Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 8
Drive Type: 2WD
Saint Petersburg, Florida, United States
If you're in the market for a hot hatch, there are some excellent choices at your disposal - especially if you live in Europe. But if you want a diesel, well, your choices become rather more limited. Volkswagen tends to that niche market with the Golf GTD (essentially an oil-burning version of the GTI available Stateside), but that's about the extent of it. The pleas of those looking for more diesel-burning hot hatch choices haven't fallen on deaf ears at Ford, with the Blue Oval not only rolling out a facelifted gas-powered Focus ST at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, but also a new diesel version as well.
The diesel Focus ST (which we hope and pray isn't marketed as the STD) packs a 2.0-liter turbodiesel four producing 182 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque to propel the oil-burning hot hatch to 62 in 8.1 seconds en route to a top speed of 135 miles per hour. With less power and only slightly more torque, that makes the diesel Focus ST considerably slower than the gasoline one, which packs 252 hp and 270 lb-ft, runs to 62 in 6.5 seconds and tops out at 154 mph, but (in a testament to how far particulate filters have come) the diesel model cuts carbon emissions by nearly a third compared to the petrol version and returns about 50-percent better fuel economy, which makes that much more of a difference in markets where diesel is already priced better than gasoline at the pump.
For buyers who wouldn't consider anything other than a diesel, it also represents 23-percent more power than the previous top-level diesel Focus. The VW Golf GTD, for reference, offers up 181 hp (just 1 horse less), 280 lb-ft (15 fewer torques) but is somehow estimated to reach 60 in a considerably fleeter 7.4 seconds.
Ford has announced that it is introducing "calibration updates designed to improve on-road fuel economy for owners of the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid."
We can speculate that these changes are at least due in part to lawsuits over mileage claims of hybrid vehicles. The automaker is enhancing 2013 models starting in August by raising their electric cruising speed to 85 miles per hour from 62 mph, optimizing the use of active grille shutters and the climate control system, shortening the engine warm-up period by 50 percent and reducing electric fan speed to minimize the fan's energy consumption.
It bears mentioning that Ford is doing pretty well in the US electrified vehicle market this year. The company claims to have grown its share in the segment by 12 points to 16 percent while taking a high number of Toyota Prius trade-ins in the process. Conversely, Toyota has experienced a five-percent drop in new-Prius sales over the same period. Additionally, Ford states that it has increased its share of the US vehicle market by one percent this year, more than any full-line automaker.
Ford will be voluntarily recalling 23,830 Focus Electric and C-Max Hybrid and Energi models equipped with push-button ignition, according to The Detroit News. Why? Because the cars don't make a noise when the driver's door is open, and are therefore in violation of federal regulations. It's not as silly as Honda's badging recall that isn't a recall, but it's close.
Actually, that's not exactly fair. The chime is supposed to come on when the driver's door is open, as it reminds drivers not to leave their cars on or leave key fobs in the car, an easy thing to forget when the cars in question make virtually no noise at idle and do not require keys in ignitions.
The recall, which Ford is conducting voluntarily, covers 2012 and 2013 Focus Electric hatchbacks and 2013 C-Max Hybrid and Energi models. The overwhelming majority, around 22,900 units, were sold in the US, while the remaining 900 units are in Canada. How many of each model are covered in the recall is not immediately clear.