Bred from a rich heritage of performance machinery the Ford Focus ST boasts an unparalleled family tree. Joining the Ford family as the big brother to the already popular Fiesta ST, the Focus ST is the latest Ford performance road car to hit South African streets.

Fast and practical, the Ford Focus ST offers a no-compromise package for the performance car driver.  Ford TeamRS, the company’s European based racing and performance arm, has developed a car that is ideal for the performance motorist, while offering that welcome dash of refinement as well. In a nutshell, offering an exciting, quality vehicle at an affordable price.

“The Focus ST is the perfect car for drivers who love the performance motoring experience, but do not want to sacrifice high standards of refinement, comfort and practicality,” explains Neale Hill, Marketing Manager for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “The new model has a lot to live up to. As such it has been engineered to provide high standards of driving inspired by class leading dynamics.”

With its turbocharged 166 kW 2.5-litre 5-cylinder Duratec ST engine, the new Focus ST becomes the most powerful Ford Focus road car to date. This engine is coupled to a slick-operating six-speed manual gearbox and capable of a top speed in excess of 240 km/h, it needs only 6.8 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h.

The result is an engine that stirs the emotions regardless of the impressive performance figures. The Focus ST’s throttle reaction is immediate and dynamic irrespective of the position of the rev-counter needle. It pulls away eagerly even from the lower end of the rev band.

The 2.5-litre turbocharged Duratec motor has been fine tuned to offer optimal levels of fuel consumption in line with the vehicle’s sporting credentials. On the combined cycle run fuel consumption was measured at 9.3l/100km. Spirited city driving will produce figures in the region of 13.8l/100km, while on the extra urban run an impressive 6.8l/100km is attainable.

The ST’s handling has been specifically tailored to reward the enthusiast driver but at the same time allow for a refined driving experience. With stiffer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, increased ratio steering rack and a lower centre of gravity, the Focus ST delivers impressive grip and extraordinary road holding.

In addition to the mechanical dynamics of the ST, driver aids have been incorporated. Ford’s Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) offers safe and controllable braking under extreme conditions.  Ford’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) system is also a standard feature on the Focus ST.  ESP intervenes in critical cornering situations, assisting the driver by braking individual wheels as needed.

The Focus ST’s sporting intentions are not just evident below the surface. The ST makes an immediate statement thanks to its detailed design cues reminiscent of Ford’s World Rally Championship project.

Without losing sight of the elegance built into the Focus line-up, the ST introduces its sporting theme by incorporating sharper lines and a lower ride height. The ST is further set apart from its stable mates by its aggressive bumper enhancements as well as colour coded spoiler, mirrors, door handles and body side mouldings.

Brushed aluminium accents and a chrome dual exhaust outlet are complimented by rear wheel arch spats and a purposeful tailgate spoiler, which provides both visual and aerodynamic effect.

The performance concept is immediately evident upon entering the cabin of the ST. Cosseting Recaro sports seats hint at the dynamic abilities of the ST.  The figure hugging seats provide optimal lateral supports during spirited driving and create a feeling of the car being built around its occupants.

Brushed aluminium inserts are set in strong contrast to the leather trim creating a modern athletic ambience. The leather-clad steering wheel has an increased rim section with bold thumb grips and three brushed aluminium-finished spokes; the centre spoke is distinguished by a bold red ST logo.

A red six-speed gate graphic, purpose-designed performance pedals with rubber pads set in cast aluminium and unique ST scuff plates, complete the ST design theme.

“To date the new Focus has received very good reviews from the press for its fantastic combination of comfort and steering precision; not to mention its driving safety in all conceivable conditions. Developing the core model into its ST performance sibling was a priority. The suspension has been tuned very precisely for even greater performance and agility. The result is a car that not only meets all ones performance expectations but exceeds ones expectations in the spheres of comfort, convenience and safety, “Concludes Hill.