In a nod to Ken Block, Ford of Europe presents its own juiced-Fiesta rally car epic: Snowkhana One. Almost as entertaining, almost as creative, but at nowhere near the same kind of budget.
In an almost inconceivable move, Ford of Europe has announced today that they will withdraw factory support for the WRC.
Ford has the longest history with the WRC and it’s predecessor, as well as an admirable win record going back to the beginning. Much of Ford’s reputation in Europe was built on the success of rally participation and leadership.
This is a very dark day for Ford Fans and the WRC – one which nobody would have ever foreseen.
Yes, the real thing. After spotting it from afar several times in and around the Austin Texas area, we finally got the opportunity to see it up close at the March Cars and Coffee event. There was a big crowd around it – people knew what this was and how rare they are.
The European Ford Focus RS can’t be registered in the United States.. but they can be in nearby Mexico. And that’s where this example came from.
Selected images follow:
Ford enthusiasts have been hoping for many years that Ford would deliver the best of their European performance vehicles to the North American market. Back in the ’60s, we were able to buy performance legends such as Lotus Cortinas because it was just a matter of shipping them over. But once emissions and safety legislation was passed, the required updates and certifications were tremendously prohibitive. So we had a long dark period, where we could see what Ford of Europe had to offer, but couldn’t get our hands on any of it. Except in the most extraordinary circumstances, where a tiny a tiny handful of RS200s and Escort RS Cosworths (one of which we once passed on buying) were brought in and certified by third parties.
For many of these dark years, Ford teased us with images in North American car magazines of gems like the RS1600i (one of several European Fords driven by AutoWeek over the years), but failed to deliver them for sale to our market. We got a very brief glimpse of some of the best that Ford of Europe had to offer in the form of the European-developed SVT Contour and SVT Focus (known in their home market as the Focus ST170 and Mondeo ST200, both were identical other than de-contenting of options). The SVT Focus very quickly became non-competitive in this market and was dropped, unable to compete against 200 HP Integras and Civics. And a few years later when Mazda developed the brilliant MazdaSpeed3 on a chassis shared with the European Focus, Ford was in no position whatsoever to respond.
The Contour was simply a de-contented Ford Mondeo. It had an unenthusiastic base engine and a reasonable 2.5 liter DOHC V-6 option (although 4 cylinders would approach it’s output and torque in just a few years). Its CDW-127 platform was recognized for it’s handling dynamics and precision, but while it was designed to be a true ”world car”, Ford never capitalized on it’s potential. All North America received (outside the SVT), was an inexpensive cheapened down version without most of the options that made it’s more highly contented European brothers far more desirable. And arguably North America may not have been ready for a well-equipped small car anyway.
Then came the most recent Focus, where the North American version was an entire generation behind the European version. Ford had some discussions about bringing certain European Fords to North America as Mercurys, and even made a gallant effort to bring in the Focus RS. Josh Capito, Ford’s global head of sports-vehicle operations, said that a hot Focus was “a natural” for North America but was unable to justify spending certification money for an orphan car that was about to go out of production.
For 2011, Ford of North America as part of it’s “One Ford” initiative is building the same Focus in several locations worldwide, identical except for region-specific powertrains and for emissions and safety differences. North America will finally get the ST performance version it wants. And – although let’s not get ahead of ourselves – North America is also positioned to get a version of the next Focus RS, which if the usual cycle holds true is probably 3-4 years off.
Ford Press Release follows:
- New Focus ST – debuting in North America at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show – delivers a high-performance derivative of the all-new Ford Focus
- Focus ST launches in Europe and North America in 2012
- Focus ST features a 2.0-liter EcoBoost™ I-4 engine and a six-speed manual transmission
- Ford Focus ST is true to the values of the ST brand, with responsive performance, an addictive sound, outstanding driving dynamics and muscular sports design
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2010 – The all-new Ford Focus ST makes its North American debut at the 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show, a preview of the global high-performance model to be introduced to driving enthusiasts around the world in 2012.
This range-topping Focus ST will offer the driving enthusiast an exhilarating combination of performance and handling, with a distinctive sound and a muscular design.
“ST represents an ultimate expression of Focus driving quality and performance,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Moving forward, ST branding will keynote the enthusiast-directed versions of our core global vehicle lines. ST models will combine responsive performance, optimized handling dynamics, expressive design and sporty design cues. Importantly, ST models will deliver exceptional fuel economy and be priced within reach for car enthusiasts.”
Global performance model
One common Focus ST model is being developed for worldwide markets, with the vehicle targeted for launch in 2012. This will be the first time Ford has produced one of its highly regarded high-performance models for a global audience.
The Focus ST development program is administered by Ford’s global performance vehicles group, which comprises Team RS (Europe) and SVT (U.S.) engineers, who are dedicated to developing and tuning products like the formidable Focus RS, Shelby GT500 and F-150 SVT Raptor.
More performance – and more economy – from Ford EcoBoost power
Powering Focus ST is a high-output derivative of the efficient new 2.0-liter Ford EcoBoost I-4 engine. Next year, a version of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost will be available in the Ford Edge and the Ford Explorer.
This advanced EcoBoost engine is being specially developed for the new Focus ST to ensure that the car gets the muscular performance – and inspirational sound – that it deserves. It also marks the first application of the four-cylinder EcoBoost engine in a high-performance model.
This engine features specially designed intake and exhaust systems and a unique calibration to deliver the desired level of power and responsiveness. The engine retains robust torque delivery – a signature attribute of Ford EcoBoost designs – and a strong torque curve over a broad range.
One of a completely new generation of downsized, high-efficiency, low-CO2 engines from Ford, the 2.0-liter EcoBoost is a lightweight, all-aluminum design that combines three technologies – high-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) – to create an advanced combustion system that brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to engines in this power range.
The standard transmission for Focus ST is a six-speed manual gearbox, optimized with sporting ratios carefully matched to the performance characteristics of the EcoBoost engine.
Genuine performance and handling
The global performance vehicle specialists have a mission: to ensure the new Focus ST delivers pure performance and handling to exceed the expectations of the global automotive enthusiast community.
Focus ST will feature a comprehensive range of enhancements including a lowered chassis, high-performance brakes and unique suspension tuning that will enable the vehicle to deliver exceptional handling and agility.
ST will benefit from the performance improvements being delivered by the next-generation Focus vehicle architecture. Features like a stronger, stiffer body structure, optimized front and rear suspension system designs, and a new variable-ratio electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system all contribute to superior vehicle dynamics and improved refinement.
Unprecedented level of smart technologies
Focus ST drivers will also be able to take advantage of the unprecedented level of smart new technologies, including advanced new driver assistance, powertrain, chassis and active safety features.
Many of these features, such as the advanced new torque vectoring control system – which acts like a limited-slip differential to enhance cornering stability and agility – have a direct impact on taking sportive driving quality to an even higher level.
“The technology on the Focus ST will provide enthusiasts with an exceptional driving experience,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles.
Unique high-performance exterior
The new Focus ST features a highly distinctive sports exterior, providing significant functional and aerodynamic benefits and clearly differentiating ST from other models in the new Focus family.
While sharing the already sleek and dynamic profile of the new Focus five-door, the ST features unique front and rear end designs, together with muscular extended rocker panels and a striking new alloy wheel aesthetic.
The sporting design language is particularly evident at the front end, where the twin upper and lower grilles of the standard car are replaced by a prominent new one-piece design.
Representing the sportiest definition yet of Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille, the bold one-piece design is placed higher on the nose of the vehicle, and incorporates a distinctive hexagonal mesh.
The front spoiler has a completely new configuration, with a deep central splitter framed by small motorsports-inspired spoiler blades on either side, which sweep around and encompass the fog lamps. The spoiler blades are linked to the rest of the body lines through the grille structure, which is reminiscent of the treatment in the acclaimed European Focus RS model.
The more assertive, sporting character of the front end is completed by details like the matching black finish to the headlamp bezels, and the bold red ST badge on the one-piece grille.
From the side, muscular extended rocker panels emphasize the lowered chassis, and the bold wheel arches are filled with 19-inch alloy wheels with a unique Y-spoke design. This wheel and tire combination will give the Focus ST great road-holding grip.
The Focus ST on display is drenched in vibrant Tangerine Scream paint.
Dynamic rear end treatment
The rear bumper and lower fascia is also completely new, with prominent diffuser-style vents on either side that mirror the form of the front spoiler blades. Taillamps with a dark-smoked tint enhance the sporty feel.
The new Focus ST has a high-performance exhaust system, which exits the vehicle through a central dual-pipe outlet. The exhaust outlet has been given a highly distinctive design treatment with a muscular form and is tuned to deliver a confident growl under power.
The car’s aerodynamic package is completed by a highly effective integrated roof spoiler, which has been optimized to deliver improved high-speed stability and reduced drag. The large spoiler on Focus ST incorporates ducting to the rear window and has been carefully integrated with the vehicle tailgate and roof.
Bold, high-contrast sport cockpit
The performance theme from the exterior is echoed inside the car, with a very bold high-contrast sport cockpit featuring Recaro® seats, unique instrumentation and modern, highly technical finishes, combining to give the enthusiast driver a sense of being one with the vehicle.
Dramatically bolstered and rally-inspired leather and fabric front seats provide an ideal balance between sporting support and long-distance comfort. The seats are finished in high-quality charcoal black leather, offset by bold orange-gold panels in a neoprene fabric and vibrant yellow-gold contrast stitching. The central charcoal black fabric seat panels feature a rugged embossed design in the style of a performance tire tread pattern. The rear seats are finished in the same distinctive style.
Focus ST adds three additional gauges for turbo boost, oil pressure and oil temperature, housed in a dedicated binnacle on the upper instrument panel; the instrument cluster features unique ST sports graphics with red needle pointers, and the center console has a technical carbon-effect finish. ST instrumentation is geared to keep the ST driver informed while concentrated on the serious pursuit of enthusiastic driving.
The sporty interior environment features a black headliner, steering wheel and gear shift knob plus metal racing-inspired clutch, brake and accelerator pedals combining to provide both sporty luxury and light weight.
“The Focus ST is a serious driving machine, bringing high performance – previously reserved for our European customers – to enthusiast drivers all over the world,” said Capito.
# # #
Here’s another one of those great ideas that Ford is becoming very well recognized for. It’s only available in Britain at the moment, but perhaps it will also come to North America as well.
How does this work? You stop by the dealer, get a small recording device plugged into your car, it gathers data on your driving habits, and then after a week you return to the dealer and a report is generated that makes suggestions as to your driving style and habits. The recording device plugs into the European-standard OBD-2 port. Very simple!
The program was kicked off by a competitive fuel economy event that clearly demonstrates just how good fuel economy can be with an invormed and smart driving style. Covering 82 miles on a single gallon is a fabulous achievement, showing not only the capabilities of the Euro-only 1.4-liter Fiesta, but also what is possible with driver education and awareness of the factors that have a direct effect on fuel economy.
Ford Press Release follows:
FORD ECONO CHECK SETS NEW RECORD AT BRANDS HATCH – 67 LAPS ON A GALLON
- Inaugural Ford Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’ at Brands Hatch circuit, Kent; challenges top drivers to beat fuel price rises
- Five teams compete in identical, 1.4-litre Ford Fiesta Titanium road cars
- Winners covers 82.0 miles on a single gallon – equivalent to 67 laps of Brands Hatch Indy circuit
- 65 per cent improvement over official combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg
- Average consumption across all teams of 74.3mpg – 50 per cent improvement on official consumption figure
BRENTWOOD, Essex, 11 October, 2010– Ford has set a new record at Brands Hatch race circuit, in Kent, with the winner of the inaugural Ford Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’ covering 82 miles – 67 laps – on a single gallon of fuel.
Five teams took part in the challenge, which included racing drivers Tom Chilton, Tom Onslow-Cole, Shane Lynch, Ben Collins (aka the former Stig) and Josh Hill, plus representatives from driving instructors, AA DriveTech. Special guest driver and land speed record holder, Wing Commander Andy Green, swapped his role as the fastest man on four wheels, on earth, to drive at a more economical pace.
The group showed how drivers can beat fuel price rises by going further on a single gallon. Each team was given a 1.4-litre Ford Fiesta Titanium filled with just one gallon of petrol, before lining up on the grid for an endurance race with a difference. The highly fuel-efficient Ford Fiesta enabled all teams to drive for over two hours, with the last car finishing after 2 hours, 27 minutes and 51 seconds. Every team covered over 65 miles, with the winners – led by BTCC (British Touring Car Championship) ace Tom Chilton – clocking up 82 miles, a 65 per cent improvement over their car’s official EC combined fuel consumption of 49.6mpg.
Average fuel consumption across all teams was recorded by organisers as 74.3mpg – a 50 per cent improvement on official consumption figures.
The challenge coincided with this month’s latest fuel duty rise, which has pushed total fuel duty to 58.19 pence per litre. The planned VAT rise to 20 per cent from January will increase the price of fuel still further.
Andy Barratt, Ford customer service director, said: “With fuel prices already high and getting higher, fuel economy is more important than ever for customers. By combining smarter driving with the latest fuel efficient vehicles, our ‘One Gallon Challenge’ has shown just how far you can make your fuel go, which is key to keeping down your motoring costs. As most customers don’t have a race circuit to practice on, we’ve developed Ford EconoCheck to help them drive within their budget.”
Ford Econo Check ‘One Gallon Challenge’ final positions:
|Position||Miles covered||Laps covered|
A Ford Econo Check costs £29.99 (RRP), with £15 refundable against the customer’s next scheduled service. From a small data logger fitted to your car for one week, an Econo Check reveals how subtle changes to gear shifts, anticipation, acceleration andbraking could improve fuel economy and emissions and shows the annual fuel and CO2 savings possible.
Drivers who would like more advice on economical driving habits and techniques can then sign up for a discounted 90-minute course with AA DriveTech (priced £79.99) where experts will coach drivers on getting the most from every tankful.
Interested customers can visit http://www.fordeconocheck.com/ for more information and to book an Econo Check with their nearest Ford dealer.
Full gallery of high-res 2012 Focus ST images here
Ford has not released detailed image of the engine yet, we’re hoping for that later this week or when production starts. Undoubtedly it’s the same engine as recently introduced in the Mondeo and Explorer, with slight programming changes for it’s special role here and roughly an extra 10 HP.
Selected images below:
With Jost Capito as Ford’s Director or Global Performance Vehicles, and with the Focus ST the first global product he had full control of, hopefuly we can expect a more intelligent and sophisticated array of Ford performance products from now on, rather than dinosaurs with antiquated suspensions.
The right engines are definitely coming out of Ford – the are the industry leader there – and the new Focus ST signals a return to balanced and responsible performance where the suspension is equally as important as the engine.
Ford Press Release follows:
GLOBAL REVEAL OF NEW HIGH-PERFORMANCE FORD FOCUS ST AT PARIS SHOW
- Ford delivers on promise to introduce a global performance version of the new Focus: next-generation 250 PS Focus ST previewed at the Paris Motor Show
- Ford’s first global high-performance model, scheduled for 2012 launch and developed by Ford’s global Performance Vehicles team
- Exciting new model will be true to Ford’s ST heritage, with exhilarating performance and handling, an addictive sound and muscular sports design
- Pure performance delivered by unique 250 PS version of new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder petrol engine
- Over 10 per cent more power and torque than the current European Focus ST, but fuel consumption and CO2 emissions cut by more than 20 per cent
- Lowered chassis and unique suspension tuning to deliver acclaimed ST handling agility and poise
- 5-door ST show car for Paris features dramatic ‘Tangerine Scream’ body colour, reflecting new ST’s exciting and energetic character
The exciting next-generation Ford Focus ST makes its global debut at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, providing an early preview of the new high-performance model which will be introduced around the world in 2012.
Ford’s first global high performance model and a star attraction for Ford in Paris, the powerful new Focus ST show car was revealed today by Alan Mulally, Ford’s President and CEO, and Stephen Odell, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.
This range-topping Focus will be completely true to Ford’s ST model heritage, offering driving enthusiasts an intoxicating cocktail of exhilarating performance and handling, an addictive sound and muscular sports design.
“The ST will be the performance flagship of our new Focus range, and we are excited to provide our enthusiast customers with an early preview in Paris,” said Gunnar Herrmann, Ford Motor Company’s Global C-car Vehicle Line Director. “The ST represents an ultimate expression of Focus driving quality and performance and we are confident that the new model will strengthen the reputation of Ford’s ST heritage among enthusiast drivers and attract new fans as well.”
Global Performance Model
One common Focus ST model is being developed for all global markets, with the vehicle targeted for launch during 2012. This will be the first time that Ford has produced one of its highly regarded high-performance models for a global audience.
The Focus ST development programme is being undertaken by Ford’s global Performance Vehicles group, which comprises Team RS (Europe) and SVT (USA) engineers, who are dedicated to developing and tuning products like the formidable Focus RS, Shelby GT500 and F-150 SVT Raptor.
For new Focus ST the development is being led by Team RS performance specialists based in Europe, building on their extensive experience in engineering sought-after cars like the previous ST models and legendary RS series.
“The new Focus ST will be our first true global performance vehicle and we are excited about the chance to give many customers worldwide their first taste of Ford’s acclaimed ST heritage,” said Jost Capito, Director of Global Performance Vehicles. “Like the ST and RS models before it, the Focus ST will be the result of painstaking tuning around the curves of the Nürburgring, along high-speed German autobahns, and down classic British B-roads.
“For European drivers, the Focus ST will bring the same distinctive qualities of pure dynamics and performance that have created the unique appeal of our ST heritage.
“For enthusiasts in North America and Asia who have asked why our compact performance models were not available to them – the wait is almost over! The new Focus ST will offer exactly the same exciting driving experience wherever it’s on sale,” added Capito.
More Performance – and More Economy – from Ford EcoBoost Power
At the heart of the appeal of the next-generation Focus ST is a high-output 250 PS derivative of the efficient and advanced new 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost four-cylinder petrol engine.
Succeeding the turbocharged 2.5-litre five-cylinder unit of the current European model, this unique 250 PS Ford EcoBoost engine is being specially developed for the new Focus ST to ensure that the car gets the muscular performance – and the inspirational sound – which it deserves. It also marks the first application of the four-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine in a high performance model.
Compared to the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine used in other Ford vehicles, the 250 PS unit features re-designed intake and exhaust systems and a unique engine calibration to deliver the desired level of power and responsiveness. The engine retains the strong torque delivery which is a feature of Ford EcoBoost designs, with a broad, flat torque curve offering a maximum output of 360 Nm.
One of a completely new generation of downsized, high-efficiency, low-CO2 petrol engines from Ford, the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost is a lightweight, all-aluminium design which combines three technologies – high-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable cam timing – to create an advanced combustion system which brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to petrol engines in this power range.
This ultra efficient 250 PS engine therefore not only delivers over 10 per cent more power and torque than the current 2.5-litre unit, it is also estimated to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by more than 20 per cent.
The standard transmission for the Focus ST is a 6-speed manual gearbox, optimised with more sporting ratios carefully matched to the performance characteristics of the engine.
Genuine Performance and Handling
Ford Team RS performance vehicle specialists have a mission: to ensure that the new Focus ST delivers the pure performance and handling everyone expects from a genuine Ford ST model.
Compared to the standard Focus, the ST model will feature a comprehensive range of enhancements including a chassis lowered by 10mm, a substantially different variable ratio steering system, high performance brakes and unique suspension tuning, that will enable the vehicle to deliver the acclaimed ST handling agility and poise.
Naturally, the ST will also benefit from the performance improvements being delivered by the next-generation Focus vehicle architecture. Features like a stronger, stiffer body structure, optimised front and rear suspension system designs, and a new electric power assisted steering (EPAS) system all contribute to superior vehicle dynamics and improved refinement.
Unprecedented Level of Smart Technologies
Focus ST drivers will also be able to take advantage of the unprecedented level of smart new technologies incorporated in Ford’s latest global C-car platform, including advanced new driver assistance, powertrain, chassis and active safety features.
Many of these features, such as the advanced new Torque Vectoring Control system – which acts like a torque vectoring differential to enhance cornering stability and agility – have a direct impact on improving driving quality to an even higher level.
“This is the third generation Focus ST and we are determined that the new car will continue the strong heritage of affordable, high performance ST models into the future,” said Jost Capito. “The technology on offer with Ford’s new global C-car platform will also help to ensure that the Focus ST provides enthusiasts with an exceptional driving experience.”
Unique High-Performance Exterior
The new Focus ST features a highly distinctive sports exterior, providing significant functional and aerodynamic benefits and clearly differentiating the ST derivative from other models in the new Focus family.
While sharing the already sleek and dynamic profile of the new Focus five-door, the ST features unique front- and rear-end designs, together with muscular extended rocker panels and striking new alloy wheels based on the classic Y-spoke ST pattern.
“The changes we have made to deliver superior aerodynamics and vehicle performance have made the new Focus ST even more sporty and distinctive,” explained Martin Smith, Executive Design Director. “Exciting new design treatments at the front and rear give the ST a much more dynamic and purposeful character, making it very clear that this is definitely a sporting Focus.”
The more sporting design language is particularly evident at the front end, where the twin upper and lower grilles of the standard car are replaced by a prominent new one-piece design.
Representing the sportiest definition yet of Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille, the bold one-piece design is placed higher on the nose of the vehicle, and incorporates a distinctive hexagonal mesh finished in high gloss black.
The front spoiler has a completely new configuration, with a deep central splitter framed by small motorsport-inspired spoiler blades on either side, which sweep round and encompass the fog lamps. The spoiler blades are linked to the rest of the body lines through the grille structure, which is reminiscent of the similar treatment in the current Focus RS model.
The more assertive, sporting character of the front end is completed by details like the gloss black finish to the headlamp bezels, and the bold red ST badge on the one-piece grille.
From the side, muscular extended rocker panels emphasise the lowered chassis, and the bold wheel arches are filled with 19-inch alloy wheels which are the latest evolution of the classic Y-spoke ST wheel.
Dynamic Rear End Treatment
The rear bumper and lower fascia is also completely new, with prominent diffuser-style vents on either side which mirror the form of the front spoiler blades. Rear lamps with a dark smoked tint enhance the sporty feel.
The new Focus ST has a high-performance exhaust system, which exits the vehicle through a central dual-pipe outlet. The exhaust outlet has been given a highly-distinctive design treatment with a strong kinetic form which emulates the design themes on the rest of the car.
The car’s aerodynamic package is completed by a highly effective integrated roof spoiler, which has been optimised to deliver improved high-speed stability and reduced drag. With a larger, more exaggerated design than the spoiler on the current Focus ST, it incorporates ducting to the rear screen and has been carefully integrated with the vehicle tailgate and roof.
Dramatic New Body Colour
The Paris preview car is finished in a dramatic new ‘Tangerine Scream’ body colour, which reflects the exciting and energetic new character of the Focus ST.
A spiritual successor to the signature Electric Orange finish of the current Focus ST, Tangerine Scream is a very intense and vibrant high-saturation metallic yellow-gold tone created using an experimental process with multiple layers of tinted lacquer.
“Such an exciting new car deserves an exciting new finish and we believe that this vibrant new colour will prove just as memorable as Electric Orange,” said Martin Smith. “You can expect to see a very similar shade when the ST reaches the showroom.”
To complement the vibrant exterior colour, the 19-inch alloy wheels have a warm, anodised Golden Graphite finish. Their sophisticated five-spoke design is contrasted by the brake calipers which are brightly painted in body colour.
Bold High-Contrast Sports Cockpit
The performance theme from the exterior is echoed inside the car, with a very bold high-contrast sports cockpit featuring Recaro seats, unique instrumentation and modern, highly technical finishes.
Dramatically-bolstered and rally-inspired Recaro leather and fabric front seats provide an ideal balance between sporting support and long-distance comfort, and form the centrepiece of the cabin.
The seats are finished in high-quality Charcoal Black leather, offset by bold orange gold panels in a neoprene fabric and vibrant yellow-gold contrast stitching. The central Charcoal Black fabric seat panels feature a rugged embossed design in the style of a performance tyre tread pattern. The rear Recaro seats are finished in the same distinctive style.
Throughout the cabin, unique details ensure that the Focus ST clearly signals its sporting intent. Three additional gauges for turbo boost, oil pressure and oil temperature are housed in a dedicated binnacle on the upper instrument panel; the instrument cluster features unique ST sports graphics with red needle pointers; and the centre console has a technical carbon-effect finish.
The interior has the signature ST treatment of a dark interior environment, with black headlining, bespoke steering wheel and a gear knob featuring the ST logo, plus metal racing pedals.
The premium sports feel of the cabin is enhanced by a generous use of Charcoal Black leather with vibrant yellow-gold contrast stitching on many of the interior surfaces, including the seats, door panels, central armrest, steering wheel, gearshift gaiter and the top of the instrument binnacle.
“The Focus ST will be a serious driving machine, and we have developed a purposeful exterior combined with a cockpit that blends sporting function with impressive comfort,” said Stephen Odell. “The approach of form following function is a key part of the ST DNA, and we have remained true to that both inside and outside the vehicle.”
# # #
Hooray for Ford: the Focus ST has been confirmed for North America in 2012. At last we get one of the best and most balanced sporting Fords from Europe!
And while it’s unannounced… the presence of the Focus in North America – the real Focus and not a watered down out-dated North American-only version, sets the stage for Ford to bring (or build here) a Focus RS to us. If there is indeed to be an RS model on the updated chassis, it will probably follow convention and arrive 3-5 years after the debut of the basic ST.
The only down side of this is that the sporting version of the Focus is a 5-door hatch for the time being… there doesn’t seem to be a 3-door hatch in the plan as of yet.
Stay tuned this week for specs of the worldwide Focus ST.
Ford Press Release follows (red highlights are ours):
HIGH-TECH, FUEL-EFFICIENT ALL-NEW FORD FOCUS DEBUTS AT 2010 PARIS MOTOR SHOW
New Focus to launch in North America with class-leading technologies, features and craftsmanship; highway fuel economy projected to be 40 mpg, with automatic transmission
- Production of 2012 Focus to begin in North America in late 2010, with sales of both four-door sedan and five-door hatchback scheduled for early 2011
- Performance model – Ford Focus ST – debuts at Paris Motor Show, to be available in markets around the world, including North America, beginning in 2012
DEARBORN, Mich., Sept. 29, 2010 – The new 2012 Ford Focus makes its production debut today at the Paris Motor Show and will launch in North America early in 2011.
Ford’s North American engineering team is targeting fuel economy of 40 mpg highway for the most efficient Focus model, equipped with an automatic transmission. Research shows that 90 percent of buyers in the segment choose automatic transmissions. The new Focus will also offer North American consumers a full complement of Ford technology – including Ford SYNC®, MyFord Touch™, in-car Wi-Fi capability, active park assist and rear view camera.
The new Focus is the result of a global product development program bringing together Ford’s best engineers and technology from around the world. The new Focus will be sold in 122 markets worldwide and manufactured in Ford plants in Asia, Europe and North America.
“The new Ford Focus is a clear demonstration that our One Ford strategy is providing global consumers with great products that harness the best of Ford Motor Company,” said Alan Mulally, Ford’s president and CEO. “The efficiencies generated by our new global C-car platform will enable us to provide Ford Focus customers with an affordable product offering quality, fuel efficiency, safety and technology beyond their expectations.”
Next month, consumers in North America will have online access to package and pricing information for both the sedan and the five-door model. Based on early demand for the Ford Fiesta, five-door hatchback models are growing in popularity. With the launch of the new Focus, joining the popular new Fiesta, Ford will be the only full-line auto manufacturer to offer its B- and C-segment small cars in both sedan and hatch bodystyles in the U.S. market.
All Focus models sold in North America will be powered by Ford’s most advanced naturally aspirated engine ever: a new, 2.0-liter gasoline engine equipped with direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing – two important fuel-saving technologies. A six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission will also be offered. This advanced, dual-clutch gearbox helps reduce fuel consumption by up to 9 percent compared to conventional transmissions.
At the Paris Motor Show, Ford will also unveil the highly anticipated Focus ST. The new high-performance five-door Focus model is being developed for all global markets and is on schedule to launch during 2012. This will be the first time Ford has produced one of its highly regarded performance models for a global audience.
Visit our gallery of high-res images here: 2012 Ford Focus ST Gallery or take take the tour below (with our comments!).
At first glance, we see a body kit with large front and rear spoilers, larger wheels/tires and body kit, very large brakes, and sports seats inside. To our eyes, the grill looks too large and high up - almost SUV-like.
You’ll note that Ford has only announced a 4-door hatch - so far. Where is the 2-door? Ford has not yet announced a 2-door Focus.
The rear features airflow management under the rear bumper, and a pair of very strange exhaust pipes. To our eyes, the entire back looks too busy, and the aero below the bumper looks especially tacked-on. This is unfortunately not a clean “form follows function” design like the last Focus.
Note the very large wheels and especially the brakes – they fill the 19″ wheels. Multi-piston in front, with unique venting in the rotors. This is a big step up for STs, which normally don’t have such large brakes. They would appear to rival those of the last-gen Focus RS.
And single-piston brakes in the rear. Note the very large rotors in the rear – which is unusual. And shows that Ford did it’s homework – most cars (such as Ford’s Mustang) just use standard-sized brakes in the rear and accept poor fr/rr braking balance (which in the case of the Mustang’s antique suspension results in severe brake dive).
Confirming 235/35ZR-19 Continental ContiSport Contact 3.
The interior is similarly well thought-out for driving enthusiasts with sport seats and a thick steering wheel. Question: will Ford spend the money to send the sport seats to North America, with it’s different airbag requirements? We hope so, because the sport seats make for a complete package.
And notice a proper 6-speed manual transmission. No dual-clutch here (at least not announced), just a transmission designed for a true enthusiast.
Contrasting stitching throughout.
To our eyes, the pod added for the touch-screen looks contrived (the “carbon fiber” is likely fake) and tacked-on. And way too large. Note the ST-specific gauges on top – also not handled very well at all. And note the temperature set at 220 degrees Centigrade! The photography car is obviously a studio prop!
The ST adds three gauges in a pod to the top of the dash. Nice to see a turbo boost gauge, oil pressure, and a third (probably water temp). Nice of Ford to think of this, but in execution they look like an aftermarket add-on.
The electronics include Ford’s Sony and touch-screen system, as in the latest American Fords.
Here we have it, at long last – a truly global launch of a Focus ST. And if Ford is true to its word, then “global” also means North America. In the past, it’s only meant Europe, Australasia, Mexico, and a few other places remote to North Americna enthusiasts.
Complete specs will be announced at the Paris show on September 30th, but in the meantime Ford has announced a special 250-HP version of the 2 liter EcoBoost engine that is specific to the Focus ST – although it’s a variation of the 237 HP engine in the North American Explorer SUV and just announced for European Mondeo (itself a few years from coming to North America). The ST is front-wheel drive, of course. And, thanks to the images and information provided by Ford, we know a little about the technical specs.
The new ST also sets the stage for a new Focus RS in a couple of years – and if Ford truly intends to maintain it’s “One Ford” global product plans, then the Focus RS will come to North America and will be a further evolution of this car.
Stay tuned for further information from the Paris Show on the 30th.
Ford Press Release follows:
HIGH PERFORMANCE ST TOPS NEW FORD FOCUS LINEUP FOR PARIS MOTOR SHOW LAUNCH
Cologne, September 15, 2010 – The exciting new next-generation Ford Focus range is the star attraction in Ford Motor Company’s display at the 2010 Paris Motor Show on September 30.
For the first time, the complete global Ford Focus line-up of three production-ready dynamic bodystyleswill be displayed together, providing customers with a full insight into this significant new model before it goes on sale in Europe and North America early in 2011.
Ford is also delivering on its promise to introduce a global performance version of the new Focus with a world premiere for the exciting flagship of the range, the muscular 250 PS Focus ST. The dramatic new ST will launch in early 2012 and will be revealed on September 30 at the Ford stand by Alan Mulally, Ford’s President and CEO, and Stephen Odell, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe.
First Global Product
The formal launch of the full production-ready Focus range in Paris is highly significant for Ford, as it signals the introduction of the first truly global product developed under the Company’s ONE Ford strategy.
The Focus is Ford’s most significant car range globally. Developed at Ford’s Global centre of excellence for Small Cars in Germany for sale in over 120 markets worldwide, the next-generation model is the most important Focus yet and is created from Ford Motor Company’s new global C segment platform with up to 80 per cent parts commonality around the world. This platform will underpin at least ten vehicles globally and account for some two million units of annual production by 2012.
With the complete range of three bodystyles on display in Paris for the first time – sporty five-door, elegant four-door and stylish wagon – show goers will have an exclusive opportunity to see and experience the car’s individual design and class leading technology first hand.
New Focus promises to outsmart its competitors by offering more affordable technologies and features than customers have ever experienced in this critical vehicle segment. Next-generation Focus also offers customers the highest standards of quality and detailed craftsmanship, plus outstanding fuel economy, and will take the legendary Focus driving dynamics to a new level.
Previewing the exciting new Focus ST
At the 2010 Geneva Motor Show, Ford Motor Company’s group vice president for Global Product Development, Derrick Kuzak, promised that an exciting new performance version of the next generation Ford Focus was in development.
At Paris, Ford is delivering on that promise by revealing an early preview model of the exciting next-generation Ford Focus ST. Targeted for launch in all global markets from early 2012, the all-new Ford Focus ST will be Ford’s first high-performance model developed under its global Performance Vehicles strategy.
The new range-topping Focus – which features a unique 250 PS version of the new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine – will be completely true to Ford’s ST heritage, offering driving enthusiasts an intoxicating cocktail of exhilarating performance and handling accompanied by an addictive sound.
Visitors to the Paris display also cannot fail to notice the show car’s highly distinctive sports exterior, which is finished in ‘Tangerine Scream’, a dramatic new body colour that reflects the new ST’s exciting and energetic character.
New Mondeo and C-MAX on Display
Taking their place alongside the next-generation Focus family will be five-door and wagon versions of the new Mondeo range, which was previewed at the recent Moscow International Automobile Salon. The Paris show sees the debut of the ultra-low CO2 Mondeo ECOnetic version. The Ford stand also showcases the latest S-MAX and Galaxy models which were launched earlier in 2010.
The all-new Ford C-MAX and Grand C-MAX will be represented by high series Titanium models fitted with a Ford EcoBoost 1.6-litre 180 PS petrol engine and the updated 2.0-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel. Bringing new levels of style and desirability to the compact Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV) market, the all-new Ford C-MAX is the first production model using Ford’s exciting new global C-segment platform. The Grand C-MAX also goes on sale in North America in late 2011.
Lower CO2 Emissions across the Ford Range
Ford is accelerating its efforts to minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions across its product range, and two important new entries to the Ford of Europe product portfolio are being displayed at Paris – a new Ford Mondeo ECOnetic model and a new Ford Kaderivative with standard Ford Auto-Start-Stop system.
These new models follow the significant new developments which have already been introduced during 2010, including the launch of the new high-efficiency Ford EcoBoost turbocharged direct injection petrol engine family and completely updated versions of the powerful yet highly fuel-efficient Duratorq TDCi diesel engines.
Ford is also moving forward with its European electrification program and will be displaying for the first time the core technology destined to drive its C-MAX PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle), that will be produced at the Valencia plant in Spain and is due to go on sale in Europe from 2013.
Along with the wider introduction of low-CO2 Ford ECOnetic Technologies such as Eco Mode and Smart Regenerative Charging, Ford of Europe is on track to surpass its goal of a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions from its new vehicles by 2020, relative to a 2006 model year baseline.
“The launch of the complete new Focus range, plus the global debut of the high-performance ST model, makes this Paris Show not only very exciting for Ford, but also highly significant,” said Stephen Odell, Chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe. “Withthe all-new C-MAX also on the Paris stand, along with the latest Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy models, it’s clear that the pace of change within Ford remains as aggressive as ever.”