Ford Unveils Focus ST at Frankfurt Auto Show, Surprises with European Focus ST Wagon
Moments ago, at the Frankfurt Auto Show, Ford unveiled the Focus ST and Focus ST Wagon, the automaker's highly anticipated sport hatchback and surprising sport wagon. Powered by a 2.0 liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, the turbocharged Focus ST lays down 247-hp and 265 lb-ft torque--performance figures that rival the best from Subaru and Mazda. It's perfect timing for Ford as the Subaru Impreza WRX and WRX STi, reigning kings of the turbo hatch segment, will take a two-year sabbatical before returning sometime in 2013 as all-new models, giving Ford a great opportunity to build momentum in a suddenly weakened market. And the Focus ST is poised to run away with the segment if it can undercut the Mazda Mazdaspeed3's price, while significantly bettering its meager fuel economy. “The new Focus ST is a really exciting car for Ford,” said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles. “It’s the first performance model to build upon the design and technology strengths of one of our new global production vehicles. It’s a car built for driving enthusiasts all around the world and they will not be disappointed.” Ford says it will offer the Focus ST in 40 markets on six continents, including North America, where the sporty Focus had previously been shunned. But aside from the generous boost in power, Ford says the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine should also rate 20-percent better fuel economy than the outgoing European-spec, turbocharged 5-cylinder. This is big news for America, where the Focus ST could top 30 mpg highway and offer exhilarating performance. “This is the first time we have used a four-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine in a high performance model and the results are phenomenal,” said Capito. “Drivers will have a lot of power and torque throughout the rev range to use. For everyday driving, though, the characteristics of this car will let them drive in a more fuel efficient way than previously, which is an essential part of the ST’s DNA.” Ford will offer the Focus ST with a six-speed manual transmission, and the sporty hatch will be distinguished by a stylish center-exit exhaust, new 18-inch wheels, and a lower, stiffer sport suspension. New to America is a sport steering system which electronically applies brake pressure and/or engine torque when cornering. This enables the driver to better steer the front-wheel drive Focus ST under difficult race-like scenarios — a welcome addition for spirited drivers. Pricing and mileage figures have yet to be announced, but the Focus ST should hit American showrooms by Spring. Sadly, the Focus ST Wagon is, like most things automotive and awesome, for Europe only. Source: Ford
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