The revised, 2015 Ford Focus ST will cost $38,990 plus on-road costs when it goes on sale from May 1 — a $700 price increase on the outgoing model.
Sporting a new, angrier frontal design and some slick new 18-inch alloy wheels, the new Focus ST also gets a much-need interior makeover and some (less badly needed) suspension modifications.
Furthermore, despite the price increase, the updated ST nevertheless remains one of the sharpest-priced hot hatches out there, undercutting the equivalent five-door manual Volkswagen Golf GTI by $3000.
Chief among the changes is the new cabin, with its simpler and cleaner layout and SYNC 2 infotainment system set within an 8.0-inch colour touchscreen. The gauge bank atop the fascia remains, as do those cool Recaro seats. There are new aluminium scuff plates.
Underneath the body are new front springs and new shocks at both ends. There are stiffer suspension bushes on the front lower control arm and rear spring links. The anti-roll bars and rear springs proper carry over unchanged.
Ford also claims to have tweaked both the electronic power-assisted steering and electronic vehicle control systems, notably its stability control calibration.
The punchy 184kW/340Nm (360Nm with overboost) 2.0-litre turbo four remains, though the fitment of idle-stop cuts fuel use to 7.3 litres per 100km. As ever, a six-speed manual gearbox is your sole choice. The ST is a front-drive car.
Buyers can for the first time option a Technology Pack for $2000. This pack adds low-speed autonomous braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and auto high-beam. That’s pretty good value.
Two additional new colours are also available — Stealth Grey and Deep Impact Blue, though the Tangerine Scream gold remains a hero shade. Premium paint costs $450.
We will be attending the new Focus ST launch at the end of April, and will bring you full specifications and a review then.