Lurking beneath that camouflage paint scheme is the new 2012 Ford Focus ST, seen here in an "official" spy image. Shown in concept form at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, the automaker's Team RS and SVT groups in Europe and North America are currently subjecting a development fleet of 60 of these high-performance Foci prototypes to the ultimate in performance and durability evaluations to ensure they'll pass muster on both the enthusiast and fuel-efficiency fronts. Packing a 2.0-liter/246-horsepower EcoBoost turbo four and full sport suspension, the 2012 Focus ST will bring the ST performance badge to the North American and Asian markets starting in early 2012. However, given Ford's oft-stated mission to be a leader on the mpg front, the Focus ST is being prepped to deliver best-in-class mpg, as well.
"The new Focus ST is eagerly awaited around the world, which is appropriate as this is our first global performance model," said Jost Capito, Ford's director of Global Performance Vehicles. "It must live up to Ford's reputation for producing affordable yet exciting and sporty versions of its smaller cars that reward and delight enthusiast drivers, but can also be used every day. 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."