2012 Ford Focus ST revealed
The Ford Focus is one of the best handling hatchbacks in the market. Combined with a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder Ford “EcoBoost” engine producing an impressive 247 hp and 360 Nm of torque and you get the production ready 5-door 2012 Focus ST. Oh, and to spice things up, it comes in a 6-speed manual transmission.
High pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbo charging and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) helps bring new levels of performance while cutting both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by more than 20 per cent from the previous-generation. The exhaust system with its centre exit tailpipes has been tuned to deliver a balanced audible experience.
With so much power sent to the front wheels, The Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) and Torque Steer Compensation (TSC) system reduces torque steer while accelerating at full throttle and/or on uneven surfaces. Electronic Stability Programme has been enhanced further and can fortunately be switched off for improved driver control though a sub-feature Enhanced Dynamic Cornering Control (EDCC) remains active. More tech in the form of Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control and Cornering under Steer Control (CUSC) uses torque to enhance cornering abilities and reduce under steer.
Uprated shock absorbers and springs lower the ST chassis by 10mm for a more aggressive stance while the centre of gravity is brought closer to the road aiding precise cornering while uprated suspension knuckles and an all-new anti-roll bar design, improves feedback and control.
The ST is available in a new signature colour, “Tangerine Scream” with Performance Blue, Race Red and White being the other colour options available. Interior details range from specially designed pedals, steering wheel and gearshift, and darker headlining and trim with unique Recaro seats. An additional ‘Performance Pack’ option offers the Y-shaped spoke design 18-inch alloy wheels in black with a red finish on the brake callipers.
Special for the European market, the Ford ST will also be available as a Wagon for greater carrying capacity. Unlike the hatchback, the Wagon will feature angled shock absorbers at the rear resulting in increased luggage space.
The ST will be offered in three distinct trim options – the “standard ST1” with key features like cloth Recaro seats, keyless start, front door scuff plates with ST logo, standard ST rear bench with centre armrest, ST floor mats, automatic headlamp control, auto-dimming rear view mirror and automatic wipers; “mid range ST2” adds partial leather Recaro seats and dual zone Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) and the “top spec ST3” increases the features with 8-way adjustable leather Recaro seats with pull out cushion, Recaro rear bench and Bi-Xenon headlamps.
Destined to reach over 40 markets on six continents with minor changes to meet regional needs, the five-door Focus ST is being touted as an affordable, everyday performance global car. We are uncertain if the ST will ever make it to our market though with the success seen by some of its competitors, we don’t see why it shouldn’t but doubts about local fuel quality will surely arise.