The most engaging Focus ST is
currently being developed by Ford, and with a proven 2.3 litre EcoBoost engine
this will be Ford's final non-electrified high-performance car in the focus
The 2.3 litre engine will replace he 2.0 litre engine of the older STs, and with close technical links to the 345bhp Focus RS’s aluminium four-pot. This model will offer roughly 250bph and be adapted for life in the front-wheel drive of an ST.
It is expected that the next RS will see the start of Ford’s move to Hybrid power, so this will be the final version of a pure combustion powered car that we will see from Ford.
But why 2.3l?
Why 2.3 litre over the 1.5 litre three cylinder that is more powerful and features in the new Fiesta ST, you might ask. Ford is understood to have chosen this over the smaller engine as it will not have to run as close to its reliable limit. With 276bhp from the Renault Megane RS and 266bhp from the Peugeot 308 GTi, the Ford ST will be in direct competition.
On the other hand, offering 370bhp, the 2.3 litres of the Focus RS Red Edition has the ability to be practically tuned for the Focus ST. With no powershift automatic option it is due to be released exclusively with a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Driver focused design
With this new model there is a clear shift towards driver focus, with a great possibility that the latest Focus ST will provide a more playful and enthusiastic driving experience. Arriving in April, the VP of product development for Ford claims the car should have a “fun-to-drive feel”, something earlier Focus models were known for. Expect this to be taken to a whole new level with the ST.
It is claimed that the new Focus will be around 20% more rigid, and approximately 88k lighter than the older model. There should also be a 50% improvement to the suspension element of the car, a feature that should allow the engineers at Ford to improve agility without ride quality being compromised. This is not dissimilar to the recent improvements made to the new Fiesta compared to the older model.
When’s it ready?
Originally planned for launch at the end of 2018, the arrival of the new car is now not expected before the start of 2019, with a potential reveal in the run up the Geneva motor show in 2019, sales should follow by the summer.
Until the expected arrival of the Focus RS, due to be available from 2020, it is expected that the Focus ST will remain the strongest version of the Focus available.