The Ford hot hatch is back! The new Focus family will sire a – range-topping, for now – ST performance variant, to be unveiled at the 2010 Paris motor show. There's still a bit of a wait on, however; the mainstays of the new Focus range go on sale in March 2011, while the new Focus ST won't arrive until late 2011 or 2012.
So how fast is the new 2011 Ford Focus ST?
Sounds like it should be pretty rapid. Rated at 247bhp (up 25bhp on the outgoing ST), the new ST is powered by an uprated EcoBoost 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine. Gone is the charismatic mooing and whooping of the old ST's Volvo-derived five-pot. A shame, but then the new engine is likely to be less lethargic.
Few details have been announced yet, but we'd expect a twin-clutch transmission option on top of the six-speed manual pictured here, and marginally faster times than the 6.8sec and 150mph top whack of the last ST. No prizes for guessing that there's still room for an even faster RS version later in the lifecycle, although the basic ST bodykit has been turned up to 11, judging by the size of that grille and the aggressive bodykit. A Rallye Sport one would surely get an Asbo.
Inside, the new Focus ST gets heavily bolstered sports seats, with contrasting support pads in this version, and a rack of three extra dials, like on today's ST nestling atop the dash. Perfect for impressing your girlfriend with the amount of boost on offer.
When will we first see the Focus ST?
The new Focus ST will be unveiled by Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally and the newly appointed chairman and CEO of Ford of Europe, Stephen Odell, formerly head of Volvo. The ST will be sold in all global markets and is the first world performance car from the Blue Oval.
Paris will play host to the full range of Focus bodystyles for the first time: the five-door hatchback, the four-door saloon and the five-door estate. And that new Tangerine Scream orange is no coincidence; it has shades of the last Focus ST's ginger locks.
Ford Focus: a global story
The new Focus is the first true manifestation of Alan Mulally's One Ford vision, where the best models will be served up to a global audience. The new Focus family will go on sale in Europe and North America in spring 2011.
It was designed and engineered in Cologne and will be sold in 120 countries. Up to 80% of parts will be common to all markets, reducing costs, while the new Focus platform will spawn at least 10 models and will account for 2m units annually by 2012.
What else will be new at the 2010 Paris motor show?
The recently refreshed Mondeo range will be on show, as will the C-Max range of midi-MPVs. Naturally, there will be a strong eco twist to the message – to counter the old-fashioned, tyre-shredding hot hatchery of the Focus ST. So the new Ford Mondeo Econetic will be on show, alongside a Ford Ka with start-stop.
And hybrids will be taken care of by the tech underpinning the C-Max plug-in hybrid, which is destined to be built in Valencia, Spain, and go on sale in 2013. It's all part of Ford of Europe's plan to slash CO2 by 30% between 2006 and 2020.
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