If these latest spy shots are anything to go by, Ford could be preparing to bridge the gap between the Focus ST and Focus RS with a more potent front-driver.
Ford Focus St
The Ford Focus ST Diesel promises hot hatch performance with better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions to European customers. But does it? Ford has staged a skewed, one-lap battle around the Castle Combe Circuit with the diesel- and gasoline-fueled versions of the ST to find out.
Ford Racing is offering the ProCal handset for $595, allowing you to reflash the ECU on your EcoBoost-equipped ride to extract more of its inherent capabilities without any additional upgrades. It gives you control of variables such as throttle response, idle speed and turbo wastegate control, among others.
Recalls! 2014 will be forever remembered as the year that automakers went recall crazy, with millions and millions of vehicles adding up to crush previous recall records well before the end of the year. Adding to that tally is Ford, which announced a call-back for 163,000 vehicles.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #387 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
If you're in the market for a hot hatch, there are some excellent choices at your disposal – especially if you live in Europe. But if you want a diesel, well, your choices become rather more limited. Volkswagen tends to that niche market with the Golf GTD (essentially an oil-burning version of the GTI available Stateside), but that's about the extent of it. The pleas of those looking for more diesel-burning hot hatch choices haven't fallen on deaf ears at Ford, with the Blue Oval not only
The Brits don't really have a major auto show these days. Not in a conventional sense, anyway, with stationary vehicles under floodlights in a closed exposition space. What they do have, you could argue, is much better: the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where the public can view the latest machinery not only under an open sky, but in motion as well, speeding up Lord March's front lawn. And this year, British automakers are rolling in with some very enticing new metal.
Okay Ford, this is what we like to see. One of our intrepid spy photographers has captured a vehicle that we weren't even sure would see the light of day – the next Focus RS. While this is pretty clearly a mule based on the current Focus ST, as our spy points out, there are a number of giveaways about this hot hatch's true nature.
Though a number of foreign automakers have located their North American assembly plants in Mexico, our neighbors to the south are hardly known for producing their own cars under their own names. But performance-oriented startups are trying their best to upset that notion. VUHL is one such notable exception. The recently surfaced RON Automóviles is another. But those who keep up with their Top Gear may be more familiar with the name Mastretta.
A few years back, Volkswagen made some waves when it announced the Golf GTD - a diesel-powered car that, aside from its ultra-efficient, ultra-torquey engine, was identical to the gas-powered GTI. That meant cosseting sport seats, larger wheels, sportier suspension, larger brakes and a body kit that made the GTD indistinguishable from the GTI, except for the three little letters on the back and in the grille.