2013 Ford Focus ST Track Test

Running Numbers on Ford's Hot Hatch


  • Track Tested: 2013 Ford Focus ST

    The Inside Line testing team takes the new Ford Focus ST to the track. | October 02, 2012

1 Video , 23 Photos

Edmunds tests hundreds of vehicles a year. Cars, trucks, SUVs, we run them all, and the numbers always tell a story. With that in mind we present "IL Track Tested," a quick rundown of all the data we collect at the track, along with comments direct from the test drivers. Enjoy.

The last time we drove the 2013 Ford Focus ST we called it the $24,495 BMW M3. And despite the fact that the 252-horsepower 2013 Focus ST is a front-drive turbocharged hatchback, that spin around the French Alps had us thinking BMW and not Mazdaspeed 3 or Volkswagen GTI.

But that was a preproduction European-spec test car in an unfamiliar environment. Before we could make a full analysis we'd need to experience the hot rod Focus ST on our own turf.

Ford didn't have one available for us yet, but a local dealer did. $29,185 later, we walked out with our new Long-Term Tangerine Scream 2013 Ford Focus ST. Then we hit the road to get it broken in. Five days later we finished the break-in and sent it immediately to the track.

Would we still be thinking M3, or would the numbers and on-track performance bring us back to a Mazdaspeed 3/GTI mindset?

Vehicle:
Odometer: 1,188
Date: 10/2/2012
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: $29,185 (as tested)

Specifications:
Drive Type: Front-engine, front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Six-speed manual
Engine Type: Turbocharged inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,999/122
Redline (rpm): 6,500
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 252 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 270 @ 2,500
Brake Type (front): 12.6-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Brake Type (rear): 10.7-inch ventilated disc with single-piston sliding caliper
Suspension Type (front): Independent MacPherson struts, coil springs, stabilizer bar
Suspension Type (rear): Independent multilink, coil springs, trailing links
Tire Size (front): 235/40R18 (95Y)
Tire Size (rear): 235/40R18 (95Y)
Tire Brand: Goodyear
Tire Model: Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2
Tire Type: Asymmetrical summer performance
As Tested Curb Weight (lb.): 3,251

Test Results:

Acceleration
0-30 (sec): 2.8 (2.9 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.5 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.6 (7.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.3 (6.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 9.9 (10.0 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 93.3 (15.1 @92.5 w/ TC on)

Braking
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 112

Handling
Slalom (mph): 69.1 (67.7 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.93 (0.91 w/TC on)

Db @ Idle: 45.6
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.4
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 64.7
RPM @ 70: 2,650

Comments:

Acceleration: Not easy to launch, but not as hard as some FWD cars. Doesn't want to bog or coil like Mazdaspeed 3, but also doesn't leave as hard. Needs about 3,500 rpm and quick clutch engagement for best launch. Wheels spin partway through 1st, then hook. When executed properly, the shift to 2nd doesn't bog. Shifter is vague for this kind of use. Probably fine during daily driving (or even road course use), but not direct enough for drag-style shifting.

Braking: Softer pedal than I'd prefer, but stopping seems reliable. Some variation in distance, but no fade.

Handling:

Skid pad: Readily rotates off throttle, which allows complete freedom of line adjustment here. This car would be brilliant on a road course. Communicative and lively. Fun. Stability off yields best numbers here.

Slalom: Eagerness to rotate on the skid pad hurts this car in the slalom. Still, its manners are superb if you're willing to drive it hard. Best time in "Sport" mode. Tuned to rotate so don't bother turning ESC off. Stability control and suspension engineers tuned this car for drivers who understand.

Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.

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