Detroit 2013: Shelby Focus ST

Not long before his departure, Carroll Shelby told us that some of his fondest modding memories were of four-cylinder cars. Hard to believe if you remember him only for dropping an American V-8 into an across-the-pond convertible, but he also created the Dodge Omni GLH-S.

Now comes a car that Carroll wanted to build before his passing: Shelby American’s Focus ST. “Ford Motor Company’s new Focus ST is the perfect platform for the rebirth of the front-wheel-drive, turbo-four-cylinder Shelby,” says Gary Patterson, vice president of operations and sales for Shelby American.

Shelby says this is a sort of successor to the GLH-S, but it seems the company’s forgotten what they did to that car. It recieved an intercooler, bigger turbo, larger throttle body, and other engine tweaks, as well as suspension tuning. The Shelby Focus ST does without engine upgrades. It gets Ford Racing suspension, drilled brake rotors, a Borla exhaust, and an interior that’s tastefully plastered with Shelby badges. The exterior is also upgraded with one of three graphics packages. Now, not to rag on the car and its tuner too much, Shelby does say that it’s working on a way to increase engine performance. Two problems: who knows when it’s going to be available, and it’ll cost you another $500. A premium for power seems strange on a Shelby. If you’ve always wanted a Shelby but worry about fuel economy, this is the car to buy. Shelby says it looked into a hopped-up version of the Fiesta ST but decided it wasn’t right for the company.

Shelby American will be limiting production of the Shelby Focus ST to 500 cars a year. Want one? Plan on spending on $39,490. That’s if you opt for the most basic Focus ST. That’d be stupid, though, since you won’t get the Recaro seats, so a well-equipped Shelby Focus ST will probably be more like $45,000.

I'm obviously old school since my idea of a great car is not one that shrieks "go fast" and "give me a ticket".  A Screaming Yellow Zonker Focus is just that kind of car.  I'll take the turbo, the upgraded brakes, but NOT the loud Borla exhaust, the psycho color scheme, the blacked out wheels, hood, trunk and lower sides.  I hope when this comes to market there are spaces for "delete" ohn the order sheet.  The best fun is when you shock the hell out of some guy in a muscle car!  That said, it's nice to know there are car guys at Ford.

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