Well now, the inexpensive performance game just got considerably more interesting. Ford has officially dropped pricing on its upcoming 2013 Focus ST, and it starts at $24,495 (*including a $795 delivery charge). That kind of coin will net you a EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for a whopping 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, along with a torque-steer compensation system that works in conjunction with electronic power steering to keep the nose pointed in the right direction. If you're keeping track, those power metrics are slightly north of the figures Ford had previously released. A variable-ratio steering rack toes the line between sport and comfort while the sport suspension sits the chassis 10 mm closer to the ground than the stock configuration.
That fire-spitting four-cylinder breathes easy through a free-flowing exhaust, and interior options like Recaro bucket seats give the cabin a little pedigree. Of course, massive wheels and plenty of aero work are both part of the package as well. What's more, Ford says it will give early buyers a GoPro HD Hero2 Motorsports camera when they pick up the keys. Sweet.
The entry price puts the Focus ST well below fellow front-drive competitors like the Volkswagen GTI and Mazdaspeed3, but within spitting distance of playful hardware like the Toyobaru twins and the all-wheel drive Subaru WRX. Suddenly, it appears we live in a world where cheap speed is in abundance. Head over to the Ford site for a closer look and be sure to click past the jump for the full press release.
• Ford Focus ST is SAE-certified at 252 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque from efficient 2.0-liter EcoBoost® engine with low-inertia turbocharger with overboost feature
• Focus ST offers available full-leather, six-way power Recaro® seats, unique interior treatment and an advanced three-mode, driver-adjustable stability control system
• Early orders to receive GoPro® HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera pack upon delivery
DEARBORN, Mich., May 1, 2012 – Drivers in the U.S. can now place their order for the new Ford Focus ST, a high-performance hatchback that will offer exhilarating performance and handling, a distinctive interior and muscular exterior design.
Focus ST, Ford's first global performance car, will integrate a collection of advanced and sport-oriented technologies previously unavailable to North American customers. The combination of these technologies into a refined yet high-performance sport compact will elevate the category and further cement Focus as the most complete compact car range sold in North America.
Customers interested in Focus ST build and pricing options should visit: http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/focusst/.
Among the more visible options will be the Tangerine Scream metallic color that will be offered exclusively on the Focus ST as well as race-inspired Recaro® seats with matching color accents.
Ford is offering drivers who preorder a 2013 Focus ST the GoPro® HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera pack upon delivery. Already a staple in the motorsports and action sport communities, a GoPro is the ideal camera to capture a spirited drive or Focus ST track day. The first 1000 Pre-sale orders placed between May 1st and August 20th are eligible for the GoPro HD Hero2 Camera System. Cameras will be sent after vehicle delivery
"We recognize Focus ST customers are very social in nature and will love having the right tool to share their amazing drive experiences," said Lisa Schoder, Ford Focus ST Marketing manager. "I look forward to seeing videos of the Focus ST taking on some great roads across the U.S.
"Some cars in this category are entertaining on the track, but much less practical for daily driving," Schoder added. "We think we've hit the perfect balance between pure driving exhilaration and everyday livability with this car.
"In terms of athletics, the Focus ST is a gold-medal decathlete," she said. "You can easily live with the car every day; when the time comes to really drive it; very few will be left wanting."
The heart of the Focus ST is a reworked EcoBoost® 2.0-liter engine massaged for very sporting throttle input responsiveness, strong off-idle power and a broad torque curve. The engine produces 252 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque.
"The power delivery has no weak spots, there's no way to be left flat-footed," Schoder said. "At the same time, drivers wanting to spin this motor into the upper octaves will be rewarded."
To enhance the full experience for the driver, Focus ST is equipped with a sound symposer box that enriches the natural sounds of the motor by capturing internal engine oscillations and piping them through the interior under throttle. In part-throttle driving, the car's power is felt more than heard; under full throttle, the engine music is naturally amplified through the symposer box.
Power, torque and engine notes are even more impressive in the context of its efficiency. Official EPA figures are not yet available, but Schoder said she expects exceptional fuel economy for Focus ST, especially for this class.
World-class chassis technology
The unique sport suspension combines several technologies never before seen. Designed to give drivers enhanced agility on winding roads while still inspiring high-speed confidence, the variable-ratio steering rack makes steering less sensitive on the straightaways but increases sensitivity at the corners. It can also help drivers at slow speeds, like when maneuvering into a tight parking spot.
The electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) on Focus ST is enhanced with torque steer compensation. More aggressive tuning of the torque steer compensation allows drivers to accelerate while still maintaining grip on roads with uneven surfaces. The system detects the torque steer those conditions can create and counteracts the effect to help the driver feel in complete control.
Advancing the state of the sport compact art
Focus ST will offer Recaro sport seats, unique 18-inch Y-spoke ST wheels, dual-zone climate control, Xenon headlights and leather appointments throughout the cabin. Its superior chassis rigidity aids the suspension in providing a firm, but quiet and controlled ride. The instrument cluster features ST-unique sport gauges with red needle pointers to monitor turbo boost, oil pressure and oil temperature levels.
Advanced technology such as available SYNC® with MyFord Touch® will also be available for Focus ST, along with a Sony® Audio System, HD Radio™ and 10-speaker surround sound.
More information regarding Focus ST can be found at http://www.ford.com/cars/focus/focusst/ or or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OfficialFordST.