2010 Paris Auto Show
What is it?
2012 Ford Focus ST
What's special about it?
The car you see here, in all its big-wheeled, searing yellow-gold paint is technically a concept version of the upcoming Ford Focus ST. But this little hot hatchback, which will be unveiled to the world at the 2010 Paris Auto Show on September 29, is "lightly veiled" at most. Save for a bit of trim here and a brake caliper there, this is the new "global high-performance" version of the upcoming Focus that the company announced in March at the Geneva auto show.
News of the 2012 Ford Focus ST's imminent debut comes hot on the heels of rival Opel's announcement that it also plans to preview its upcoming Astra GTC in concept guise in Paris, renewing a battle for hot hatchback supremacy that dates back to the late 1970s. But that's in Europe. When it arrives in the U.S. market in early 2012, the 2012 Ford Focus ST will do battle with the likes of the Mazdaspeed 3 and the Volkswagen GTI. And, yes, Ford is adopting the ST name in the U.S. and dropping the SVT badge. The car is the result of both European and American performance team input.
In a move that amps up the attitude to the Focus hatchback's styling, the ST receives a deeper front bumper with larger air intakes, a gaping one-piece grille, wider side sills, a sizable spoiler above the rear tailgate, a unique rear bumper cover housing a wacky central exhaust and signature five-arm, double-spoke alloy wheels.
Inside, there are sport seats with body-colored inserts, deep-set main instruments, a trio of secondary dials for oil temperature, turbocharger boost pressure and battery charge and carbon-fiber-look trim adorning the dashboard.
The 2012 Ford Focus ST runs a performance-oriented version of Ford's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine delivering 247 horsepower. This provides the Blue Oval's latest hot hatchback with an increase of 25 hp over the current European ST, which uses a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder from Volvo.
It also puts out 50 hp more than the current VW GTI and nearly matches the output of the 263-hp Mazdaspeed 3. No further details on the new EcoBoost engine have been revealed.
A six-speed manual gearbox will be standard equipment. A strengthened version of Ford's six-speed Powershift dual-clutch arrangement will likely be an option. As tradition dictates, drive is channeled through the front wheels.
While officials at the Blue Oval remain tight-lipped on specific plans, rumors in Germany suggest that a sedan version of the Focus ST, flaunting similar design touches to the concept to be unveiled in Paris and running the same driveline hardware, is in the works.
Edmunds.com says: Call it the SVT Focus, Focus ST or the Focus STD; we really don't care. We're eager to have a high-performance Focus back in the U.S. Now hurry it up already. — Andreas Stahl, Contributor