Unveiled in full production spec at Frankfurt, the new Ford Focus ST stands as the automakers first "global performance car" and will be sold in over 40 countries worldwide starting in 2012. Set to arrive here in five-door hatch form, European buyers also will be able to order it in sport wagon form. An international collaborative effort headed by Ford Team RS in Europe and Special Vehicle Team (SVT) in the U.S., the new Focus ST matches its bolder appearance with a finely tuned chassis and a hot-but-frugal 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine to deliver the kind of uncompromised driving exhilaration that knows no boundaries.
Setting a pattern for all future ST offerings, the Focus ST steps up its visual game with more aggressive front/rear fascia treatments, deeply sculpted side skirts, a functional rear diffuser with center exhaust outlets and a rear spoiler plus a unique signature color - Tangerine Scream. A final touch of ST style comes from its 18-inch alloy wheels that feature a modern update of the iconic Y-shaped spoke design and are wrapped in ultra-sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tires.
Inside, fully-adjustable Recaro front sport buckets are matched with a special rear bench seat while a dedicated sport steering wheel, gearshift lever and alloy pedal set complement a host of other unique trim elements to set off the car's go-fast character.
Beneath its hood, the Ford Focus ST swaps the previous-generation 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine for a new and even more potent 2.0-liter EcoBoost four that makes 247 horsepower - 25 more than its predecessor -- and 266 lb-ft of torque. It drives the front wheel via a six-speed manual transmission with an optimized ratio set and reportedly will deliver about 20 percent better fuel economy and similarly lower CO2 levels. On a more visceral level, it's also fitted with a unique exhaust system that Ford promises will provide a quite unforgettable note.
Final ingredient in the Focus ST mix is a fully massaged chassis designed to extract every last bit of fun the rest of the package can serve up. A dedicated sport suspension brings stiffer springs, shocks and anti-roll bars while lowering ride height by 10mm. The new Ford Sport Steering System features a variable-ratio rack that increases agility and the drag-reducing Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EAPS) setup is fortified with the Ford Torque Steer Compensation system. The brakes also have been enhanced for greater stopping power. Last but far from least, a comprehensive remapping of the Traction Control System and Electronic Stability Control -including the ability to switch off ESC completely - ensure the ST driver of full-time fun on demand.
And for the ultimate hardcore types, Ford also revealed its new Focus ST-R, a race car based on the Focus ST. Designed to comply with all global regulations, it's slated to start competing in numerous national championship series around the world starting next year.