New Ford Focus ST in South Africa – Offering Enhanced Driving Dynamics, Advanced Technology


New Ford Focus ST in South Africa – Offering Enhanced Driving Dynamics, Advanced Technology

The new Ford Focus ST is the most advanced version yet, offering an even more responsive, balanced and refined driving experience with new chassis control technologies, tuned suspension and steering, and bespoke tyre specification. Ford launches new Focus ST global performance model with improved dynamics and innovative technology New chassis control technologies include industry-first Enhanced […]

The new Ford Focus ST is the most advanced version yet, offering an even more responsive, balanced and refined driving experience with new chassis control technologies, tuned suspension and steering, and bespoke tyre specification.


  • Ford launches new Focus ST global performance model with improved dynamics and innovative technology
  • New chassis control technologies include industry-first Enhanced Transitional Stability system; combined with re-tuned suspension and steering to help deliver a driving experience that is even more responsive, balanced and refined
  • Sporty and aggressive new styling; unique lamp, grille and bumper designs; optional 19-inch ‘Rock metallic’ alloy wheels with red brake callipers and sunroof
  • Two unique colours for Focus ST: new Stealth and Tangerine Scream
  • Well-crafted interior features ergonomic controls, Recaro seats and sports steering wheel
  • New features include SYNC®2 connectivity system on ST3, with high-resolution 8-inch colour touchscreen and voice control


“The new Focus ST delivers an even more sophisticated balance of performance, driving dynamics, refinement and style, which are at the core of the Ford Performance DNA,” says Tracey Delate, General Marketing Manager, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA). “Now even more enjoyable and rewarding to drive, the new Focus ST is in a class of its own.”

The Focus ST also benefits from the increased technology and craftsmanship that debuted in the new Focus which was launched in South Africa in March this year.

The sporty and aggressive new five-door model offers outstandingtechnologies and features, including the SYNC®2 in-car connectivity system.

Enhanced driving dynamics

The Focus ST’s award-winning development team, part of the global Ford Performance organisation, made improving the entire driving experience the number one objective for the new Focus ST.

The strengthened body structure of the new Focus ST provided the foundation for the improvements. The enhanced front-end body stiffness – achieved by increasing the thickness of two structural brackets within the engine bay and using a stronger metal arc welding technique – delivers reduced body flex during cornering, resulting in sharper responses and greater agility.

The sports suspension features all-new front springs and sportier new shock absorber tuning in the front and rear, with stiffer suspension bushes on the front lower control arm and rear spring links. In combination with the model-specific anti-roll bars and rear springs from the previous generation ST, these enhancements deliver an even sharper dynamic performance.

The calibration of the Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and electronic vehicle control systems has also been revised to meet the specific sporting requirements of the new Focus ST.

Key innovations include the industry-first Enhanced Transitional Stability (ETS) system as part of the vehicle’s advanced Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ETS senses vehicle stability and driver inputs, predicts when a skid or loss of control might occur, and intervenes as required using individual wheel braking to maintain optimal precision and control during rapid changes of direction at speed – for example in a lane-change situation.

Ford Performance engineers have revised the Electronic Torque Vectoring Control settings that optimise wheel torque distribution, to further maximise traction through corners, reduce understeer and increase agility.

Focus ST drivers have the option of selecting three ESC system modes to suit different road or track conditions:

  • Standard Mode – with ESC and traction control fully active
  • Sport Mode – No engine torque reduction from traction control and ESC systems, and reduced ESC brake interventions to facilitate more sporty driving; ETS is disabled
  • Off Mode – No engine torque reduction from traction control and ESC systems, and no ESC brake interventions (Torque Vectoring remains active); ETS is disabled

Power delivery refinement under hard acceleration – particularly front wheel traction and gear shift quality – is also assisted by engine mounts engineered specifically to accommodate the performance of the new Focus ST.

“Ford has long enjoyed a reputation for producing performance hatchbacks with superb driving dynamics, and the new Focus ST more than lives up to that pedigree,” Delate says. “The engineering enhancements to the suspension, steering and electronic control systems deliver greater responsiveness, agility, precision and an exciting driving experience.”

EcoBoost power

The 184kW 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine that powers the Focus ST has won critical acclaim around the world due to its exceptional combination of performance and efficiency. It is capable of powering the new Focus ST from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, while returning a combined fuel consumption of 6.8 l/100km* and 159 g/km CO2*.

Auto-Start-Stop is included for the first time, and improves the EcoBoost engine’s fuel economy by 6%*, thus making it the most fuel-efficient petrol Focus ST ever.

Ford’s 2.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine uses turbocharging, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing technology and high-pressure direct-injection to deliver uncompromising performance.

The 184kW high-output derivative was developed exclusively for the Focus ST with unique engine calibration, intake, and exhaust systems. Peak power is available at 5 500 r/min, matched to a substantial 360Nm of torque available from 2 000-4 500 r/min. Maximum speed is 248 km/h.

The new Focus ST uses a six-speed manual transmission with a performance-oriented, short-throw shift. The gear ratios – exclusive to ST – deliver rapid acceleration in lower gears and comfortable cruising at speed.

Powerful appearance

The new Focus ST features sportier and more aggressive styling than the previous generation, with a lower, wider stance; new dynamically sculpted bonnet; slimmer headlamps and rectangular foglamps.

The sports bodykit includes body-coloured side skirts and diffuser elements either side of the exhaust, and a rear roof spoiler optimised for aerodynamic performance. All new Focus ST models feature twin-hexagonal centre tailpipes. Black lamp bezels and ST badging complete the look.

Along with the standard sporty Y-spoke 18-inch alloy wheels, customers can also select 19-inch ‘Rock metallic’ dark grey rims with red brake callipers and a sunroof – a R6 540 option pack.

“Focus ST has proved very popular with Ford’s performance oriented customers and the new model takes that to an even more striking and dramatic level,” said Joel Piaskowski, design director, Ford of Europe.

“The signature ST honeycomb upper grille is slimmer and sits higher on the fascia, there are new rectangular foglamps in the outer apertures, and the lower fascia offers sharper and more distinct sculpting. At the rear, the width of the car is emphasised by a new full-width graphic in the lower fascia.”

A new metallic dark grey exterior paint colour called Stealth is introduced exclusively to the Focus ST, along with the striking Tangerine Scream which is now available on both ST derivatives for the first time. Deep Impact Blue is also a new addition to the broader Focus colour palette that also includes Frozen White, Moondust Silver, Panther Black, and Race Red.

Cockpit-style cabin

Ford has redesigned the new Focus ST interior for a more intuitive layout that is also simpler, with a clearer visual connection between the key components and significantly fewer buttons in the cabin.

An additional bank of three gauges – an ST hallmark – is situated on the instrument binnacle and displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information. A new, flat-base sports steering wheel with a soft-feel leather covered rim; a satin chrome-topped gear lever and ST pedals deliver the dynamic interior that ST drivers expect.

Satin chrome door grab handles and illuminated aluminium scuff plates add extra touches of refinement, while sports seats developed jointly by Ford and Recaro provide the support required to fully enjoy the ST driving experience, yet are comfortable for every day driving.

Model range

The new Focus ST will be available in ST1 and ST3 trim levels. Recaro sports seats are standard fitment on both models, featuring grey/charcoal/anthracite black fabric on the ST1, while the ST3 seats have full charcoal black leather trim.

Standard features on the ST1 include keyless start, footwell illumination, ST-branded leather steering wheel and gear knob, ST scuff plates, ST triple dial cluster, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and an advanced Thatcham alarm and anti-theft system. Ford’s SYNC® with Bluetooth and Voice Activation is included, along with remote steering wheel controls and dual USB ports.

Combined with the full leather trim, the Recaro seats used in the ST3 derivative are heated and boast eight-way power adjustment for driver and passenger.

Dual-zone electronic climate control is standard, along with the new SYNC®2 system with 8-inch touchscreen, high-end Sony audio system linked to nine speakers, dual USB ports and SD card slot.

Externally the ST3 is distinguished from the ST1 by means of the eye-catching LED daytime running lights and Bi-Xenon HID headlamps with automatic headlamp and windscreen wiper activation.

Advanced technologies

Driver, convenience and connectivity technologies introduced for the first time include the Ford SYNC®2 connectivity system, available exclusively on the range-topping ST3 derivative. The ST1 uses the same first-generation SYNC® system as employed on the rest of the Ford Focus range.

SYNC®2 offers access to audio, climate control and mobile phones using voice control and a high-definition 8-inch colour touchscreen.

New Adaptive Front Lighting on the ST3 model adjusts the intensity and angle of Bi-Xenon HID headlamp beams according to vehicle speed, steering angle and distance to objects to provide optimal illumination.

Intensive performance testing

Ford Performance engineers subjected the new Focus ST to a series of intensive performance durability tests to ensure the vehicle was ready for a life of hard driving.

Four test vehicles each completed Ford’s punishing passenger car durability tests at the company’s Lommel proving ground in Belgium.

The test regime included replicating a 10-year, 240 000km vehicle lifetime in the hands of the most extreme customer. This was followed directly by 5 000km of flat-out track driving, including the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife circuit in Germany, and the Nardo test facility in southern Italy where temperatures can soar beyond 40 deg C.

Ford has sold more than 140,000 Focus ST models in 40 countries worldwide since the car was first launched in 2002.

Ford Protect

As with the rest of the Focus range; the ST is sold with a 4-year/120 000km Comprehensive Warranty, 4-year/80 000km Service Plan, 3-year/unlimited km Roadside Assistance and 5-year/unlimited km Corrosion Warranty. Service intervals are every 20 000km.
*The declared fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures were acquired according to the technical requirements and specifications (SANS 20101: 2006 / ECE R101: 2005) within laboratory conditions, as stipulated by legislation. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions figures are used to compare different vehicle types under uniform conditions and are not necessarily indicative of real-life driving conditions. Note that the actual fuel consumption and emission will depend on many factors including your driving habits, prevailing conditions and your vehicles equipment, condition and use.


Johann Verster

Motoring journalist - 25 years; now living in Cape Town where there are no potholes or e-toll...

Published : Tuesday July 7, 2015

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