST and it’s over $50K!

  • Aspirated

    Yawn. Turbo lag… NA all the way… Renault RS200 or 86 FTW!

    • qikturbo

      I had a turbo XR5 and boost came on tap at about 1,600rpms,so there was hardly any lag.
      The current ST will be an excellent everyday car with plenty of torque,power and comfort.

    • Legnab

      Have you driven any current turbo’s , XR5 , GTI , MEGANE 265 , no lag when i drove them 14 months ago , got that inside your scone , 86FTW enjoy the serious lack of torque , makes drifting a real chore , frenzied cog swapping .

    • Dudeface

      You know what is more of a yawn? 205nm at 6600rpm! The 86 is a fine car but having so little grunt just doesn’t do it for me. Guess I’m addicted to the wall of torque in my XR5T…

    • K20A

      Yawn.. getting left up the hill by these ‘laggy’ cars..

      Don’t get me wrong, I love me N/As.. but have you actually driven any turbo hot-hatch in the past 6 years? Apart from the VXR and 3 MPS, I haven’t uttered that blasphemous word since bug eyed rexy.

      Time has moved on.. why do you think Honda is behind now with their admittedly brilliant NA engine? tightening emission regulation, increasing fuel costs, usability.. all leads to forced inducted, small-displacement engine.

      PS. Love the RS250 btw. But I won’t drive it everyday.

  • Shak

    That pedal box looks very cramped to me. Why so much space to the right of the accelerator, and barely any space in between the clutch and brake pedals? I can see some disasters happening because of that.

    • GT290

      Have you ever driven a Focus? Every model has had pedals that are close, never had any issues with it though.

  • Adrian

    Good to see the hand brake on the right side this time. I like the look of this and the interior. Couldn’t really care about the myford touch as it’s more of a nice to have than a need to have. Will have to have a look at this when they come but after being in a Renaultsport clio 200 for the past 2 years it might be hard to let it go.

  • john

    Is ford going to bring out a hot diesel version called the STD? Imagine in a conversation about cars “And what do you have”? I have an STD. “Oh OK seeya”!

    • birdy

      What about the STI? Not exactly a friendly name in the same sense.

  • Trinity

    It may seem an unusual question but:-  are you able to switch this sound symposer off easily if you tire of the novelty or want some quiet on a cruise? It does sound like a nice note but it seems gimmicky.

    • birdy

      Not by a switch as such, since the symposer is effectively a boost leak. You can install a block to plug the boost leak, which in turn will remove the noise.

    • Me

      If like the current XR5, you only get the noise at full throttle. BTW: 2 years on, yet to be sick of the XR5 noise.

  • Legnab

    i am running stage 1 and there is no lag , my parteners swift sport is aspirated i can’t see any difference , maybe the GTI has so much shove in stage 1 it just does not show .

  • Sydlocal

     Don’t you mean “naturally aspirated” as turbo engines are still aspirated, it is just forced!

  • Conrad

    Stop being an idiot. There is always lag numbnuts. Unless your car runs an anti-lag systems like on a WRC car (where your turbo would only last about 1500-2000 kms if it did) then your car has LAG! It’s simple physics idiot. Go back to school and learn about turbo cars before you make ridiculous statements. Manufactures do a great job on modern turbo cars to hide the lag well, BUT it still exists.

  • Sydlocal

     Exactly right. Lag can be reduced in a turbocharged engine, but it can never be fully eliminated.

  • Legnab

    2 millieseconds of lag , lag in an 80’s saab yes you can feel it , today i cant notice any lag , thats it 2 millie seconds .