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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… 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 “…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
SoFlaRRRex
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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
SoFlaRRRex
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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
neko
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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
JustyWRC
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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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