Last week we saw spy shots of a prototype of the next-generation Focus ST undergoing testing... now a new report suggests that Ford won't power its next Golf GTI rival with an uprated Fiesta ST engine, but a detuned version of the Mustang/current Focus RS 2.3-litre Ecoboost powerplant.
An all-new Ford Focus was revealed recently and the Blue Oval is currently developing the Focus ST hot hatch that will rival the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Hyundai i30N and Renault Megane RS. However, it was unclear whether the upcoming front-wheel-drive hot hatch would feature a 3- or 4-cylinder turbopetrol engine.
This Focus ST prototype was recently spied in heavy camouflage doing high-speed testing at the world-famous Nurburgring. It was clear that the "ST" wore elaborate bumpers while pronounced side sills and a more prominent roof spoiler contributed to a more aggressive stance. A dual exhaust system could be seen at the rear.
The Focus ST will feature larger brakes and handling ability will be enhanced thanks to a stiffer chassis and reworked suspension.
According to Autocar, Ford has decided to adapt the 2.3-litre Ecoboost powerplant for the Focus' FWD platform instead of installing a beefed-up version of the Fiesta's 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbopetrol "because the smaller engine would have to be run close to its reliable limit" to produce an output that would be comparable to that of the current Focus ST.
The next-generation Focus ST should benefit from the weight-saving and suspension technologies introduced in Ford's all-new premium compact hatchback and will, somewhat surprisingly, be offered exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission, which suggests the 250 bhp (186 kW) machine will be aimed more at driving enthusiasts than luxury-car buyers.
As for the more potent next-generation Focus RS, that is slated for introduction in 2020 and could offer as much as 298 kW and 576 Nm of torque with its 2.3-litre turbopetrol engine mated to a mild hybrid system.
The official reveal of the new Focus ST has been pushed out to the 2019 Geneva Show, the report said. We should see it on our showroom floors mid to late next year.
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