Ford Focus ST
Ford Focus

I think it was Jeremy Clarkson who first dubbed the Focus ST the ASBO. It obviously made an impression as some of the holders of that order seem to think that seeing an ST is an open invitation to race. Even more so when there’s a woman at the wheel.

Silly boys. This car’s credentials speak for themselves. It doesn’t need to prove that it has a top speed of 152 mph or that it takes just 6.8 seconds to get from 0-62 mph. All you have to do is look at the styling details and listen to the engine note and sweet turbo whistle that sounds a bit like Roger Whittaker limbering up his lips (ask your parents).

Having berated the local lads, it has to be said that you don’t buy an ST unless you’re interested in speed and performance and not necessarily in that order. What would be the point in just using it to visit the local shops unless they were fifty miles away?

This car doesn’t like towns. It hates speed humps, mainly because the 18-inch alloys have barely more than a rubber band around them and the suspension is designed to be unforgiving. What is more, the engine’s power seems to see-saw in crawling traffic.

The Focus ST houses Ford’s 2.5i turbocharged Duratec engine that produces 225PS (about 222 bhp) at 6000rpm and 320Nm of grin-inducing torque from 1600 to 4000 rpm. This power unit comes only with a 6-speed manual gearbox, which was not as slick as I would have liked. The lower gears aren't very long making for quick getaways and with the torque starting so low down the rev range, every gear is a joy.

For example, 80 mph in 6th gear is 3000rpm, so there’s still another 1000rpm to go before the torque drops off making motorway overtaking a simple a matter of gentle pressure on the pedal. The car responds quickly and effectively rewarding you by putting a smile on your face.

Published : 21/05/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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