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Old 05-23-2020, 05:51 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default New Ford Focus ST is "sharper, crisper" than Golf GTI, says Ford Performance boss




Quote:
The new Ford Focus ST has arrived in Australian showrooms promising to upset the hot hatch status quo.

In fact Ford Performance Europe boss, Stefan Meunzinger, says several hot hatch rivals were benchmarked during development of the latest Focus ST, including the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai i30 N and the top-selling Volkswagen Golf GTI.

"We obviously had a Golf GTI***8230; but character-wise [it's] quite different," he said.

"Yes we looked at Golf GTI but certainly that's not what we targeted. We wanted a much sharper, crisper vehicle than a Golf GTI, which I think we delivered."

The new Ford Focus ST is making its way to showrooms as we speak, priced at $44,690 for both the seven-speed automatic and six-speed manual versions. The auto-only Volkswagen Golf GTI is priced at $46,690, while the manual-only Hyundai i30 N Performance is cheaper at $40,990 and the manual-only Honda Civic Type R tops them all at $51,990.

The front-drive Ford Focus ST is powered by a reworked version of the Ford Focus RS engine, a 2.3-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder unit that bangs out 206kW of power and 420Nm of torque.



In terms of outputs then, it's a closer rival for the 228kW/400Nm Honda than the 180kW/370Nm Volkswagen or the 202kW/353Nm Hyundai.

And while it doesn't have all-wheel drive like its legendary previous-generation Ford Focus RS, the new Focus ST does have a proper limited-slip differential (LSD) up front.

Although all three front-drive rivals mentioned above also have an electronically-controlled mechanical LSD in Australia, Meunzinger took a swipe at hot hatches with electronic differentials that merely use the brakes to improve front-end traction.

"Some competitors are using the term e-diff but they are just doing it by torque vectoring via brake usage and that's a very different approach," he stated.

The Ford Performance Europe boss said the Focus ST's LSD is "***8230;the most advanced slip control you can do on a front-drive car - [the] most expensive and most advanced.

"It is a mechanical device that is electronically controlled. It has a clutch inside and it can be locked anywhere between zero and 100 per cent."



As well as broadening its target audience with the addition of an automatic transmission an extensive equipment list, the new Ford Focus ST also aims to target enthusiasts with its torquey engine and complimentary membership to the Ford Performance Club.

Owners will get a welcome pack with various goodies and several unique member benefits, including free track sessions at circuits like Tailem Bend.

Ford Australia product communications manager Damion Smy said the current environment makes certain endeavors more challenging but the Ford Performance Club was something Ford is keen to expand.

"We're still working on making the club what owners and enthusiasts think it should be.

"Of course, we've been slowed a little when it comes to physical events, but we're pushing on with ideas and opportunities.

"Ultimately, Ford Performance Club enables owners who want to be more involved, be more engaged with fellow owners and, of course, have unprecedented access as a customer to the Ford Performance family. That's in terms of products, experiences and opportunities," he said.
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Old 05-23-2020, 07:40 AM   #2
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I never got to experience the last gen FoST because I couldnít get over the looks. This new one, that we didnít get, looks WAAAAY better to my eyes. Man Iíd rock the **** outta that. I canít wait for a hatch/wagon to come out that I actually wanna buy. By then Iíll be ready to upgrade from my 15 WRX.
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Old 05-23-2020, 08:08 AM   #3
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It could be the coolest thing in the world and it wouldn't matter.

Focus ST: not sold here
GTI: sold here
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Old 05-23-2020, 09:37 AM   #4
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I drove a 19 GTI SE and found it totally uninspiring. I lurk around golfmk7 message boards and was thinking of trading in the rex, but once I drove it I knew Iíd have to sink a ton of money into it to make it what I consider a fun DD. Iím done modding. My next car is staying stock, so I need it to be fun right out of the box. The GTI just wasnít fun to me. What most consider too stiff is just right for me.

Last edited by SoFlaRRRex; 05-23-2020 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
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So in that first picture... Do we assume the factory in the background producing all that smog, or are we supposed to assume that how badly Focus' run these days...?

But on a serious note? $47k for a focus ST? Who wrote this article? Civic type R @ $50k? In what country? High $30's more like. I'd have to assume not a US magazine.

275hp/300tq? Way to step up... to the early 2000's.
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Old 05-23-2020, 10:36 AM   #6
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Are those prices in Australia? Not sure, hadn't cared. FWD sucks anyway..
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Old 05-23-2020, 11:52 AM   #7
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Considering this was the first sentence of the article.........



Quote:
The new Ford Focus ST has arrived in Australian showrooms promising to upset the hot hatch status quo.

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Old 05-23-2020, 12:00 PM   #8
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The GTI has been the comfy couch of the hot hatch world since the MKIV. Congrats, Ford, on making something stiffer than a couch. The first Focus ST I test drove felt like it had marshmallows for bushings. All of it's responsiveness came from yaw control.

(I say this as a fan of the way the MKVII drives like a much larger german car)
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Old 05-23-2020, 12:26 PM   #9
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Naturally USA won't see this (yet again), but, Escape ST incoming?
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:52 AM   #10
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They're benchmarking using the five year old MK7 GTI, meanwhile the MK8 is waiting in the wings for release.

I feel like the GTI and the ST have completely different design philosophies despite being similar on paper. The ST aspires to be the raucous boy-racer with bright colors and loud noises. The GTi on the other hand is more reserved, but just as much fun when it needs to be.

I would have been aiming at the i30 if I were Ford.
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Old 09-16-2021, 06:29 AM   #11
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Default 2021 Ford Focus ST Edition



Quote:



Manually adjustable coilover suspension makes one of the more enigmatic and entertaining hot hatchbacks even sweeter and more fun to drive. Adjustment tools included; bring your own trolley jack.



Fellow students of car manufacturer price lists will have noticed how widely Ford has started applying the Ďeditioní label to its various models of late. Suddenly everythingís an Ďeditioní of something - even a boggo Zetec.

In that context, if Iíd just developed an extra-special Focus ST hot hatchback that I wanted to grab some attention for, I might choose another name for it than, say, Focus ST Edition. Then again, being the only Focus derivative in the catalogue that didnít have an Ďeditioní after its name, maybe the poor thing was feeling left out.

To some, thisíll sound like it ought to be a stickers-and-stripes kind of exercise, but it isnít. Itís a five-door ST hatchback that only comes in Azura Blue with a black roof, black wheels, a black roof spoiler and black mirror caps. It has an identical engine and drivetrain to any other petrol-powered ST. And inside it has a fully-loaded equipment specification as standard, and part-leather upholstery with bodywork-matching blue stitching.





But most importantly, it has coilover suspension from KW Automotive with manually adjustable twin-tube dampers in place of the Performance Pack-equipped carís adaptive ones; powder-coated springs rated some 50 per cent higher than a standard STís; and lightweight, flow-formed, 19in alloy wheels.

And if youíre now thinking that modestly priced hot hatchbacks like this donít usually get really trick, manually configurable suspension of the kind that you might expect to see on track-ready Porsches, AMGs and BMW M cars? Well, youíd be absolutely right. Ford RSs donít typically get suspension like this, either.




What's it like?
First of all, the new coilovers lower the carís ride height by 10mm at their default settings, which makes those new rims (which themselves deliver a 10 per cent saving on unsprung mass) fill the carís arches rather nicely. Iím not usually so keen on black body trim, but the ST Editionís black roof and mirrors donít offend me, and its new black-edged ST badges actually look quite good.

Open the boot and youíll find a toolkit with which to adjust the carís ride height through up to 20mm at either axle; bump damping rate through twelve presets; and rebound through sixteen-. Adjusting ride height or compression rate is a wheels-off job, and to access the rebound adjustment means removing bits of under-bonnet and boot trim. Youíd want to take advice from main dealer before attempting it on your driveway, but itíd be possible - albeit more like the work of a couple of hours than ten minutes. The suspension manual doesnít list the carís Ďfactoryí damper settings, though, so be warned: once youíve started fiddling, you may not know what to turn the knobs back to unless you make a note.


The ST Edition has the same wheel geometry and active diff settings as the standard ST, so itís a fairly mild-mannered thing on a B-road. It doesnít follow camber or bumpsteer much and, though you can feel the diff working when cornering hard under load, you donít get much tractive corruption of the steering. The wheel doesnít jink and squirm in your hands like those of some old RSís once did, then. Feel is a little heavy and spongy in the carís ĎSportí and ĎRacetrackí driving modes, but it never gets fighty.

That the carís ride is noisier than a regular STís is what youíre most likely to notice about it. Open, coarse surfaces make the ST Editionís suspension roar through the uprights and into the cabin somewhat.

Itís a small price to pay for the extra incisiveness, bite and balance that the new suspension delivers, though. The ST was a bit of a specialist in those areas already, but the ST Edition really does turn in very keenly indeed, and doesnít need asking twice to swivel its hips and rotate mid-corner on a trailing throttle. The carís ĎESP Sportí mode allows you to explore the beginnings of the chassisís playfulness without intervention; turn the electronics off completely, though, and theyíll stay off, making for wonderfully poised, 90s-hot-hatchback-level handling adjustability when you tee it up just right.




Body control is a few degrees tauter, the carís movements shorter and more smartly reigned in, than the regular STís. Much of the ST Editionís extra appeal would probably lie in tailoring its setup to perfectly suit your favourite backroad test route or trackday venue, though. The car can feel slightly firmer than a regular ST at low speeds: only occasionally brittle or jiggly, mostly just nicely gristly and tied down.

At higher speeds, some fluency soon materialises. Medium- and large bumps can be taken quickly with confidence and, while a bit of ride dexterity has clearly been sacrificed, the chassis never struggles to keep its wheels on the ground or its body level over complex surfaces. Most inputs are just gobbled up by the dampers crisply, quickly and without jostling you around much.
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:19 AM   #12
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looks like Ford knows how to paint an entire car
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Old 09-16-2021, 09:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
looks like Ford knows how to paint an entire car
Yeah, but theyíll probably have at least two major recalls for said paint, I wouldnít give them any credit for it.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:51 AM   #14
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meh

car needs more unpainted plastic



Wish I could test drive that car. Looks nice.
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Old 09-16-2021, 10:57 AM   #15
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Although I have no interest in a FWD car, I'm upset there are fewer options in the US market for people that are okay with the layout. A lack of competition promotes stagnation and "bare minimal" levels of innovation in a segment.
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Old 09-16-2021, 11:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
looks like Ford knows how to paint an entire car
But they don't know how to bring it here and keep it here. We have an uglification and small car tax in the US.

Subaru knows how to paint cars too. Only RHD ones tho.
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Old 09-16-2021, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sid03SVT View Post
Although I have no interest in a FWD car, I'm upset there are fewer options in the US market for people that are okay with the layout. A lack of competition promotes stagnation and "bare minimal" levels of innovation in a segment.
this. all of this.

At least the GTI and FoST are still competitors in other markets so the overall car is improving, but it gives VWoA license to pull out the nice features on GTI for the states to increase profits.
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Old 09-16-2021, 01:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRAPPYDO View Post
looks like Ford knows how to paint an entire car
Even Hyundai can do it; look at the Kona N and its body colored plastic fender flares.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:28 PM   #19
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Been looking at cars available in Taiwan cause we might be moving there.

Few fun choices but they do have a Focus ST, 6mT. It starts at $47k US. Holy crap.

They also have the Golf R wagon. That one is $73k starting. Dang!
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Old Yesterday, 11:45 AM   #20
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Looks too much like a car with half round fenders and lack of unpainted, black plastic. I hear the CUV look is all the rage.
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