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2017 Ford Focus RS: AutoGuide.com Car of the Year Contender

Dec 12, 2016 - 3:51 PM - by AutoGuide.com


AutoGuide.com gathered six of the most significant new cars for the 2017 model year for our annual Car of the Year evaluations. This year, our contenders are the Hyundai Elantra, BMW M2, Volkswagen Golf Alltrack, Kia Optima, 2017 Ford Focus RS and Chevrolet Cruze. There was no hard price cap on this year’s entrants, but we tried to make sure none of them were extravagantly priced. We will release a new video on each contender every day leading up to Dec. 13, when we announce our winner. Stay tuned for our Crossover/SUV of the Year and Truck of the Year series, which is also coming soon!

This is the first time the 2017 Ford Focus RS has been offered in North America, and the hot hatch has a lot of enthusiasts very excited. The car basically builds on what drivers liked about the Focus ST and makes it even more hardcore.

The biggest upgrades to the rally-inspired racer are the all-wheel-drive system and the 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that provides a very healthy 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Thatengine is hooked up exclusively to a slick six-speed manual sending power to all four wheels so drivers have maximum traction for powering out of corners and even drifting like the Ken Block proteges everyone aspires to be — the system can send up to 70 percent of the engine’s torque to the rear axle for maximum hoonage.
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Read more about the 2017 Ford Focus RS: AutoGuide.com Car of the Year... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 1,836 Views


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 | 6,680 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 | 14,722 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 | 9,506 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 | 8,623 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 | 6,313 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 | 5,831 Views


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