- Ford newest hot hatch, the Focus ST, has officially arrived-unfortunately only for the European market.
- Based on the new-generation Focus compact car, the new Focus ST has a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 276 horsepower that mates with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic transmission.
- Enthusiasts will be bummed that Ford has no plans to bring any version of the new Focus to America, as the company has killed off all car nameplates in its U.S. lineup save for the Mustang.
Ford has worked hard to establish itself as a leading purveyor of hot hatches, and that narrative is continuing with the new 2019 Focus ST-except in the United States, that is. Because of Ford's decision to has slash nearly all car nameplates from its U.S. lineup, no version of the new Focus will come here, leaving us to gawk at the new ST's goodness from afar.
With the new global fourth-generation Ford Focus hatchback as its base, the new ST uses a familiar formula, bringing big turbocharged power, extra visual aggression, and numerous chassis upgrades. The standard engine is a version of the turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine found elsewhere in Ford's lineup, here making 276 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque-a healthy upgrade over the current car's 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a seven-speed automatic is a new addition. There's also a diesel version of the ST; its 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine makes 187 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque.
Performance goodies, most of which are part of an optional Performance pack, include a limited-slip differential, adaptive dampers, rev-matching capability for the manual, and launch control. Stiffer damping, larger brakes, and retuned steering are also on hand, as expected.
We love the way the new Focus ST looks on the outside. The larger wheels, body kit, aggressive front grille, and dual exhaust complement the Focus hatch's attractively proportioned look nicely. Inside, key additions include Recaro front seats, a flat-bottom steering wheel, and several ST badges.
Adding insult to injury for Americans, Ford will also offer a wagon version of the Focus ST when this new model goes on sale in Europe this summer. We've been crying out for Ford to reverse its decision not to bring the new Focus here for a while, and the full details on this ST only have us hoping more than ever that we may someday get a chance to see this hot hatch here.
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