The all-new 2019 Ford Focus ST was revealed overnight, the hot-hatch will fall under the Ford Performance banner when it arrives in Australia next year.
All Australian bound examples will be powered by a 2.3-litre four-cylinder EcoBoost petrol engine producing 206kW of power and 420Nm of torque. It will be matched with either a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic.
Ford is quick to point out the benefits of the new-generation EcoBoost technology, the brand claims “engine response is enhanced using a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which scavenges exhaust gas energy more effectively using separated channels to minimise interference between gas pulses. An electronically actuated waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for optimised performance.”
The Focus ST will also make use of the anti-lag technology developed for the Ford GT supercar. The tech is designed to provide immediate power delivery in Sport and Track modes by keeping the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, which “alleviates the reversal of airflow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.”
In a first for a Ford front-wheel vehicle, an electronic limited-slip differential (eLSD) has been incorporated into the transmission to provide improved cornering and stability.
Ford goes on to state “the system uses hydraulically activated clutches to limit engine torque delivered to a wheel that has reduced traction on the road surface, and redistributes up to 100 per cent of available torque to the wheel with more traction to counteract wheelspin that can hamper acceleration through, and out of, corners.”
Other technological advances are found in the steering setup, apparently, the Focus ST features Ford’s most responsive steering system to date. The electric power-assisted system is said to be 15 per cent faster than the standard Focus, requiring just two turns lock-to-lock.
Also included is a tailored steering knuckle geometry for sharper responses, bespoke-specification Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres and New Steering Torque Disturbance Reduction software (it’s a mouthful) to reduce torque steer.
Continuously Controlled Damping is also introduced on the ST, the system continually monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs and adjusts damping responses for better ride quality and driving dynamics.
Overall damping stiffness has been increased by up to 20 per cent at the front and 13 per cent at the rear, while the ride height has been reduced by 10mm to improve road-holding and response.
Stopping power has been beefed up with larger front and rear brake components. Front disc dimensions have grown to 330mm x 27mm and feature dual-piston callipers, while the rear discs now measure 302mm x 11mm. According to the press release, the new braking system delivers almost four -times the fade resistance performance of the previous generation Focus ST in testing.
As a result of the raft of changes, buyers can expect the Focus ST to hit 100km/h in under 6.0 seconds. Ford is yet to provide the official figure.
The exterior of the car features new honeycomb upper and lower grilles, unique front and rear fascias, ST-specific side-skirts, integrated hatch-mounted rear spoiler and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Interior features include a flat-bottom steering wheel, Recaro seats, ST-specific digital instrumentation for the drive modes and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system running Sync 3.
Like the wider Focus range, the ST gets a long list of standard safety kit including adaptive cruise control with stop & go, speed sign recognition, lane-centering and evasive steer assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and adaptive LED lights with automatic levelling and auto high-beam.
Ford has confirmed the Focus ST will be available in Australia in early 2020, additional specifications and pricing information will be announced closer to the launch date.
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