We've seen reports the next-generation Ford Focus ST will get an adaptation of the 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine from the current Focus RS, and we've heard the industry chatter, but a picture posted on Facebook (above) by an eagle-eyed fan has all but confirmed it.
Posted on a Ford Focus RS forum on the social media site, this image appears to come from a fourth-generation Focus ST, seemingly revealing it'll be powered by a 2.3L GTDI (gasoline turbo direct injection) engine.
A bit of digging through our archives, however, suggests the same sticker is fitted to all Mk4 Focus engine bays – check out this photo of a Vignale from our review.
The sticker seemingly confirms a report published in Autocar claiming the new ST engine will have "close technical links" to the motor in the outgoing Focus RS.
It's likely to make a front-drive friendly 200-220kW instead of the 254kW offered in the all-wheel drive RS, which will also likely necessitate an e-diff (or mechanical differential) of some sort – the current ST offers 184kW, and is known for its torque steer.
Given a 224kW version of the engine also does service in the Mustang EcoBoost, using a variation in the Focus ST makes some sort of business sense.
Ford has reportedly opted for the existing 2.3-litre four-cylinder instead of a high-output version of the 1.5-litre three-cylinder in the Fiesta ST because the smaller-capacity engine would be pushing its "reliable limit" in the Focus.
As with the previous car, you'll likely be able to have the new Focus ST with any transmission, provided it's a six-speed manual. The fourth-generation ST is expected to be lighter than the car it replaces, with a 20 per cent more rigid body. That should do good things for the handling.
Thanks to AboveAverage_Cars on Instagram for the tip!