Wednesday, 16 July 2014

NEWS - New Ford Focus ST details emerge

The new Focus ST made its global debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed met with a few “ooh’s” and “aah’s” from the crowd. It is without doubt the most advanced Focus ST yet; offering new chassis control technologies, tuned suspension and steering, and bespoke tyre specification. All this ensures an even more responsive, balanced and refined driving experience. And for the first time, it will be offered with the choice of engines. And one is a diesel…

The first diesel Focus ST takes day-to-day usability and sportiness to a new level by delivering the most fuel‑efficient and lowest CO2 Ford performance car ever; 185PS 2.0‑litre TDCi achieves 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds, 64.2 mpg and 114 g/km CO2.That’s a remarkable overall package, and for the record that’s VED band C; £30 a year to tax (free first year).

For customers who prefer petrol, the 250PS 2.0-litre EcoBoost delivers 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, fuel efficiency of 41.5 mpg and 158 g/km CO2. Both models offer Auto-Start-Stop for the first time that improves the EcoBoost version’s fuel efficiency by 6 per cent and help make it the most fuel-efficient petrol Focus ST ever.

“The new Focus ST delivers an even more sophisticated balance of performance, driving dynamics, refinement and style – the core of Ford’s Sports Technologies DNA,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “Even more enjoyable and rewarding to drive and with the choice of diesel power for the first time, the new Focus ST is in a class of its own.”

Ford Team RS, the award-winning European arm of Ford’s Global Performance Vehicle group, made improving the entire driving experience the number one objective for the new Focus ST.

The sports suspension features all-new front springs and sportier new shock absorber tuning front and rear. In combination with the model-specific anti-roll bars and rear springs from the previous generation ST, these enhancements deliver an even sharper dynamic performance.

The calibration of the Electronic Power Assisted Steering and electronic vehicle control systems also has been revised to meet the specific sporting requirements of the new Focus ST.

These changes deliver:
  • A quicker response from the variable ratio steering, improving turn-in and delivering better overall balance
  • A new Electronic Transitional Stability function in the advanced three-stage Electronic Stability Programme. This senses vehicle stability and driver inputs, intervening as required to maintain optimal precision and control during rapid changes of direction at speed – for example in a lane-change situation
  • Revised Electronic Torque Vectoring Control settings that further optimise wheel torque distribution, maximizing traction through corners and increasing agility
Power delivery refinement under hard acceleration – particularly front wheel traction and gear shift quality – is also assisted by engine mounts engineered specifically to accommodate the performance of the new Focus ST. Additionally, Ford worked with Michelin to develop a new 19-inch tyre that complements the driving dynamics, especially maximising lateral grip.

“Ford has long enjoyed a reputation for producing performance hatchbacks with superb driving dynamics and the new Focus ST more than lives up to that pedigree,” Bakaj added. “The engineering enhancements to the suspension, steering and electronic control systems deliver greater responsiveness, agility, precision and an exhilarating driving experience – whichever powertrain you choose.”

The new Focus ST features sportier and more aggressive styling than the previous generation too, with a lower, wider stance; new dynamically sculpted bonnet; slimmer headlamps and rectangular foglamps.

The sports bodykit also includes body‑coloured side skirts and diffuser elements either side of the exhaust, and a rear roof spoiler optimised for aerodynamic performance. All new Focus ST models feature twin-hexagonal centre tailpipes.

Black lamp bezels, ST badging and new 19-inch ST Design alloy wheels – optional extra – complete the look.

A new dark grey exterior paint colour called Stealth is introduced exclusively to the Focus ST. And it looks absolutely fantastic. Deep Impact Blue also is new to the range that includes Tangerine Scream, Frozen White, Panther Black and Race Red.

The new Focus ST will be available in ST1, ST2 and ST3 trim levels. ST1 seats feature grey/charcoal/anthracite black fabric; ST2 adds partial leather with base and side bolsters available in four colours (Tangerine Scream; Performance Blue; Smoke Storm or Race Red); ST3 seats have a full charcoal black leather finish.

Adaptive Front Lighting, available for the first time on the Focus ST, adjusts the intensity and angle of the Bi-Xenon HID headlamp beams according to vehicle speed, steering angle and distance to objects to provide optimal illumination. Cross Traffic Alert also is a new addition for Focus ST, and warns drivers reversing from parking spaces if other vehicles are about to cross their path.

Ford’s enhanced Active City Stop collision avoidance system – now operative at speeds of up to 31mph – readies the brakes if a potential impact is detected and – if the driver does not respond – will automatically apply the brakes. Lane Keeping Aid applies steering torque to guide the Focus ST back in to lane if drifting is detected.

Available to order in Europe from autumn 2014, the first new Focus ST models are scheduled to hit the forecourts from early 2015. Pricing will be announced closer to release.

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