- New chassis control technologies include industry-first Enhanced Transitional Stability system; combined with re-tuned suspension and steering to help deliver a driving experience that is even more responsive, balanced and refined
- Sporty and aggressive new styling; unique lamp, grille and bumper designs; optional 19-inch â€˜Rock metallicâ€™ alloy wheels with red brake callipers and sunroof
- Two unique colours for Focus ST: new Stealth and Tangerine Scream
- Well-crafted interior features ergonomic controls, Recaro seats and sports steering wheel
- New features include SYNCÂ®2 connectivity system on ST3, with high-resolution 8-inch colour touchscreen and voice control
In case you missed it, hooligan Ken Block recently blasted the forthcoming Ford Focus RS hyper-hatch up Lord March’s exquisite driveway at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
And while RS-dom might be out of reach for the average Joe’s like you or I – with limited numbers to be made available worldwide, and a hefty price tag well north of R500k to boot – there is hope for us mere mortals.
The Ford Focus ST has been given an update and with a starting price of R381 900 for the entry level ‘ST 1’, (responsible) hoonery is more attainable than you might think. Well, especially in comparison to the halo RS model.
So what’s new? For starters, the front end has been given a makeover and now looks more cohesive, aggressive even. Aficionados will notice the new headlamps, grille and bumper designs as well as the new, optional ‘rock metallic’ wheels – they’re 19-inch in diameter by the way.
Visuals aside, there are updates below the surface too. The ST’s front end has been beefed up to reduce flex as well all-new springs and revised shock absorber tuning front and rear.
Ford’s torque vectoring system has been fiddled with in order to further reduce understeer and in conjunction with the ESC system, drivers have the option of selecting three predefined settings, standard, sport mode and off.
Standard mode means full nanny intervention with ESC and traction control active. Sport mode equates to no engine torque reduction from traction control and ESC systems and reduced ESC brake interventions to facilitate more sporty driving (hoonery?).
Off means you’re left to manage everything yourself with all systems switched off because the ST still manages 184kW and 360Nm of torque from its 2.0-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine, which is sure to be a handful.
Performance is the same as the previous model with 0-100kph dispatched with in just 6.5 seconds and top speed is pegged at 248km/h, which if you manage to test (safely) I would hope you leave all the safety systems switched on.
As before, power is sent to the standard 18-inch ‘y-spoke’ front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission. 19-inchers are an optional extra, as well as red brake calipers and a sunroof, all of which will set you back R6 540.
There’s also two new colours dubbed ‘Stealth Grey and Deep Impact Blue’, with the signature Tangerine Scream now available on the base ST 1 model. Or if you prefer Frozen White, Moondust Silver, Panther Black, and Race Red are available too.
Ford has slightly redesigned the interior for a more intuitive layout that is also simpler, with fewer buttons in the cabin. The requisite performance gauges are still accounted for, displaying turbocharger boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure information.
The superb looking Recaro sports seats are standard fitment on both models, featuring grey/charcoal/anthracite black fabric on the ST1.
Other standard features on the entry level model include keyless start, footwell illumination, ST-branded leather steering wheel and gear knob, ST scuff plates, ST triple dial cluster, cruise control and an advanced anti-theft system. As well as Fordâ€™s SYNCÂ® with Bluetooth and Voice Activation, multi-fucntion steering wheel and dual USB ports.
Opt for the ST3 spec model and you’ll get heated full charcoal black leather seats boasting eight-way power adjustment for driver and passenger.
Dual-zone electronic climate control is standard, along with the new SYNCÂ®2 system with 8-inch touchscreen, high-end Sony audio system linked to nine speakers, dual USB ports and SD card slot.
The top of the range St 3 model is further distinguished by means of LED daytime running lights and Bi-Xenon headlamps with automatic headlamp and windscreen wiper activation.
Ford Focus ST (ST 1) – R389 900
Ford Focus ST (ST 3) – R421 900
Included is 4-year/120 000km warranty, 4-year/80 000km service plan, 3-year/unlimited km roadside assistance and 5-year/unlimited km corrosion warranty. Service intervals are every 20 000km.