2011 Los Angeles Auto Show: 2013 Ford Focus ST Debut

By Jacob Brown | November 14, 2011
What's New Not since the SVT Ford Focus of almost a decade ago has there been a high-performance hatchback from the Blue Oval brand in the U.S. As its long-awaited encore, Ford is finally allowing North America the opportunity to once again buy its dynamic compact. Coming with an EcoBoost version of the company’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Focus ST comes bearing 247 horsepower, routing it to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission and enough high-tech software to make NASA jealous. With the high-output engine, Ford is also employing a revised front end with a new widemouth grille, a lower, stiffer suspension, and bigger tires all around to cope with the car’s faster reflexes and better capabilities. Who It's For Since the sport compact segment took off last decade, customers have had the opportunity to own vehicles that are fun to drive and still excellent values in their own right. Leading the segment has been the Honda Civic Si, Subaru Impreza WRX, and MazdaSpeed3 hatchback, among others. They’ve attracted audiences in need of practical cars who want some spunk in their daily commuters and younger audiences who grew up with the Fast and Furious movie series. Because of their light weight and small, highly tunable engines, they’ve become favorites for people to home-build highly customized cars on the cheap.
Key Features The Focus ST packs features that set it apart from its class and will likely push the level of technology available in the sport compact class. Some of that includes:
  • Torque-vectoring computers that applies the brake on the inside front wheel to sort out the handling in tight corners.
  • A suspension setup designed in Europe that should allow the car to better tackle twisty backroads.
  • Revised styling all around, featuring a new front bumper, side skirts, and 18-inch aluminum wheels.
  • Interior upgrades that include Recaro sport seats and special shifter, steering wheel, and gearshift knob covering materials.
What We Think The Focus ST looks a bit like a slack-jawed donkey from the front. We’re not fans of the bumper. However, the rest of the car looks cohesive, and it looks downright sinister from some angles. There has been a legion of followers waiting since 2004 for Ford to bring back a sporty version of its Focus compact. Many hoped it would have all-wheel drive, keeping Ford’s involvement in World Championship Rally racing in mind. The Focus ST doesn’t deliver on that, but it still looks the part. Knowing the massive cult following of the previous versions of the Focus ST that never made it to the U.S., Ford has a lot riding on this car. The company can’t afford to screw this car up, and we’re sure the team in Dearborn has done its homework with the Focus ST. We’re eagerly awaiting its arrival in showrooms.