By: IOL Motoring Staff
Goodwood, Sussex - Ford has spilled the beans on its new Focus ST ahead of its official debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Friday and, as predicted in media circles abroad, it will be offered with a diesel engine option for the first time.
The catch, however, is that you can only buy the clattery version of Ford's hot hatch if you live in Europe. The South African ST will only be offered with the familiar 2-litre turbopetrol when it lands on our shores in 2015. As before, the EcoBoost petrol motor delivers 184kW and 360Nm, but it should return better economy in the city as Ford is now kitting it out with an idle-stop system. Claimed fuel consumption amounts to 6.8 l/100km. Oh, those claims.
The turbodiesel ST makes an more frugal claim of 4.4 l/100km, and it doesn't fall too short in the performance department. Its 2-litre TDCi turbodiesel has been tuned to push 136kW at 3500rpm and 400Nm between 2000 and 2750rpm. No zero to 100km/h times have been divulged, but Ford does insist that it's 2.2 seconds quicker than the petrol ST when accelerating between 80 and 120km/h in sixth gear.
In the name of creating an even more agile and responsive ST, Ford tasked its European performance division, Ford Team RS, with upgrading the chassis and steering. The team responded with all-new front springs, firmer shocks at both ends and a recalibrated electronic power steering system that has a more positive feel. The ESP stability control and electronic torque vectoring control settings haven’t escaped tinkering either, all in the name of improved traction.
The facelift doesn't bring any radical changes to the external styling of the Focus ST, but look closely and you will see slimmer headlights, a new bonnet, reproportioned honeycomb grille and redesigned rectangular foglights. Those keen on standing apart from the ST herd can opt for a set of newly designed 19-inch ST Design alloy wheels. Or would you rather go into ‘stealth’ mode. You’re not going to achieve that with the Tangerine Scream paint option that’s been carried over, but Ford is offering a new dark grey paint, aptly called Stealth.
Various style and trim changes mark out the revised ST's interior and a new range of technologies are available for the first time, including Ford's Sync 2 connectivity infotainment system that's linked to a high-definition eight-inch colour touch-screen.
New gadgets on offer - to European customers at least - include Adaptive Front Lighting, Cross Traffic Alert, Active City Stop and Lane Keeping Aid. Final South African specifications will be announced at launch.