The all-new Ford Focus ST is probably the best looking hot-hatch unveiled this year

It may just be February but it isn’t necessarily too soon to decide. Ford has just revealed the all-new Focus ST and my oh my does it look a far cry better than the old one!

The new fourth-generation model has been enhanced mainly with a new unique suspension system, improved braking ability and two engine options.

First, there’s the petrol-powered 2.3-litre turbocharged engine – the most powerful ever offered to a Focus ST – with 280 hp and 420 Nm that replaces the previous 2.0-litre engine with 252 hp and 366 Nm of torque.

There’s also a 2.0-litre EcoBlue turbo diesel engine making 190 hp and 400 Nm. 0 to 100 km/h in the former is said to take less than six seconds.

Performance enhancements include a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, a unique exhaust system that reduces back pressure, a bespoke air intake system and an optimised intercooler.

Anti-lag technology used in the Ford GT and F-150 Raptor has been applied to the Focus ST, for almost immediate power delivery in Sport and Track modes.

The new Focus ST can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed automatic transmission. As for the manual unit, “shift-throws” between gears have been reduced by 7%.

For the 2.3-litre models, there’s also an optional Performance Pack that offers Ford’s new rev-matching technology with shift indicator – like the one on the new Mustang. The package also comes with red calipers and launch control.

As for the ride, the new Focus ST retains the springs from a standard Focus but with damping stiffened by up to 20% in the front and 13% at the rear. Height has also been reduced by 10mm.

Steering response too, was not neglected with Ford claiming that the electric power-assisted steering is now 15% faster than the standard Focus, and dethrones the Fiesta ST for the “fastest steering response” crown.

Bigger brakes in both the front (twin pot calipers) and rear has been said to achieve almost four times the fade resistance performance of the previous Focus ST.

The brakes sit behind either 18 or 19-inch wheel options wrapped in bespoke Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres.

On the inside, it’s quite a familiar setting to Ford’s observers. You’re first greeted by a pair of massive Recaro seats that can be had in full leather, fabric or a mixed of both, followed by a host of items embossed with ST lettering.

On the flat-bottomed steering, you get a Sport and a separate Mode button to scroll through the different driving modes.

Further ahead, you’d find a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster display that’s capable of displaying boost pressure, oil pressure and oil temperature. Towards the side is an  8-inch colour touchscreen with Ford SYNC 3, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.



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