Reviews of the 2013 Focus ST are starting to pop up left and right...
Inside Line Track Test
Road & Track 2013 Focus ST vs. Mazdaspeed 3 vs. Volkswagen GTI
Originally Posted by InsideLine
0-30 (sec): 2.8 (2.9 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.5 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.6 (7.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.3 (6.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 9.9 (10.0 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 93.3 (15.1 @92.5 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 112
Slalom (mph): 69.1 (67.7 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.93 (0.91 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 45.6
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.4
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 64.7
RPM @ 70: 2,650
Acceleration: Not easy to launch, but not as hard as some FWD cars. Doesn't want to bog or coil like Mazdaspeed 3, but also doesn't leave as hard. Needs about 3,500 rpm and quick clutch engagement for best launch. Wheels spin partway through 1st, then hook. When executed properly, the shift to 2nd doesn't bog. Shifter is vague for this kind of use. Probably fine during daily driving (or even road course use), but not direct enough for drag-style shifting.
Braking: Softer pedal than I'd prefer, but stopping seems reliable. Some variation in distance, but no fade.
Skid pad: Readily rotates off throttle, which allows complete freedom of line adjustment here. This car would be brilliant on a road course. Communicative and lively. Fun. Stability off yields best numbers here.
Slalom: Eagerness to rotate on the skid pad hurts this car in the slalom. Still, its manners are superb if you're willing to drive it hard. Best time in "Sport" mode. Tuned to rotate so don't bother turning ESC off. Stability control and suspension engineers tuned this car for drivers who understand.
Originally Posted by RoadAndTrack
Ford’s new Focus ST is a starship amongst suborbital dinghies. It backs up its sci-fi looks with an EcoBoost engine that shreds time and space. It dominated every performance category in this test except observed fuel economy, and did so in a way that’s both confident and entertaining. This is the new highperformance standard against which any other mass-produced car with a 4-cylinder engine will be judged.
Let the surprisingly light clutch out and the ST will launch hard even when its stability control is left on. It takes some concentration to get it right, but 60 mph comes up in only 5.9 sec. And the quarter mile will scream by in 14.6 sec. with a ferocious growl from the center exhaust outlet. It’s stunningly stable acceleration from a front-driver.
Yet the handling matches that thrust. Wearing big 235/40R-18 Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric 2 tires, the ST sticks to the skidpad at a bordering-on-preposterous supercar-like 0.96g. That number is so ludicrous, it’s a bit mystifying that this Focus goes through the slalom at only 65.8 mph—a half-mph quicker than the Mazdaspeed3 and 0.9 mph faster than the GTI.
The numbers only hint at how well the Focus ST performs. The chassis remains near neutral even diving into a corner under braking. Hit the apex and stab the throttle and the car powers through as if each tire were driving stakes into the pavement. The steering is faster than its competitors, though the big tires do leave it with some off-center numbness. Still, the immediate turn-in is instantaneous and totally satisfying.
These are just partial quotes, follow the links for full details. It looks like Edmunds got a much slower car than R&T did. Also, it's worth noting that the GTI used in the R&T comparo had all season tires whereas the MS3 and Focus had max performance summer tires. Glad to see the electric nannies aren't too bad with the ST.