2015 FORD FOCUS ST REVEALED
Ford has handed down a set of photos and details for its revised Focus ST hot hatch, due here in the new year.
Obvious surface changes aside, Ford has promised “a more responsive, balanced and refined experience” with the refreshed ST, introducing a host of upgrades and enhancements under the skin.
A 136kW/380Nm 2.0 litre diesel option will also be offered with the Focus ST for the first time, although this model has been ruled out for Australia due to an expected low buyer interest. (VW’s Golf GTD has likewise been ruled out for Australia in its new guise.)
Back to the petrol model, power is again provided by Ford’s 184kW and 340Nm turbocharged 2.0 litre EcoBoost engine.
And again, power is sent to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission with a short-throw shift.
So what’s changed?
Ford’s Team RS division says it has armed the 2015 ST with a raft of suspension tweaks. That includes new front springs and a new tune to the front and rear shock absorbers, although the anti-roll bars and rear springs are carried over unchanged from the current model.
The electronic power-assisted steering has also been recalibrated, and Ford promises “a quicker response from the variable ratio steering, improving turn-in and delivering better overall balance”.
Likewise there’s improvements to the three-stage ESP, all focused on maintaining precision and control during high-speed maneuvering.
Engine mounts are also re-engineered for the 2015 ST, refining power delivery under heavy load and - importantly in a high-powered front-wheel-drive performer - improving traction.
There’s also new 19-inch tyres developed exclusively with Michelin.
On the styling front, the 2015 Focus ST follows the recently revealed ‘regular’ range in getting slender new headlights and a more streamlined look to the rear lamps.
The ST also gets a subtly reshaped grille and a more sculpted bonnet.
The updated Focus range’s changes also appear in the cabin, with a new dash layout and fewer buttons than in the outgoing model.
The ST of course retains the extra bank of gauges across the top of the dash, showing boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure.
There’s a new flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel, replacing the rounder four-spoke tiller of the current model.
Ford’s Sync 2 infotainment system is also on board, with the eight-inch colour screen offering access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones via voice control.
Available in Europe from September, we can likely expect the updated Focus ST here in the new year.