The Ford Focus ST hot-hatch has targeted both a more dynamic look and drive for its mid-life update.
The front of the new Ford Focus ST adopts a larger lower grille, the honeycomb grille now sits higher, the bonnet has been reprofiled, and the headlights are slimmer.
At the back a deeper rear bumper aims to match the more aggressive design found at the other end.
Ford is also adding some new exterior paint colours, including new stripe options.
The ST continues to run on 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, with another 18-inch design featuring red calipers also available.
Inside, the interior follows the changes to the standard Ford Focus range, which received a revamped dash that set out to address criticisms with a cleaner look with fewer buttons, and improved material quality.
The ST gains a new flat-bottom steering wheel, and a reverse-view camera is standard. Heated seats and power driver’s seat are optional in other markets.
The triple dashtop gauges comprising turbo boost, oil temp and oil pressure readouts carries over.
Driving enthusiasts are likely to be particularly interested in the engineering changes for the new ST.
While the 2.0-litre turbcharged four-cylinder carries over, with 184kW of power and 340Nm of torque, and a six-speed manual gearbox remains the only choice, Ford’s RS team has targeted an even sharper drive.
There are new front springs and the damper tuning has been revised both front and rear. Ford says it has also tweaked the electric steering with the intention of improving feedback.
A turbo diesel engine is also available for the first time with this ST, though this version has been ruled out for the Australian market.
The Ford Focus ST will go on sale locally in either the second or third quarter of 2015. The current version costs from $38,290.
A successor the fastest Ford Focus, the RS, is also in development. The third-generation Ford Focus RS has been caught by CarAdvice’s spies in Europe, though Ford has yet to officially confirm the model.