Hot on the heels of the Honda Civic Type R, the Ford Focus ST is the latest hot hatch to be axed thanks to the tough new Euro 5 regulations that will soon be coming into force.
While this might seem a shock at first it’s not quite as bad as you might think. Sure, the Foxus ST is a great hot hatch and its 2.5-litre 5-cylinder turbocharged engine has a wonderful soundtrack, but it’s always had a drink problem and reducing emissions was going to be tough.
The Focus ST would have been axed soon anyway as there’s an all-new Focus due soon. It always takes time for the hotter versions of a new car to arrive so even without Euro 5 we would have faced the prospect of no ST model for a short period of time.
Don’t be too hard on the Eurocrats for spoiling our fun because it won’t stop the motor manufacturers from satisfying the demand for fast cars. All it means is that Ford’s engineers are going to have to work a little bit harder, downsize the engine to a 2.0-litre turbo and concentrate on weight saving. The 1,400kg Focus ST is a bit of a lardy arse, so the prospect of a lighter, more nimble replacement should be something to be excited about.
It’s just a shame that we’ll lose that five-cylinder warble.
Oh, and keep an eye on the Clio 200 – that’s facing the chop too unless Renaultsport can get it to conform to Euro 5.