Today's reminder of how much more awesome the Euro-market Ford Focus is than our own comes from Ford UK, where the latest, greatest Focus ST goes on sale starting Thursday. As you're probably well aware, in ST trim the newly-restyled Euro Focus gets the once-over from Ford Europe's in-house tuning arm, TeamRS. The standard engine offerings are replaced by a turbocharged 2.5L five-banger underhood that's good for 225 PS (around 223 hp), is mated to a six-speed stick, and lets the Focus ST do 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds. According to Ford, the new ST also lapped the Nordschleife in 8:35. The exterior is dressed up with 18-inch wheels, the expected body kit and available racing stripes. Inside, the proper cockpit gets a push-button starter and Recaro seating. Depending on the ST trim level selected (there are three) and available options chosen, you can add all manner of comfort and convenience features to the spiffy-looking pocket rocket. Even Bluetooth... but not SYNC. Something tells us the Brits aren't crying in their beers over this.
Yes, we know that the next-gen Focus will be global and that the U.S. will share the same car sold in Europe. No, that doesn't make looking at this any easier in the meantime. Ford's official missive is pasted after the jump.
FORD FOCUS ON PERFORMANCE
* New look for turbocharged flagship Focus ST
* Upgraded interior with premium features
* Priced from £18,250 - £20,850
* Created by Ford TeamRS division
BRENTWOOD, Essex, April 28, 2008 – Fast, fun and fabulously good looking, a new version of Ford's performance flagship Focus goes on sale at dealerships across Great Britain from May 1.
Created by Ford TeamRS, the company's dedicated performance vehicle arm, the 2008 Focus ST benefits from the new exterior and interior styling changes introduced across the rest of the Focus line-up earlier this year. Importantly though, while offering new technologies and features, the car's well-honed dynamics remain untouched.
At the heart of the matter is the familiar 225 PS, 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder Duratec engine. Powerful, and accompanied by a suitably sporty soundtrack, this powerhouse delivers a potential 150mph top speed in tandem with 0-62mph acceleration in just 6.8 seconds.
Indeed, as a measure of this car's ability, a standard production Focus ST set a segment-leading record time of 8 minutes 35 seconds around the Nordschleife circuit at the famed Nürburgring.
This sort of achievement requires more than just brute power and the Focus ST remains one of the sharpest handling cars in its class. In fact, the ST may well be the definitive choice for enthusiastic drivers who also demand comfort around town and an array of subtle suspension enhancements ensures this is still the case.
A powerful braking system is top of this list while Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) and Traction Control are now standard on all versions.
The Focus ST has always provided lots of choice and the range retains its simple ST, ST-2 and ST-3 trim grades and three or five-door hatchback bodystyles. It is priced from £18,250 - £20,850.
Every Focus ST boasts 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels, sports styling, body-hugging Recaro sports seats, a unique sports steering wheel and upgraded instrumentation. New to this generation of ST are the 'Ford Power' starter button and Easyfuel capless refuelling system. Upgrading to ST-2 adds a Sony audio system, bi-xenon lights, LED rear lights and Quickclear heated windscreen while the ST-3 includes an in-dash six CD player plus full leather trim.
In common with other members of the 2008 Focus family, a range of high-tech options can be specified. Among the list is a Tyre Deflation Detection System, a new audio connectivity module for external devices like Bluetooth, voice control and navigation systems plus various infotainment options including an affordable sat nav system with SD card slot.
Combining bold looks with a thrilling driving experience and numerous new features, Ford's new and improved Focus ST is the definitive hot hatch.