Ford launches Focus ST locallyBy Hanleigh Daniels 5 October 2012 | Categories: news
Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has launched its all-new Focus ST locally, with the firm saying that this car will deliver a unique balance of outstanding performance, handling, refinement and style to local buyers, when it goes on sale in South Africa this November.
Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine that enables sensible drivers to obtain fuel economy figures of around 7.2 ?/100 km, which is a 20% improvement over the previous Focus ST. More importantly though in a vehicle like this, is the fact that this engine churns out a 184 kW of power and a maximum amount of torque (360 Nm) that is delivered within a wide rev band, between 2000 and 4500 RPM. This is enough go-juice to propel the car from standstill to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds, on to an illegal terminal velocity of nearly 250 km/h.
It is not just the grunt of the engine that will put a smile on the faces of hot hatch fans though. Ford marketing manager, Gavin Golightly explains: “Every detail has been considered including optimising the sporty sound occupants experience. It leaves the driver in no doubt that this is a special car.”
A newly-enhanced sound symposer relays the engine sound directly from the intake into the cabin. The engine sounds amazing, so much so that it will have you turn off the six speaker audio system in favour of the auditory symphonics emanating from the bonnet, whilst also encouraging you to keep your right foot planted.
Complementing the sporty performance of the engine is the Focus ST’s enhanced driving dynamics that includes a new Sport Steering System with variable ratio steering rack that reduces steering sensitivity when driving in a straight line and then increases sensitivity whilst cornering. This system links up with a comprehensive range of driver assistance features such as Cornering Under Steer Control (CUSC) and Torque Vectoring Control, which applies brake torque to the inner wheel through a corner in order to reduce understeer.
Having been given the opportunity to put these systems to the test on Port Elizabeth’s Aldo Scribante race track, we can confirm that they works remarkably well, assisting you in pointing the car exactly where you want it within corners and hairpins.
One Focus ST to rule them all
Unlike the previous generation Focus ST, which saw a US version being build for the Americas and European version for the EU and everywhere else, the company adopted a “One Ford” approach to deliver a global Ford Focus ST.
Ford’s Global Performance Vehicles group established the DNA of the ST, with the process involving close collaboration between the Ford Team RS in Europe and the Special Vehicles Team (SVT) in the US.
“The new Focus ST will be available in 40 countries around the world as Ford’s first global performance car. As such it has been highly anticipated and we are extremely excited to introduce it here in South Africa and allow Ford fans the opportunity to experience the true essence of what the ST badge represents,” said Golightly.
ST1 and ST3
The new Focus ST will be available in five-door hatchback format in a range of colours including a lighter, almost yellow shade of orange dubbed Tangerine Scream, Spirit Blue, Race Red, Panther Black, Frozen White and Moondust Silver.
On the outside, the ST’s sporty nature is conveyed by Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille, bulging side skirts, roof spoiler that improves high-speed stability whilst reducing drag and figure-eight style Chrome exhaust tailpipe.
Inside, trim options include ST1 and ST3, with ST1 offering keyless start, cloth Recaro racing seats, a tire deflation detection system, and cruise control. Besides these features, the high-spec ST3 model adds auto-folding mirrors, keyless entry, rain sensitive wipers, 8-way adjustable leather Recaro seats and Bi-Xenon headlamps that incorporates LED daytime running lights.
The ST1 goes for R309 000, whilst the ST3 carries an RRP of R353 000.
Focus customers will get a comprehensive four year or 120 000 km warranty, five year or 90 000 km service plan with service intervals staggered at 20 000 km intervals, as well as a three year/unlimited km roadside assistance plan.
“Ford’s performance strategy is based on the fact that performance fans globally want the same thing. As a result designers focused on combining a rewarding driving experience with the ability to enjoy the car on a day-to-day basis,” concluded Golightly.
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