2012 FORD FOCUS ST
Meanwhile, Ford Australia has confirmed the European-designed Focus ST will replace the local XR5 Turbo in both name and body.
Exact launch dates for Australia for the ST remain a tightly-held secret for now, although it's unlikely we'll see it on local roads before the New Year.
The new Focus ST will be offered in the familiar five-door layout, along with a wagon variant for the family-minded enthusiast.
Don't expect to see a three-door anytime soon however; Ford confirmed in December that it has no plans for a shorter Focus, ST or otherwise.
On the styling front, there's little here that hasn't been seen already, with the new ST debuting with an almost identical look to the showcar that appeared in Paris last year.
In wagon and hatch form, the new Focus ST is powered by Ford's 2.0 litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine, producing 186kW and 360Nm of torque.
Compared to its Australian-delivered XR5 Turbo predecessor, that's an additional 20kW of power and 40Nm of twist.
Paired with a six-speed manual transmission, the 2.0 litre turbo engine will power the front wheels only - as always.
Performance figures are being kept a secret for now, but expect more details to come with the opening of the Frankfurt Motor Show in the coming hours.
One much-loved aspect of the outgoing model is the sound of its five-cylinder engine. According to Ford's global performance vehicles boss Jost Capito, fans needn't worry about the new four-cylinder engine delivering anything less.
“The physics and acoustics of a 5-cylinder engine compared to a 4-cylinder are very different, but like Beethoven and Mozart – both of whom created fantastic yet very different music – we believe the engine note of the new Focus ST will delight enthusiasts in the same way," Capito said.
Ford's RevoKnuckle front struts - which already star in the current RS - will help to limit torque steer. Also on hand will be a Torque Vectoring Control system that acts like a limited-slip rear differential to increase traction and reduce understeer.
There's also a Cornering Understeer Control system that applies torque when needed, creating yaw torque during power-on and power-off in the corners.
A new anti-roll bar design is featured, along with redesigned shock absorbers and springs that also lower the ST by 10mm, bringing a lower centre of gravity and a more aggressive stance.
The new Focus ST is gets 18-inch alloy wheels and 235/40R18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tyres, and a "Performance Pack" will also be offered - although all you'll get there is a black version of the standard wheels and red brake callipers.
Watch for the new ST to make its global debut at Frankfurt tomorrow.
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