2012 Ford Focus ST hot hatch unveiled in production form

Fans of Ford’s performance offerings have something to celebrate this week with the official reveal of the new Focus ST. Known in NZ as the Focus XR5 Turbo, the new ST will debut in production guise at this week’s 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and in the lead up, details and images have reached the web.

While the production hot hatch isn’t a significant departure from its concept predecessor, what’s really interesting is the inclusion of a station wagon body in the Focus ST range. Sadly, this performance wagon won’t reach as many global markets as the hatch and will likely be a European only offering, so don’t expect to see any down here in NZ.

Both the hatch and wagon feature the same 2.0-litre EcoBoost four-cylinder under the bonnet with a power output of 186kW and a healthy 360Nm of max torque. The high-tech engine comes mated to a 6-speed manual that pushes grunt to the front wheels only. That’s a lot of power for the front treads to handle so Ford has worked hard to avoid torque-steer issues with its electronic power assisted steering and torque steer compensation system. Both systems work together to minimize the wheel-tugging effects often associated with high power front-wheel drivers.

In terms of raw power Ford is claiming that the new four-pot is more powerful and more fuel efficient than the Volvo-sourced five-cylinder found in the current model ST/XR5.

The new ST’s brakes and suspension have been upgraded over the stock models and it rides on a set of 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in high performance 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tyres. There will also be an optional ‘Performance Pack’ which includes the same alloys in black and red painted performance brake calipers. Other exterior mods exclusive to the ST include a different front grille and a full aero package. Inside, there’s the expected set of Recaro sport seats and plenty of special sports trim to keep badge fans happy.

Ford NZ hasn’t officially confirmed that the Focus ST will make it to our shores, but it’s likely we will see this hot hatch arrive sometime in 2012.

Click here to read a First Drive report of the 2012 Ford Focus.

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