The 2012 Ford Focus is finally at dealerships and in the hands of consumers, and when we drove the car, we found it rewarded our wait with a refined driving experience, competent 160-horsepower engine, and sharp sheetmetal.
Unfortunately for enthusiasts, the car was conceived more for commuting than corner carving, but fortunately a higher-performance version is due within the next few months. Our colleagues at Motor Trend managed to snap photos of the upcoming Focus ST being put through its paces on the track and on wintry streets.
The test mules seen here don’t wear the rippling scoops and vents of the 2012 Focus ST Ford showed off at the Paris motor show, but the gunmetal wheels, lower-profile tires, and the center-exit exhaust give them away as performance machines. Expect the production car to look much more aggressive, with the same gaping air inlets and driveway-shading rear spoiler as the show car.
Ford has confirmed that the ST will come only in five-door hatchback guise with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost (meaning turbocharged and direct-injected) engine sending 247 horsepower to the front wheels. Little else is known about the hot hatch, though it’s guaranteed the car will be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, firmer suspension, stronger brakes, and commensurately grippier tires than the workaday Focus.
Designated a 2012 model-year vehicle, the ST is expected to arrive toward the end of this calendar year. It will be joined at Ford dealerships by the Fiesta ST, a smaller performance hatch that’s rumored to offer 180 horsepower from a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. Check out the full set of spy photos at Motor Trend.
Source: Motor Trend