Ford makes one of the best-handling cars on the road in the Focus, and here is the sporty flagship version that magnifies the experience. New on the scene in autumn 2012, it is a hot hatch to rival a Volkswagen Golf GTI or a Vauxhall Astra VXR. Together they make three members of the higher-performance rat pack of quick family cars that combine pace with affordability.
You can immediately tell the difference between the ST and the rest of the Focus family by exterior treatment that livens up the look of the car. The front grille is glossy black; there is a roof spoiler, twin exhaust pipes, illuminated kickplates, bright body colours and ST badges. It is all done with elegance rather than in-yer-face, boy-racer brashness, staying deliberately subtle with a view to stopping the insurance premium from going through the roof.
The engine is a performance-tuned, turbocharged two-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit, driving the front wheels and teamed with a six-speed manual gearbox operated via a sportily short, stubby little gear-lever.There are three trim/specification levels: ST, ST2 and ST3. Prices start from £21,995 for an ST five-door hatch. There is also a Focus ST Estate starting from £23,095, if you want more practicality and a bigger carrying capacity, but the hatch is tops for sporty image and expected to be the more popular model Performance
Under the ST’s bonnet is a two-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that is essentially a souped-up version of Ford’s successful EcoBoost unit. The power output is 247 bhp at 5,500 rpm, and the peak torque is 250 lb ft at 1,750 rpm. The top speed is more than twice the legal limit at a sizzling 154 mph and a 0-62 mph sprint takes 6.5 seconds. CO2 output is 169 g/km, which means that the Focus ST is in VED band H, qualifying for an annual tax disc at £275 in the first year and £195 from then on. This is a quick car with great performance for pretty reasonable money.
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