► Tuned Ford Focus ST spotted
► Seen testing around the Nürburgring
► Fresh upgrades for new sub-RS model
Ford’s looking to extend its performance line-up further with an upgraded version of its Focus ST, judging by recent pictures from our spy photographers.
This prototype, spotted undergoing tests on the roads around the Nürburgring, sports a range of cosmetic tweaks – and it’s mooted to be more powerful than the standard ST.
Recently, Ford launched the Fiesta ST200 – a slightly warmer version of its ever popular hot-hatch – and the thinking is that the same concept might be applied to the Focus ST.
After all, there’s a nigh-on 100bhp gap between the 247bhp ST and the full-fat 345bhp RS. A more powerful ST wouldn’t impose on the fabled RS’s territory much, anyway, given that the flagship has all-wheel drive – and more – in its favour.
What would the upgraded ST benefit from?
Our sources suggest that the hotter version of the ST would likely pack somewhere in the region of 260 and 280bhp, along with suspension upgrades to further improve its performance.
As the spy shots show, Ford also appears to be investigating a few aerodynamic upgrades. These, in conjunction with some new trim pieces and wheels, would also serve to distinguish the top-spec ST from the regular model.
How much will it cost?
Currently, petrol Ford Focus STs costs £22,750 in entry-level form, rising to £26,545 for the top-spec ST-3 version. With the RS starting at £30,000, there’s not much room for manoeuvre on the pricing front – but time will tell.
Regardless, offering a more distinctive and slightly more aggressive ST would potentially widen the car’s appeal. It would offer buyers access to something that looks and feels a little more like an RS, without having to stump up the full amount or deal with the associated higher running costs.
Launching a more potent version of the ST would also help keep the front-drive Ford in contention with the likes of the Seat Leon Cupra 280 and 290, Honda Civic Type R and VW Golf GTI Clubsport.
Read CAR magazine’s Ford Focus ST long-term test review here