It has been a long, long time coming but June 1st sees the return of a popular badge to Ford showrooms when the new Focus ST officially goes on sale. With prices starting at just £21,995 the 247bhp hot hatch is priced to undercut its main competition.
That’s a competitive price when you consider that a Megane 265 Cup costs £24,840, the Volkswagen GTI starts at £25,650 and the soon-to-be-released Astra VXR is expected to cost around £25,000. The last Focus ST sold over 35,000 units while it was on sale between 2002 and 2010 and at this price I think it’s safe to say the new model will be just as successful.
The trim levels are the same as for the earlier Focus ST, with ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 representing increasing levels of kit. The standard ST-1 specification includes keyless start, Recaro seats, DAB radio, Bluetooth and 18-inch alloy wheels.
ST-2 specification, priced at £23,495, adds partial leather seats, auto lights and wipers, a Sony radio, self-dimming rear view mirror and a Quickclear windscreen. The top ST-3 model will be available for £25,495 and adds full leather with heated front seats, bi-xenon headlights with LED DRLs, keyless entry and powered mirrors.
There are a few option packs available on the ST-2 and ST-3, including:
- Driver Assistance Pack, which includes Active City Stop, Blind Spot Monitoring, forward camera features (e.g. Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Departure Warning etc.),
- City Pack, that adds rear parking sensors and powered folding mirrors
- ST Style Pack, for 18in alloys in rado-grey, red brake callipers and illuminated scuff plates
- Sony DAB Navigation that includes a rear view camera
Where the last model was available as a three or five-door hatchback, this model is available as either a five-door hatch or an estate, with the estate adding £1,100 to the asking price. As for a three-door version there are rumours of a coupe-styled Focus to take on the Astra VXR, Renaultsport Megane and Volkswagen Scirocco. Whether it will bear the Focus name or be rebadged as a Capri is also open to speculation.
Ford have already released details about the engine, 2.0-litre EcoBoost unit with 247bhp and 265lb/ft of torque. Performance will be close to the old RS model but with lower fuel consumption (39.2mpg) and CO2 emissions down to 169g/km. That places the focus ST into band H on the VED charts for a £275 tax bill in year one, followed by £195 for following years.
This new ST is a big deal for Ford as it will be going on sale in 40 different countries. As their first global performance car it will be interesting to see how the setup translates on British roads.
The Focus ST is also set to become a cinema star when it appears in the remake of The Sweeney, alongside Ray Winstone and “Plan B” Ben Drew, but you probably already knew that from watching Top Gear.