Ford Focus ST nears sale date

The new performance version of the Focus will go on sale in the UK next year, offering more power and pace than the standard new 2011 Ford Focus.

The new 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine develops 250bhp to deliver improved performance figures and higher fuel economy compared to the previous generation ST.

However, Ford has been testing every aspect of the new model prior to its launch to ensure it is more popular than the previous generation.

Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles, said: "Like the Focus ST and RS models before it, the new Focus ST’s final set-up will be achieved after painstaking tuning on some of the most demanding roads we can find from California to the Nürburgring, and from high-speed German autobahns to classic British B-roads."

To do this, Ford has been testing everything from an Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system to the position of the driver in the car.

Capito said: "We’ve done all the engineering groundwork, and now we’re using some of the most demanding roads we can find in Europe and North America to validate and fine tune the performance and driving dynamics."

The Ford Focus ST differs from the 2011 Ford Focus in design to showcase its performance attributes. A rear central double exhaust attests to the increase in power, while a lower ground height and larger wheels are designed to improve performance.

The new Ford Focus ST will be the first time the ST badge has been sold in North America and Asia. The move comes as Ford aims to sell ‘global cars’, designed to be almost identical across a number of world markets.