2019 Ford Focus ST deliver nimble hot-hatchback thrills

By CARSIFU | 19 February 2019


LONDON: Ford has revealed the all-new Focus ST – developed by Ford Performance to deliver nimble hot-hatchback thrills in a stylish, comfortable and practical family car.

The all-new Focus ST builds on the class-leading driving dynamics of the fourth generation Focus in five-door hatch and estate body styles.

Ford’s new C2 architecture is enhanced with unique suspension, braking and powertrain configurations for the most responsive and agile Focus ST driving experience ever – on road and track.

A new engine line-up creates up to 12 per cent more power and 17 per cent more torque compared with the previous generation Focus ST.

2019 Ford Focus ST (1)


Ford’s 280PS 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine and 190PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine both deliver a broad spread of power and torque across the rev-range.

Ford’s first application of an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) for a front-wheel drive vehicle further enhances the cornering and stability of new Focus ST, sharpening responses to changing grip levels and driver inputs using computer-controlled pre-emptive actuation.

A choice of six-speed manual or new, quick-shifting, seven-speed automatic transmissions is offered, and Selectable Drive Modes technology is introduced to the Focus ST for the first time, enabling drivers to adjust the vehicle’s character to suit the driving scenario.

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Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) – standard for five-door EcoBoost variants – enhances the short long arm (SLA) independent rear suspension configuration for ultimate refinement.

“Intelligent technologies like eLSD and CCD make our all-new Focus ST the most ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ yet, able to switch from refined tourer to focussed performance car at the push of a button,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe. “We’ve incorporated learnings from programmes including the Ford GT and Focus RS to develop a mid-size performance car with a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”

A new generation of Ford’s 2.3-litre turbocharged EcoBoost all-aluminium engine is the most powerful ever offered for a Focus ST.

With 280PS power at 5,500rpm and 420Nm of torque from 3,000rpm to 4,000rpm, it is also the most free-revving Focus ST engine ever, and supports anticipated 0-100kph acceleration in less than six seconds.

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Ford’s 190PS 2.0-litre diesel EcoBlue engine is the most powerful diesel engine ever offered for a Ford Focus model, delivering peak power at 3,500rpm and 400Nm of torque between 2,000rpm and 3,000rpm – and 360Nm from 1,500rpm – for immediate and linear acceleration.

The Focus ST’s six-speed manual transmission enables more urgent gear-changes and provides a sportier feel with a shift-throw reduction of seven per cent compared with the standard all-new Focus.

Ford’s new rev-matching technology that debuted on the new Ford Mustang is also introduced as part of an optional Performance Pack for 2.3-litre EcoBoost manual models.

Delivering smoother, faster downshifts, the technology is accompanied by a shift indicator light, and uses the engine’s electronic control system to briefly “blip” the throttle as the driver engages a lower gear – matching the engine rotation speed to that of the gear that is being selected.

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Rev-matching enables less-experienced performance drivers to benefit from the seamless, momentum-maintaining gearshifts delivered by the “heel-and-toe” driving technique, while also enabling experienced performance drivers to deactivate the system if they prefer.

Gear differentiation on the new seven-speed variant of Ford’s automatic transmission is optimised for performance, and Adaptive Shift Scheduling – which assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings – is enhanced to offer more flexibility and the ability to differentiate between road and track use. Drivers can select gears manually using steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.

Ford’s sophisticated CCD technology is offered as part of the Performance Pack for five-door EcoBoost models, and every two milliseconds monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs to adjust damping responses.

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The driving experience is further enhanced using eLSD technology for Focus ST 2.3-litre EcoBoost models. Incorporated into the transmission, the system uses hydraulically activated clutches to limit the engine torque delivered to a wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, and redistributes up to 100 per cent of available torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheelspin that can hamper acceleration through, and out of, corners.

The Borg Warner-developed technology is faster to deploy and offers greater precision than a traditional mechanical LSD. The system can pre-emptively adjust torque distribution using inputs from powertrain and vehicle dynamics sensors, rather than responding to wheelspin as it occurs, and can gradually apply differential locking for fine-tuning performance.

Focus ST 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel models feature Torque Vectoring Control technology, which improves road holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering.

The all-new Focus ST steals Ford’s fastest-steering-response crown from the acclaimed Fiesta ST. The electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system is 15 per cent faster than the standard Focus, requiring just two turns lock-to-lock.

2019 Ford Focus ST (7)
2019 Ford Focus ST (8)

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