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Ford Focus ST-Line 1.5T Ecoboost 150 (2016) review

Sep 19, 2016 - 4:39 PM - by ST2Focus
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By CJ Hubbard, 19 September 2016

►*ST-Line blends ST looks with affordability (sort of)
►*Three engine choices; we test mid-spec 148bhp 1.5t
►*Soft-core sports suspension nicely judged

Focus ST-Line? This is one of those wannabe gangsta, sporty-but-not-sporty trim levels, isn’t it?

Spot on. Ford, as is basically every other carmaker with a performance sub-brand worth speaking of, is trying to cash-in on the halo effect of its ST hot hatch models with a new trim level that bags similar looks but none of the associated brawn.

ST-Line is aimed at folks who like the sporting ST image but either can’t afford to take the on full-fat tyre-squealer running costs, or those who aren’t keen on the side effects of the inevitable, backside-bruising suspension upgrades that feature alongside the uprated engines. This new no-meat-but-most-of-the-trimmings alternative is available on the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Kuga.

So how much like a proper Focus ST does the Focus ST-Line really look?

It’s not bad from a distance – the bumpers and side skirts follow similar lines and you do get lowered sports suspension as part of the package. It would be enough to fool most people at a glance.

But as you get closer, you’ll spot that the 17-inch ‘Rock Metallic Grey’ alloy wheels don’t fill the arches with quite the same promise. Round the back – where the ST proper features twin centre-exit exhaust finishers – there’s just a simple black diffuser insert on the ST-Line and a single, limp-looking peashooter of a tailpipe on one side.

Sports suspension? I thought you said it wasn’t supposed to be spine-crushingly uncomfortable?

I actually said backside-bruising, but either way, don’t panic. The ST-Line set-up is 10mm lower than standard but Ford hasn’t removed the springs and dampers altogether – in fact it feels very nicely judged for the UK.

There’s enough compliance to deal with your typical neglected urban or B-road surface, but the body movement is just a little more tightly... [Read More]
  8 Replies | 6,331 Views


New Ford Fiesta ST and Focus ST development under way

Jun 10, 2016 - 3:53 AM - by ST2Focus
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The next-generation of hot Fiesta and Focus models could arrive by 2020, but a Mondeo ST is unlikely

by Mike Duff, 10 June 2016

Ford Performance is starting work on the next-generation Fiesta and Focus ST now that the Focus RS is in production, but a hot version of the current Mondeo looks increasingly unlikely.

Focus RS chief engineer Tyrone Johnson told Autocar his next job was to start work on the replacements for the Fiesta and Focus STs.

Although Johnson wouldn’t discuss production dates, the new Focus and Fiesta are due in 2018-2019, suggesting launch dates for the ST versions of 2019-2020.

Johnson says both cars will have to retain their blend of accessible performance and everyday usability but will also have to evolve to deal with competition from new rivals.

Johnson was less encouraging about a Mondeo ST being engineered to rival the Audi S4/S6 and BMW M3/M5.

“It’s a pretty big car and the rivals are now offering around 500bhp. I think that’s a big ask for the Mondeo,” he said.

At around 1800kg and nearly 4.9 metres long, the Mondeo is closer in size to the BMW 5 Series than the 3 Series.

“Making a fast Mondeo fit our HP2 category would be very difficult,” said Johnson.

Any Ford Performance model has to fit into one of three categories — HP1, HP2 and Elite — which Ford defines by strict performance and handling criteria.

The new GT is an Elite model, the Focus RS an HP2 and the Fiesta/Focus ST are HP1s.

New Ford Fiesta ST and Focus ST development under way | Autocar
  33 Replies | 13,787 Views


The May 2016 Focus ST of the Month Contest winner is trackhermit!

May 27, 2016 - 1:23 PM - by wicked



The May 2016 Focus ST of the Month contest winner is none other than trackhermit! with this beautiful ride!!! Congratulations!
  22 Replies | 8,875 Views


The April 2016 Focus ST of the Month Contest winner is ThunderLope!

Apr 29, 2016 - 10:59 AM - by wicked




The April 2016 Focus ST of the Month contest winner is none other than ThunderLope! Congratulations!

We'll do this again in a couple of weeks so stay tuned!
  8 Replies | 8,228 Views


Wind up the boost, Henry: hotter Ford Focus ST spotted

Apr 28, 2016 - 4:35 PM - by ST2Focus
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by Lewis Kingston, April 28, 2016

► Tuned Ford Focus ST spotted
► Seen testing around the Nürburgring
► Fresh upgrades for new sub-RS model

Ford’s looking to extend its performance line-up further with an upgraded version of its Focus ST, judging by recent pictures from our spy photographers.

This prototype, spotted undergoing tests on the roads around the Nürburgring, sports a range of cosmetic tweaks – and it’s mooted to be more powerful than the standard ST.

Recently, Ford launched the Fiesta ST200 – a slightly warmer version of its ever popular hot-hatch – and the thinking is that the same concept might be applied to the Focus ST.

After all, there’s a nigh-on 100bhp gap between the 247bhp ST and the full-fat 345bhp RS. A more powerful ST wouldn’t impose on the fabled RS’s territory much, anyway, given that the flagship has all-wheel drive – and more – in its favour.

What would the upgraded ST benefit from?

Our sources suggest that the hotter version of the ST would likely pack somewhere in the region of 260 and 280bhp, along with suspension upgrades to further improve its performance.

As the spy shots show, Ford also appears to be investigating a few aerodynamic upgrades. These, in conjunction with some new trim pieces and wheels, would also serve to distinguish the top-spec ST from the regular model.

How much will it cost?

Currently, petrol Ford Focus STs costs £22,750 in entry-level form, rising to £26,545 for the top-spec ST-3 version. With the RS starting at £30,000, there’s not much room for manoeuvre on the pricing front – but time will tell.

Regardless, offering a more distinctive and slightly more aggressive ST would potentially... [Read More]
  3 Replies | 6,071 Views


Diesel's not dead: Ford launches new 237bhp engine

Apr 27, 2016 - 8:11 AM - by ST2Focus
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What emissions crisis? New 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel comes with Focus ST-friendly power

by Joe Holding, 27 April 2016

Ford has pulled the covers off its new 2.0-litre diesel EcoBlue engine, promising better economy and reduced emissions as it replaces the outgoing 2.2-litre Duratorq power unit.

Building on the success of Ford’s petrol EcoBoost range, the EcoBlue is said to be 13 per cent more fuel efficient than the engine it replaces, while offering 20 per cent more torque as low as 1,250rpm.

Arriving at a time when emissions are a hot topic, Ford is confident that it will be able to meet the Euro 6 emissions standards coming into force in September. The measures require a 55 per cent reduction in NOx gases coming out of the tailpipe compared to today’s Euro 5 benchmark.

The new EcoBlue engine promises to quieter when running at idle, and will come in six states of tune, the most potent offering 197bhp and 237bhp. That could make it a perfect fit for a Focus ST, then, for which the diesel-powered version is currently a bit of a weak link in an otherwise great car.

Some clever development — including things like precision injection and Ford’s first-time use of modular camshafts — has helped it squeeze every last drop of performance out of the unit.

But will it be enough to convince buyers to ditch petrol in their hot hatch?

Diesel's not dead: Ford launches new 237bhp engine | Top Gear
  2 Replies | 5,752 Views


Ford Focus ST Sedan by SS Tuning Has an STI Wing

Apr 27, 2016 - 7:02 AM - by ST2Focus
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by Andrei Tutu, 27th April 2016

The Blue Oval has striven to offer a station wagon version (alas, this doesn't apply to the US market) alongside the hatchback, but what about sedan enthusiasts? So far, this category had to head over to other brands, with most of the action having to do with Subaru, but now there might be a new alternative to that plan.

Russian aftermarket developer SS Tuning has introduced a Focus ST Sedan project. For starters, the tuning house has gifted the sedan with all the necessary ST hardware.

From the 250 hp two-liter turbo to the heftier braking system, this luggage compartment bearer has them all. As for the interior, the sedan gets the ST performance instruments at the top of the dashboard.

Since we're talking about an aftermarket effort, the company also gifted the Focus Sedan with a few custom parts. The first element that strikes you is the rear wing, which, ironically, seems to come from the STI, the very car one would try to get away from when turning to this Ford proposal. Sure, the contraption we have here is a more affordable alternative that comes in front-wheel-drive form, but the point still stands.

Moving on, we'll mention the front lip spoiler, the side skirt add-on elements, as well as the diffuser-like lower rear fascia. Oh, and let's not forget the sweet-looking beefy wheel arches - these are enough to make the car stand out on their own and without having to scream "look at me!" like the wing.

The project is currently getting its final touches and will be available to order next month. Until then, we're inviting you to check out the image gallery below. We've also added a short clip that offers a few driving scenes.

P.S.: Such a story obviously leads to Ford Focus RS Sedan daydreaming, but that's another story for another time.

Video from November:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcXKIKtBE9A

... [Read More]
  26 Replies | 13,991 Views


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