Ford rolls out diesel Focus ST at Goodwood [w/poll]Sun, 29 Jun 2014
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.
Regardless of engine choice, buyers get the same six-speed manual transmission and all the other enhancements introduced on the updated Focus ST, including recalibrated suspension and steering, updated front- and rear-end styling and upgraded interior equipment. Plus they'll get to choose between the five-door hatchback or extended wagon bodystyles, giving our European compatriots four configurations where American buyers only get the one. Increased utility and fuel economy aside, we're still convinced ours is the pick of the litter, and we've got our doubts that a diesel ST would sell in America. What do you think? Vote in our poll below and then have your say in Comments.
FORD'S NEW FOCUS ST PERFORMS AT GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
- New Ford Focus ST makes global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – demonstrating the vehicle's performance and enhanced driving dynamics on famed hill climb
- New chassis control technologies, re-tuned suspension and steering help deliver a driving experience that is even more responsive, balanced and refined
- Ford introduces diesel Focus ST that offers 114 g/km CO2, Auto-Start-Stop technology that improves fuel efficiency of 250PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost model by 6 per cent
- Sporty and aggressive new five-door and wagon models offer a muscular body kit; unique lamp, grille and bumper designs; and new 19-inch alloy wheels
- Well-crafted interior features ergonomic controls, Recaro seats and sports steering wheel
- New driver assistance and connectivity features include SYNC 2 connectivity system with high-resolution 8-inch colour touch screen and class-leading voice control
GOODWOOD, Sussex, 26 June 2014 – The new Focus ST makes its global debut tomorrow at the Goodwood Festival of Speed – the ideal location to showcase the speed and enhanced driving dynamics of the global performance car.
The most advanced Focus ST yet offers new chassis control technologies, tuned suspension and steering, and bespoke tyre specification that ensure an even more responsive, balanced and refined driving experience. And for the first time, it will be offered with the choice to two powerful engines – one petrol and diesel.
The first diesel Focus ST takes day-to-day usability and sportiness to a new level by delivering the most fuel-efficient and lowest CO2 Ford performance car ever; 185PS 2.0-litre TDCi achieves 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, 64.2 mpg and 114 g/km CO2.*
For customers who prefer petrol, the 250PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost delivers 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, fuel efficiency of 41.5 mpg and 158 g/km CO2. Both models offer Auto-Start-Stop for the first time that improves the EcoBoost version's fuel efficiency by 6 per cent and help make it the most fuel-efficient petrol Focus ST ever.
"The new Focus ST delivers an even more sophisticated balance of performance, driving dynamics, refinement and style – the core of Ford's Sports Technologies DNA," said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. "Even more enjoyable and rewarding to drive and with the choice of diesel power for the first time, the new Focus ST is in a class of its own."
The Focus ST also will benefit from technology and craftsmanship first revealed earlier this year for the new Ford Focus – the world's best-selling global nameplate.** The sporty and aggressive new five-door and wagon models will offer class-leading driver assistance technologies and connectivity features including the SYNC 2 in-car connectivity system.
Ford has sold more than 140,000 Focus ST models in 40 countries worldwide since the car was first launched in 2002.
Enhanced driving dynamics
Ford Team RS, the award-winning European arm of Ford's Global Performance Vehicle group, made improving the entire driving experience the number one objective for the new Focus ST.
The sports suspension features all-new front springs and sportier new shock absorber tuning front and rear. In combination with the model-specific anti-roll bars and rear springs from the previous generation ST, these enhancements deliver an even sharper dynamic performance.
The calibration of the Electronic Power Assisted Steering and electronic vehicle control systems also has been revised to meet the specific sporting requirements of the new Focus ST.
These changes deliver:
- A quicker response from the variable ratio steering, improving turn-in and delivering better overall balance
- A new Electronic Transitional Stability function in the advanced three-stage Electronic Stability Programme. This senses vehicle stability and driver inputs, intervening as required to maintain optimal precision and control during rapid changes of direction at speed – for example in a lane-change situation
- Revised Electronic Torque Vectoring Control settings that further optimise wheel torque distribution, maximizing traction through corners and increasing agility
Power delivery refinement under hard acceleration – particularly front wheel traction and gear shift quality – is also assisted by engine mounts engineered specifically to accommodate the performance of the new Focus ST. Additionally,Ford worked with Michelin to develop a new 19-inch tyre that complements the driving dynamics, especially maximising lateral grip.
"Ford has long enjoyed a reputation for producing performance hatchbacks with superb driving dynamics and the new Focus ST more than lives up to that pedigree," Bakaj added. "The engineering enhancements to the suspension, steering and electronic control systems deliver greater responsiveness, agility, precision and an exhilarating driving experience – whichever powertrain you choose."
Power of choice
The new 185PS 2.0-litre diesel engine that debuts in the new Focus ST has been optimised to deliver ST performance and character alongside fuel efficiency and everyday practicality.
The increased power output of the Focus ST 2.0-litre TDCi – a 23 per cent gain over the 150PS 2.0-litre engine in the new Focus range – is achieved by electronic calibration, a revised air intake system and a new sports-tuned exhaust.
Peak power is developed at 3,500 rpm and there is 400Nm of torque available from 2,000-2,750 rpm, enabling the new Focus ST diesel to achieve a maximum speed of 135mph. The torque output enables impressive in-gear acceleration and strong performance at low rpm. In 6th gear, acceleration from 50-75mph takes just 9.7 seconds in sixth gear, the combination of a shorter ratio and the increased power enabling the Focus ST to outpace the 150PS Focus by 2.2 seconds.
Ford's 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine uses turbocharging, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing technology, and high-pressure direct-injection to deliver uncompromising performance. Peak power is available at 5,500 rpm, 360Nm of torque is available from 2,000-4,500 rpm, and maximum speed is 154mph.
Both engines use a six-speed manual transmission with a performance-oriented, short-throw shift. The gear ratios – exclusive to ST and matched individually to each engine – deliver rapid acceleration in lower gears and comfortable cruising at speed.
The new Focus ST features sportier and more aggressive styling than the previous generation, with a lower, wider stance; new dynamically sculpted bonnet; slimmer headlamps and rectangular foglamps.
The sports bodykit also includes body-coloured side skirts and diffuser elements either side of the exhaust, and a rear roof spoiler optimised for aerodynamic performance. All new Focus ST models feature twin-hexagonal centre tailpipes.
Black lamp bezels, ST badging and new 19-inch ST Design alloy wheels – that are available as an option – complete the look.
"Focus ST has proved very popular with Ford's sporty customers and the new model takes that to an even more striking and dramatic level," said Martin Smith, executive design director, Ford of Europe. "The signature honeycomb upper grille has been reproportioned, there are new rectangular fog lamps in the outer apertures, and the lower fascia offers a much sharper definition and profile. At the rear, the width of the car is emphasised by a new full-width graphic."
A new dark grey exterior paint colour called Stealth is introduced exclusively to the Focus ST. Deep Impact Blue also is new to the range that includes Tangerine Scream, Frozen White, Panther Black and Race Red.
Ford has redesigned the Focus interior for a more intuitive layout that also is simpler, with a clearer visual connection between the key components and significantly fewer buttons in the cabin.
An additional bank of three gauges – an ST hallmark – is situated on the instrument binnacle and displays turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information. A new, flat-base sports steering wheel with a soft-feel leather covered rim; a satin chrome-topped gear lever; and ST pedals deliver the interior that ST drivers expect.
Satin chrome door grab handles and illuminated aluminium scuff plates add extra touches of refinement, and sports seats developed jointly by Ford and Recaro provide the support required to fully enjoy the ST driving experience, and also are comfortable for every day driving.
The new Focus ST will be available in ST1, ST2 and ST3 trim levels. ST1 seats feature grey/charcoal/anthracite black fabric; ST2 adds partial leather with base and side bolsters available in four colours (Tangerine Scream; Performance Blue; Smoke Storm or Race Red); ST3 seats have a full charcoal black leather finish.
Driver assistance, convenience and connectivity technologies that will be introduced for the first time include the Ford SYNC 2 connectivity system. SYNC 2 offers access to audio, navigation, climate control and mobile phones using class-leading voice control and a high-definition, 8-inch colour touchscreen that displays the ST logo on start-up.
Adaptive Front Lighting, available for the first time on the Focus ST, adjusts the intensity and angle of the Bi-Xenon HID headlamp beams according to vehicle speed, steering angle and distance to objects to provide optimal illumination. Cross Traffic Alert also is a new addition for Focus ST, and warns drivers reversing from parking spaces if other vehicles are about to cross their path.
Ford's enhanced Active City Stop collision avoidance system – now operative at speeds of up to 31mph – readies the brakes if a potential impact is detected and – if the driver does not respond – will automatically apply the brakes. Lane Keeping Aid applies steering torque to guide the Focus ST back in to lane if drifting is detected.
Available to order in Europe from autumn 2014, the first new Focus ST models are scheduled to be in dealerships from early 2015. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
By Noah Joseph
See also: 2015 Ford Mustang will tell authorities how you crashed and if you were belted [w/video], Mulally will stay close to Ford after he steps down, plans to advise Fields [w/video], 2015 Ford Focus ST gets sleeker style, improved dynamics.