Front-wheel drive hot hatch to remain manual-only, and it's apparently scheduled for a Geneva reveal.
The next-generation Ford Focus ST will get a 2.3-litre turbo four and be offered solely with a manual transmission – according to a new report out of the UK.
Autocar claims the new ST's motor will have "close technical links" to the engine used in the current Focus RS, though it will be 'adapted' to for the front-wheel drive hot hatch with around 250bhp (186kW).
The British publication says the upcoming ST will be the "final chapter in pure combustion power for Focus hot hatches", indicating the next RS will feature hybrid technology for the first time.
Additionally, Ford is said to have gone with the 2.3-litre turbo four instead of a higher-output version of the 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo used in the standard Focus and Fiesta ST as the smaller unit would be close "to its reliable limit" at these high outputs.
Autocar says the 2.3-litre engine will be paired exclusively to a six-speed manual in the Focus ST – contrary to previous speculation that the next iteration of the Blue Oval's hot hatch would offer an automatic option.
The publication adds that the new model will be significantly lighter than the current car – 88kg to be exact – while the body structure is said to be 20 per cent more rigid.
When combined with upgrades to the suspension, the British publication believes the new Focus should have improved agility while maintaining ride quality, something the Blue Oval has apparently achieved with the new Fiesta.
In terms of timing, it was previously believed the Focus ST would make its debut before the end of the year, potentially at the Paris motor show in October. However, Autocar's latest report claims the hot hatch's launch has been pushed back to 2019, likely at the Geneva show in March.
Following the ST, the hybrid-powered and Focus RS is said to be slated for a 2020 reveal, featuring 48V technology paired with a new 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine for a power output of 400bhp (298kW).
Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest.
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