|Ford Focus ST|
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The covers finally came off the production version of the dramatic new Focus ST five-door today at the Frankfurt Motor Show, revealing the performance car that enthusiasts around the globe are waiting for.
European customers can also choose a stylish wagon version of the Focus ST, which will launch alongside the five-door model in 2012.
The Focus ST is Ford's first truly global performance car, building on the heritage of previous Focus ST models in Europe and evolving it to allow drivers around the world to experience and enjoy the exhilarating performance, unrivaled handling, addictive sound and muscular sports design that the ST badge represents.
With innovative design and technology throughout, the new Focus ST will be more powerful and surprisingly fuel efficient, raising the bar once again when it comes to handling too. For drivers who want refinement for everyday use but with exhilarating performance on tap, the passion, enthusiasm and expertise of Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group shines through and makes the new Focus ST the most rewarding and obvious choice.
"The new Focus ST is a really exciting car for Ford," said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles. "It's the first performance model to build upon the design and technology strengths of one of our new global production vehicles. It's a car built for driving enthusiasts all around the world and they will not be disappointed."
Beneath the skin of the new Focus ST is a detailed DNA for the ST range, established in Ford's exciting global performance car strategy. Working together, the Global Performance Vehicles group - made up of Ford Team RS in Europe and the Special Vehicles Team (SVT) in the United States, along with input from Ford experts in the Asia Pacific and Africa region - devised a strategy that all future global performance Ford cars will adhere to.
"Focus ST hasn't come around by chance," said Capito. "What came first was our global performance strategy, which has been developed with North America, Europe and Asia together. With this, the core DNA attributes like the steering, driving dynamics, the sound quality and the power enhancements for all ST models have all been defined to the extent that our engineers can take that global DNA fingerprint and use it to create the new Focus ST."
Like all future ST models, the new Focus ST has key physical DNA attributes like the aggressively enhanced front and rear bumpers, the addition of a rear spoiler and sideskirts plus a unique signature colour.
In both five-door and wagon form, the scintillating Focus ST delivers the same driving attributes that makes all Ford 'Sports Technologies' models stand out amongst the competition. The chassis, engine, sound and comfort of the vehicle are tuned harmoniously to deliver a truly sporty experience with a level of refinement rarely seen in this sector of vehicle. These same attributes will form the genetic code for future models bearing the ST badge.
The One Ford approach to working together across geographic boundaries has already seen successful global launches of the Fiesta and new Focus for the company. This approach is the great enabler for performance versions to be readily developed for a global market.
"The new Focus is a fantastic car to develop an ST model from," said Matthias Tonn, chief program engineer for the Focus ST. "It's a solid shell with precise handling as standard, as customers around the world have already found out. It doesn't compromise on any area in any region of the world, and Focus ST builds upon that strength to give our global performance customers the car they want, the car they have been asking for."
According to Capito and Tonn, performance vehicle customers around the world desire the same things from a car no matter on what types of road or in what weather conditions they drive. This is the insight that Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group gained and it forms the guiding principles for the company's global performance car strategy.
Destined to reach over 40 markets on six continents, the five-door Focus ST will bring affordable, everyday performance to the world. Only the smallest changes - to meet with regional legislation - will be implemented. In effect, no matter where in the world a driver gets behind the wheel, the new Focus ST five-door will deliver the same sensation of power, poise and refinement as for anybody else across the globe.
For Europe, where wagon derivatives are extremely popular in many markets, the opportunity to develop a stylish ST Wagon as a niche model was irresistible.
"We know many European buyers favour the carrying capacity of a wagon, but still want the driving excitement and performance a five-door can offer," said Tonn. "With such a stylish wagon in the new Focus range, we had the ideal basis on which to create a unique niche model for these customers - and it will be just as exciting to drive as the five-door."
For global customers, Focus ST is powered by the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine, which offers an uncompromising mix of performance and efficiency. Ford's lightweight, all-aluminum EcoBoost engines provide the power of a larger engine in a fuel-efficient smaller displacement, utilising three key technologies.
High pressure direct injection, low-inertia turbocharging and Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing (Ti-VCT) all help to create an advanced combustion system which brings new levels of performance and fuel efficiency to Ford's petrol engines.
Ford's Global Performance Vehicles group has taken this technology and developed a 250PS high-output derivative of the 2.0-litre Ford EcoBoost engine for Focus ST.
Redesigned intake and exhaust systems with unique engine calibration deliver the ideal level of power and responsiveness.
The engine has a maximum output of 250PS and strong torque levels in a broad, flat torque curve peaking at 360Nm. The responsive torque output, a trademark of Ford EcoBoost engines, is maintained despite the impressive peak figures.
Compared to the 2.5-litre, 5-cylinder engine in the previous-generation European Focus ST, the new 4-cylinder engine offers increased performance, but its smaller capacity and innovative technology also allow it to be more fuel efficient.
The EcoBoost 2.0 in the Focus ST is expected to cut both CO2 emissions and fuel consumption by more than 20 per cent from the previous-generation European model when fuel consumption data is certified.
"This is the first time we have used a 4-cylinder Ford EcoBoost engine in a high performance model and the results are phenomenal," said Capito. "Drivers will have a lot of power and torque throughout the rev range to use. For everyday driving, though, the characteristics of this car will let them drive in a more fuel efficient way than previously, which is an essential part of the ST's DNA."
Mated to the 2.0-litre engine is a 6-speed manual transmission, which has specially revised gearing to produce the maximum punch from each throw of the gear shift. The Global Performance Vehicles group spent significant attention to detail to ensure the ratio of sixth gear was perfectly in tune with the Focus ST, giving the driver optimum performance while remaining long enough to help maintain excellent fuel economy on longer runs.
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