beijing, China — For the first time ever, Chinese drivers will be able to own a Ford performance car previously unavailable in this country. Making its debut in Asia at 2012 Auto China, the Tangerine Scream Focus ST is another of the 15 new vehicles that Ford has promised to introduce in the country by mid-decade.
The all-new Focus ST is Ford’s first truly global performance car, building on the heritage of previous Focus ST models in Europe and giving drivers around the world the opportunity to share the exhilarating performance, excellent handling, addictive sound and sporty design Ford’s ST badge represents. With innovative technologies throughout, the Focus ST will be highly fuel efficient too.
The Focus ST was developed along Ford’s core DNA for future global performance cars. The attributes for steering, driving dynamics, sound quality and power enhancements were defined by the Global Performance Vehicles group, along with input from Asia.
These DNA attributes can be seen in Focus ST’s aggressively enhanced front and rear bumpers, the addition of a rear spoiler and side skirts, as well as the specially tuned chassis and engine that deliver a truly sporty experience combined with a high level of refinement
“The new Focus ST is a really exciting car for Ford, being the first performance model to build upon the design and technology strengths of our One Ford strategy,” said Nigel Harris, vice president, Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor China. “It’s a car built for driving enthusiasts around the world – and in China – and they will not be disappointed.”
Performance meets efficiency under the hood
Focus ST is powered by the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost™ engine, which offers an uncompromising mix of performance and efficiency. Ford’s lightweight, all-aluminium EcoBoost engines provide the power of a larger engine in a fuel-efficient smaller displacement, leveraging three key technologies.
High-pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) create an advanced combustion system that brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency, as well as reduced CO2 emissions.
Ford developed a 184 kW high-output derivative of the 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine for Focus ST, which delivers strong torque levels in a broad, flat torque curve peaking at 360 Nm. The responsive torque output, a trademark of EcoBoost engines, is maintained despite the impressive peak figures.
This is the first time Ford has used a Ford EcoBoost engine in a high-performance model. Drivers will have a lot of power and torque at their disposal throughout the rev range. For everyday driving, though, the characteristics of this car will let them drive in a more fuel-efficient way than previously, which is an essential part of the ST’s DNA.
Mated to the 2.0-litre engine is a six-speed manual transmission, which has specially revised gearing to produce the maximum punch from each throw of the gearshift. Significant attention was paid to ensure the ratio of sixth gear was perfectly in tune with the Focus ST, giving the driver optimum performance while remaining long enough to help maintain excellent fuel economy on longer runs.
Ford sound engineers also gave the engine a fantastic note by reworking the famed sound symposer, first found on the previous Focus ST and subsequently employed on European Focus RS and RS500 models.
Thrilling driving dynamics
Incredible driving dynamics are at the heart of the Focus ST. Innovation and technology combine to create a chassis capable of exceeding the expectations of even the most demanding enthusiast, while giving novice drivers an unforgettable experience.
From the driver’s seat, customers will experience the newly developed Ford sport steering system. This variable-ratio steering rack is designed to increase the agility of the Focus ST on winding roads yet still inspire the same high-speed confidence.
The unique system makes steering less sensitive when driving in a straight line but increases the sensitivity during cornering. Drivers can keep their hands firmly on the steering wheel through tight hairpins, maximizing their control over the car. It also has benefits in slow-speed situations such as tight parking manoeuvres, with less input needed from the driver to direct the car into the space.
Focus ST’s electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) is also enhanced with Ford’s torque steer compensation. More aggressive tuning of the torque steer compensation allows drivers to accelerate at full throttle yet still find grip on roads with uneven surfaces. The system detects the torque steer that those conditions can create and communicates with the EPAS software, which then counteracts the effect to virtually eliminate the sensation for the driver.
Further enhancements have been made to the Focus ST’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP), with emphasis placed on driver enjoyment. Drivers will have three modes to choose from according to weather and road conditions or simply to match the driver’s desire for help from additional driving aids.
To help tackle corners, Focus ST is equipped with a tuned version of the Torque Vectoring Control found on the new Focus. The Focus ST’s Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control applies steering pressure more aggressively and also adds cornering control, which applies torque to create a yaw effect based on the car’s understeer, both in power-on and power-off conditions.
Working in harmony with the advanced driver-assistance features is the finely tuned suspension setup of the new Focus ST. Upgraded shock absorbers and springs lower the ST chassis for a more aggressive stance while the centre of gravity is brought closer to the road, which aids precise cornering.
The rear suspension has been revised with a number of new parts developed specifically for Focus ST. Key components are the uprated suspension knuckles and an all-new anti-roll bar design, both the result of the development team’s desire to give drivers an outstanding amount of feedback and control.
Bold and muscular through and through
In China the new Focus ST will be available as a five-door model. From the striking one-piece design interpretation of Ford’s signature trapezoidal grille at the front, through the sculpted side skirts and dynamic rear bumper with prominent diffuser-style vents in the lower fascia, Focus ST’s design adds aggression and aerodynamic stability.
The highly effective roof spoiler is optimized to deliver improved high-speed stability and reduced drag while the unique centre-exit exhaust sports a tailpipe design influenced by the exclusive hexagonal mesh of the front bumper.
The well-recognised Focus ST style extends to the iconic Y-shaped alloy wheels. Wrapped around the 18-inch wheels are high-performance 235/40R-18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tyres, developed after rigorous testing on all kinds of road surfaces and in all kinds of conditions, including one of the most famous racing circuits in the world, the legendary Nürburgring in Germany.
Inside, Ford designers worked hard to ensure the driver feels as connected to the car as possible. Sporty Recaro seats – available in partial or full leather – help deliver a unique, cockpit look and provide exceptional support and comfort.
Additional details range from specially designed pedals to the steering wheel and gearshift. The darker headlining and trim on the pillars, an integral part of the ST’s design DNA, adds to the performance feel.
“Be it for the enthusiast or the novice, the new Focus ST possesses all the great, fun-to-drive qualities that customers want,” said Harris. “Thanks to its exhilarating performance, road-gripping dynamics and superior levels of refinement, the Focus ST is a performance car that is ideal for everyday driving.”