Ford has launched the new Focus ST in South Africa. The hot hatch from the blue oval now features improved dynamics and new technology such as the industry-first Enhanced Transitional Stability system and the SYNC2 connectivity system with a high-res 8-inch colour touchscreen.
What's New?Much of the improvement in driving dynamics in this latest Focus ST is thanks to a stiffer chassis which reduces flex and improves agility and response. The suspension has been revised with all-new front springs and sporty shock absorber tuning at all four corners of the car, resulting in better overall performance.
The new Enhanced Transitional Stability (ETS) system forms part of the vehicle’s advanced Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and monitors vehicle stability and driver inputs. The system detects or predicts when a skid or loss of control is imminent and then takes corrective action by braking individual wheels to maintain control during direction changes at speed. Revised Electronic Torque Vectoring Control has also improved traction and reduced understeer. Drivers can choose between three ESC modes including Standard Mode, Sport Mode and Off, to suit the drivers desires.
In terms of styling, the new Ford Focus ST stands lower and wider compared to the outgoing model and now features a new bonnet, slimmer headlights and rectangular fog lights. Opt for the sports bodykit and the Focus ST gains body-coloured side skirts, diffuser elements and rear roof spoiler. All Focus ST models feature a hexagonal centre tailpipe.
Sporty looking 18-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels are standard and there's also 19-inch 'Rock metallic' dark grey rims on offer with red brake callipers and a sunroof, forming part of a option pack costing R6 540.
Customers also have the choice of a new colour called Stealth (dark grey). Other colours include Tangerine Scream, Deep Impact Blue, Frozen White, Moondust Silver, Panther Black and Race Red.
Step InsideThe interior of the new new Focus ST has been redesigned with a simpler layout and fewer buttons. Three gauges in the instrument binnacle display turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information. There's also a new flat-base steering wheel covered in soft-feel leather and the the gear lever features a satin chrome top. Other details include ST pedals, satin chrome door grab handles and illuminated aluminium scuff plates. The racy persona of the ST is further enhanced with Recaro sports seats.
Engine PowerThe Ford Focus ST is powered by a 2.0-litre Ecoboost engine that delivers 184 kW and 360 Nm. 0-100kph is achieved in 6.5 seconds with a top speed of 248kph. Fuel consumption is rated at 6.8L/100km. Auto-Start-Stop is now part of the package too and this improves fuel economy by up to 6%. This engine is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission.
Model ChoiceTwo trim levels are available, namely ST1 and ST3. Recaro sports seats are fitted as standard on both models with the ST1 featuring fabric upholstery in grey/charcoal/ anthracite black. The ST3 is kitted out in full charcoal black leather trim.
Standard features for the ST1 includes keyless start, footwell illumination, ST-branded leather steering wheel and gear knob, ST scuff plates, ST triple dial cluster, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control and an advanced Thatcham alarm and anti-theft system. Ford’s SYNC with Bluetooth and Voice Activation is also included along with mounted steering wheel controls and two USB ports.
The ST3 derivative features heated Recaro sports seats that are eight-way electronically adjustable for both the driver and passenger. This model benefits from dual-zone climate control, Ford's SYNC2 system with 8-inch touchscreen, Sony sound system with nine speakers, two USB ports and an SD card slot. The ST3 is further distinguished with LED daytime running lights and Bi-Xenon HID headlamps.
New Ford Focus ST Price in South AfricaFord Focus ST1 - R381 900
Ford Focus ST3 - R421 900
Pricing includes a 4-year/120 000km Comprehensive Warranty, 4-year/80 000km Service Plan, 3-year/unlimited km Roadside Assistance and 5-year/unlimited km Corrosion Warranty. Service intervals are set at 20 000km.
Ashley Oldfield is currently at the launch of the facelifted Ford Focus ST and his driving impression will be up in the next day to two.