The 280hp Ford Focus ST has been revealed ahead of the car’s Geneva launch –here’s everything you need to know
new Focus ST
280hp, electronically controlled LSD
Price and release date
Estimated £26,000, on sale soon
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This is the new Ford Focus ST – the fastest version of the world’s most fun-to-drive family car. It gets a 280hp 2.3-litre petrol engine based on the one fitted to the old Focus RS and comes with a grippy electronically controlled limited-slip differential.
Ford Focus ST price and release date
Ford hasn’t revealed the price of the new Ford Focus ST but you can expect it to start from around £26,000 for a basic model with a petrol or diesel engine. Top-of-the-range ST3s will cost closer to £30,000, although that’s still cheaper than a Honda Civic Type R or a Volkswagen Golf R.
Ford Focus ST styling
The Focus ST gets a number of styling revisions that make it look sportier than a regular Focus. Up front, you get a new grille and a ground-scraping front bumper, while at the back there’s a roof-mounted spoiler and exhausts on the left and right-hand side of the car mean you can now use your Focus ST for towing. You can choose from standard 18-inch or optional 19-inch alloy wheels and colours include Ford Performance Blue (as seen here), Orange Fury, Frozen White, Magnetic grey, Race Red, Ruby Red and Shadow Black.
Ford Focus ST interior
Inside, the Focus gets a sports steering wheel, Recaro sports seats, aluminium gear shifter, alloy pedals, ‘metallic hexagonal and satin silver decorative elements’ – whatever they are – and metal grey stitching for the seats, door inserts and centre console.
2019 Ford Focus ST engines
You can have your Focus ST with either a diesel or petrol power.
For performance worthy of the name you’ll want to go for the petrol model that produces 280hp from the engine that was fitted to the old Focus RS. Ford says that’s enough to get the Focus ST from 0-62mph in under six seconds.
It’ll comes equipped with a sports exhaust that crackles and pops and also, for the first time, anti-lag. Borrowed from the Ford GT, it cancels out turbo-lag by keeping the turbo spinning even when you don’t have your foot on the accelerator.
The diesel Focus does without the anti-lag but still produces 190hp and 400NM of torque – the last figure being the one that’ll make the most noticeable impact – giving the diesel a punchy mid-range that’ll make it feel quick on the motorway.
Both the diesel and the petrol get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard with a seven-speed automatic on the options list.
2019 Ford Focus ST driving
As well as being faster than a normal Focus, the 2019 Ford Focus ST also handles better in corners.
It gets 18-inch alloy wheels, grippy Michelin Sport Pilot tyres, steering that’s quicker even than the slightly flighty Fiesta ST’s – with just two turns lock-to-lock – and suspension that’s lowered by 10mm compared to the regular model’s and is available with adjustable dampers.
Of most interest is the inclusion of the electronically controlled limited-slip differential that’ll help the front of the car bite into the tarmac when you accelerate out of corners instead of spinning all it’s power away in a cloud of tyre smoke.
More cool kit comes in the form of the Focus ST’s six-speed manual gearbox that has an auto-blip function that matches the car’s engine speed to the new gear for smoother gear changes as you slow down.
And the ST has more powerful brakes than the regular car with larger discs and callipers. Ford claims they resist fade almost four times better than the brakes on the old Focus ST.
The brakes – along with the steering, throttle pedal, LSD and stability control – can be adjusted using the car’s drive selector. The most aggressive setting is Track mode, which optimises the car for a race circuit – lowering the assistance of the power steering, making the throttle more aggressive and optimizing the limited-slip differential to provide as much traction as possible.
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