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A hotter, faster version of the Ford Focus ST has been spied on its way to or from the Nurburgring in Germany.

From an earlier set of spy photos we know that Ford’s engineers are already busy preparing the next-generation Focus, which will likely make its global debut some time next year.

Before that, it seems as though the Blue Oval will look to bridge to the not inconsiderable gap between the Focus ST and the RS.

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The third-generation Focus RS is powered by a 2.3-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 257kW of power and 440Nm of torque to its name. Drive is sent to all four wheels via a six-speed manual transmission.

Meanwhile, the Focus ST that’s currently in showrooms has a 184kW/340Nm 2.0-litre turbo four-pot that spins the front wheels via a six-speed manual.

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Given that Ford unveiled a more powerful version of the Fiesta ST at this year’s Geneva motor show, and badged it the ST200 in honour of its 200PS (147kW) engine, it’s likely that this new, hotter Focus ST will also be given metric horsepower suffix.

If we had to guess, Ford will probably tune the 2.0-litre turbo to deliver 270PS (199kW) or 280PS (206kW), leading to either a ST270 or ST280 designation.

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Should this prototype prove to be indicative of the final production version, the uprated ST will likely feature a unique set of alloy wheels and a more prominent front splitter. Unique colour and trim options are also likely.

MORE: All the latest Ford Focus news and reviews




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