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Going to school in the 2014 Ford Focus ST

Apr 26, 2014 - 5:54 AM - by ST2Focus
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Henry Payne, April 24, 2014

Ford racing academy tutors students on sporty ST's high-octane excellence

ST Octane Academy. Ford performance school, founded 2014.

Classroom: Miller Motorsports Park, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Spring semester curriculum: Racing 101, Professor Ken Block.

Course description: Students will master handbrake turns and high-G handling in a Ford Focus hot hatch, then apply in an urban autocross and 2.2-mile race course environment.

If all schools were this much fun, we would never leave.

The academy is open to buyers of Ford STs — the sport models of the popular Focus and Fiesta sedans. Tuition is free. Room and board extra. The school is both a perk for ST buyers and an opportunity to bond with their new steeds in an extreme track environment. As an embedded journalist, my participation in the academy was a chance to explore the limits of the 2014 Focus ST — the turbocharged, 252-horsepower Tasmanian Devil that has been terrorizing imports since its introduction as a 2013 model.

Like the SVT (Special Vehicle Team) badge that graces muscle-bound Mustang Cobras and F-150 trucks, ST (Sport Technologies) brings performance to Ford’s compact lineup. It’s a savvy move for a number of reasons: 1) It adds a sports halo to the Ford brand, 2) lures top engineering talent to the company, and 3) attracts motor head missionaries that will proselytize Ford to the unanointed.

“This car is a gateway drug,” said new convert Matt Anderson, a professor at West Virginia University who attended the academy after buying an ST. “I loved it so much I wanted to learn more about racing it.”

Bored with his Volvo, Anderson’s eye wandered last year to the asphalt-chewing, hot hatch Mazdaspeed3. But while cruising Mazda owner forums, Anderson found online missionaries recommending the Focus ST.

“I had never considered a Ford before,” he said. “I knew Ford by the stereotype of not very good quality. But the Focus was... [Read More]
  15 Replies | 2,962 Views

April 2014 Focus ST of the Month Contest Voting

Apr 25, 2014 - 12:02 PM - by wicked

We got another good turnout this month and here's the top 5 that made the cut! Vote for your favorite! Poll will close in 3 days.

Thanks to everyone who participated and if you didn't make the finals or win this month, you can give another crack at it in a couple of weeks!
  30 Replies | 2,628 Views

[GIVEAWAY] Focus ST.org License Plate Frames

Apr 22, 2014 - 1:13 PM - by Justus

Ladies and gentlemen!! Boys and girls!! Let's get ready to giveawayyyyyyyyyy............some Focus ST.org swag courtesy of MesaThread.com!! We are giving away five (5) Official FocusST.org license plate frames to five (5) randomly drawn winners for those who want to represent the largest, most active and best Ford Focus ST site on the internet. We are going to make this one easy to enter folks. To enter:

  • In the comments section post "Thank you MesaThreads!"

And? That's it! A simple "Thank you MesaThreads!" enters you into the contest. As always, ONLY ONE ENTRY PER MEMBER.

The giveaway will close on Monday April 28, 2014 at 12:00 pm Central where five (5) lucky winners will be randomly drawn and announced later that day.

Please be sure to visit Mesathread's vendor section for some more great swag. Good luck everyone!!!!!
  317 Replies | 8,750 Views

2015 Focus ST spotted testing

Apr 17, 2014 - 2:20 PM - by SVTRondogg

The Fusion-inspired facelift for the lesser Foci have already been revealed, but the shooters at KGP Photography have a new batch of shots of the overhauled ’15 Focus ST's front fascia. Behind the camouflage, there are signs of a more aggressive nose for the new ST, with some new angular flares intermingling beneath a version of Ford's corporate grille. The new face, which also shows a new chiseled and stepped chin spoiler design, will get a little more edge compared to the current ST's front fascia.

The prototype is also disguised at the rear, but those changes are expected to be closely related to the facelift already revealed. The ST's central rear exhaust is changed to a single pipe on this prototype, although this treatment is there most likely for simple testing reasons. Exhaust tips similar to the current ST are expected.

The nose on this Focus ST prototype likely provides something of a preview of the frontal treatment that will be applied to an even hotter Focus variant—the long-awaited Focus RS. While the RS has always been forbidden fruit for U.S. customers, we have heard many insider reports that the next Focus RS is expected to reach American showrooms in much the same state of tune given to the European market.

Spy Shots?2015 Ford Focus ST Revamped Prototype | Specialty Equipment Market Association
  95 Replies | 16,496 Views

Road and Track Long Term Wrap-Up for the 2013 Ford Focus ST

Apr 05, 2014 - 6:55 AM - by ST2Focus
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2013 Ford Focus ST: We miss the crazy, mostly

It's cracking fast, it has big grip, but ...

By Josh Condon April 4, 2014

You have to give Ford credit for commitment. When the Blue Oval decided to add some crazy to the Focus five-door, it said, "What the hell," and dumped in the whole bottle.

That's a philosophy we stand behind without reserve. The resulting Focus ST, though, not as much. That's not a knock against this science experiment of a hot hatch; if the bulging racing seats, 252-hp turbo four, and Lamborghini paint job didn't already make it clear, this is a car with an unapologetic, take-it-or-leave-it personality. And that personality makes it special under specific circumstances but compromised everywhere else. The question is: Could we live with the trade-off?

Our staff seemed split. Those expecting a nimble, European-flavored hot hatch were smacked instead by substantial, five-door American muscle; 3242 lbs worth of shove and riot; and a loud, plasticky interior that's nice at first but ages like beer. Most agreed it was an overpowered, harsh, torque-steering handful around town. The optional Recaro seats didn't help—although grippy, they were almost unanimously loathed as overwrought, too heavily bolstered, uncomfortable, and ugly. Outside its element, the ST's flaws are somewhat glaring.

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But then you get it on the track at Putnam or Road America or spend an afternoon whomping through Ohio's undulating Hocking Hills, and all is forgiven. Actually, when power-sapping heat soak isn't an issue—it was for us on two separate occasions—the car's flaws pretty much disappear. The same Focus that drove large and darty on the freeway suddenly shrinks around you, hunkering down at the limit. You... [Read More]
  61 Replies | 10,126 Views

The March 2014 Focus ST of the Month Contest Winner is...

Mar 28, 2014 - 1:40 PM - by wicked

We had another amazing turnout this month with so many good entries but coming in 1st place with a little over 38% of the votes is none other than timkim! Congratulations!

Thanks to everyone who took the time and submitted a photo. We'll do this again in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!
  11 Replies | 2,506 Views

2014 Ford EcoBoost Challenge --ST Performance Academy

Mar 27, 2014 - 9:15 AM - by Chadwicksracing
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2014 Ford EcoBoost Challenge Rolls into 12 U.S. Cities Starting in April for Consumer Drives of Hottest Ford Products

• 2014 Ford EcoBoost® Challenge gives consumers across America a fun and free opportunity to drive the hottest new Ford products
• This year’s EcoBoost Challenge includes a host of vehicles from Ford’s fuel-efficient EcoBoost-powered lineup – the hot Focus ST and Fiesta ST models; closed-course competitor drives feature Escape, Fusion and F-150
• Most locations to provide sneak peek at highly anticipated Ford models, including the all-new F-150 and Mustang, and new EcoBoost-powered Ford Expedition. Interested consumers can sign up at ecoboostdrive.com

DEARBORN, Mich., March 27, 2014 – Ford Motor Company is giving fans, and potential customers, in 12 cities across America a chance to get behind the wheel of its latest products with its second EcoBoost® Challenge consumer drive tour.

Kicking off April 12 in Phoenix, the EcoBoost Challenge gets consumers behind the wheel of some of Ford’s most popular vehicles on three exciting closed-course tracks, including back-to-back drives with competitor vehicles. More than 28,000 people took part in last year’s EcoBoost Challenge for a fun and free chance to test drive Ford’s hottest new cars, truck and utility vehicles.

At most events, participants will get an early look at some of Ford’s most anticipated new models, including Mustang, F-150, Transit Connect Wagon and EcoBoost-powered Expedition.

At this year’s event, EcoBoost Challenge participants can compete against the clock in a Fiesta ST, and thrill to hot laps with a professional driver in the Focus ST – letting them see for themselves what all the glowing reviews are about. Hybrid fans will have an opportunity to put the C-MAX Hybrid through its paces against the competition.

“Whether it’s our EcoBoost or electrified products, there’s no better way to experience the quality, innovation and fun of the... [Read More]
  33 Replies | 3,684 Views

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