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Auto blogTue, 26 Mar 2013
Concentrated ST Formula Proves Just As Potent
I'm not the jealous type... usually. But I will fully admit to being somewhat of a Pouty Polly when I read executive editor Chris Paukert's report after driving the then-new 2013 Ford Focus ST through the impossibly pretty southern French Alps region last June. I feel like a broken record saying this yet again, but hot hatchbacks hold a special place in my heart. And while I'm always giddy to drive any sort of small, turbocharged three- or five-door at home in Detroit, my jealousy was indeed piqued after hearing Paukert tell about the challenging yet breathtaking roads he encountered while driving the flamin' yellow Focus. You know, the sort of roads that, from above, look like carelessly drizzled lines of icing on the frosted Alpen caps.
Several months later, I found myself piloting a Focus ST just west of metro Detroit, pitting it head-to-head against one of Autoblog's perennial favorite cars, the Volkswagen GTI. It was fantastic - enough so that I fully stand behind my statement that in terms of balls-out performance, the Focus ST cannot be beat as far as today's front-wheel-drive hatches are concerned.
Generally, cars get bigger and heavier as they get older. That's why it looks so ridiculous when you park a classic Mini next to a modern version. The same can be said of the Corvette, the BMW 3 Series, Porsche 911 and, of course, the Ford Taurus. In the Taurus' case, though, that size has become a liability, particularly because the big brute isn't nearly as sizable on the inside as it is on the out.
For 2016, Ford is aiming to rectify that. According to Edmunds, the 2016 Taurus will ride on a stretched and widened Ford Fusion platform. Ford is expecting this move to go a long way in trimming the Taurus' ample body fat.
"The problem with today's Taurus is that it is overweight and even the high performance SHO is not really competitive," said a source that spoke to Edmunds on condition of anonymity. The 365-horsepower SHO variant, "actually weighs about as much as the stretched Audi A8 L. Of course, Audi uses an extensive amount of aluminum, but it is a much bigger car."
Ford has quite the racing pedigree, but usually, its racers are relegated to the track. Not the new Formula Ford EcoBoost, though. It's a turbocharged, open-wheeled racer complete with a 200-horsepower, 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine... and it's legal on the roads of the UK.
That's stressed in this video from Autocar, with the mag going so far as to show the car's tax disc and license plates. Being a road-legal offering, it's tempting to see just how well an open-wheeler that delivers racecar-like performance while also netting over 100 miles per gallon (assume this is on the British cycle, for obvious reasons) stacks up against modern performance cars.
Autocar lined up the Formula Ford against an Audi R8 V10, a BMW M6 Gran Coupe and a Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG in a number of situations to see which would come out on top. Take a look below for the full video.