WHEN the 2020 Ford Performance Focus ST lands in Australia early next year, rival brands Hyundai N Performance, Renault Sport and Volkswagen better be ready, because the blue oval is coming to play hardball.
The new Ford Performance Focus ST will bring a 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine with 206kW of power and 420Nm of torque to the hot hatch market, and will ride on high-performance Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.
Australian buyers will find cutting edge technology such as an eLSD, continuously controlled damping and a unique steering and chassis tune, with the Focus ST available in two trim levels, with the option of a Performance Pack.
For the first time ever, it will also be offered with the choice of a traditional six-speed manual gearbox, with optional rev-matching, or an advanced paddle shift automatic for seamless, quick gear-shifts.
“Local enthusiasts have made it clear that there’s a desire for highly engaging performance hatches,” said Ford Australia president and CEO Kay Hart.
“The all-new Focus ST builds on a tradition of legendary hot hatches, and will deliver an exhilarating driving experience as the latest model from Ford Performance.”
Sourced in Germany from the same facility as the Focus RS and previous Focus ST, the new Focus ST is built on the new C2 global architecture, praised for its inherent dynamic capability in what was a clean-sheet approach to Ford’s C-segment hot hatch.
Ford’s new C2 architecture is enhanced with unique suspension, braking and power train configurations for what it believes will be the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever – on road and track.
Sitting 10mm lower than the regular Focus, the new Focus ST rides on exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels and features unique honeycomb upper and lower grilles, with an active grille shutter, finished in striking dark grey.
LED headlamps with DTRLs, as well as adaptive cornering LED fog lamps, also give the hot hatch its own light signature, with ST-specific side-skirts, red brake calipers and an integrated hatch-mounted rear spoiler also on board.
The colour palette is also distinct from the base Focus range, with exclusive Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury paint choices, while inside, there’s a flat-bottom steering wheel, RECARO seats and unique digital instrumentation for the drive modes.
An 8.0-inch full-colour touchscreen with SYNC 3, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto graces the centre dash, as well as a 10-speaker B&O Play audio system, DAB radio, built-in sat-nav and reversing camera are all standard on the Focus ST.
In addition, the optional Performance Pack for manual models includes launch control, shift lights, rev-matching and an exclusive ‘track’ driving mode. Additional details and pricing will be announced closer to the performance hatch going on sale.