First ride: Ford Focus ST

Under full load the sound composer drums an impressive symphony of cozy grumbling, humming and gurgle sounds. That's how sporty cars used to sound natural. It's more difficult today. All this EU noise emission nonsense leads to virtual sound boxes on wheels and the new Focus ST is no exception. At least in the interior, he doesn't leave us in the dark about his project. Sporty sound, digitally generated. Too bad, but he got other talents for that.

First drive in the new Ford Focus ST

Diesel smell and wheelspin included

Performance pyramid. At Ford you see your duty. As an ex-rally world champion, as an ex-LeMans winner, as an ex-Formula 1 engine supplier, you have to make an offer to meet the sporting needs of your customers. Best for all budgets. Ford was guided by the food pyramid. A broad base of “sporty models” forms the healthy basis. This is followed by the serious athletes, for example the Mustang variants. And about that? The super athletes, the treat in the model range, the icing on the portfolio, like the new Ford GT Concept, just in Detroit celebrated its premiere.

But the basis, yes the broad basis, the athletes for everyone - these are the Ford ST models.

Ford Focus ST 62 driving report first exit

Ford Focus ST - freshly made

Ford has never been embarrassed at the Focus chassis. The old Focus was already the benchmark for good handling and driving pleasure in the segment of the Golf class. Of the new Ford Focus was in no way inferior. Even the basic version worked extremely well in the press presentation. It was clear that there is still room for improvement. After all, there was already the Focus ST already. Now Focus has introduced the ST in the fresh facelift version. Our tour took us back to Spain. Back on the angled country roads in the hinterland of Barcelona. Common terrain for automotive testers. Since then, the new ST should ensure a good mood. Or?

What stands out at the first exit with the new, now 250 PS strong Ford Focus ST, is the sound. Pithy. Drumming. In the interior. Really good. But unfortunately also completely artificially produced. Is it bad? Is that stupid? Is this scams on the customer? The carburetor heart in the left breast wants to send the order to cry, the logical part of the brain understands it. So: Yes, I think it's a shame that the Focus ST doesn't sound “per natura” the way it sounds, but I understand the problem with the EU's noise emission regulation.

The remaining impressions of the interior are consistently positive. With the facelift of the Focus, the button massacre around the infotainment system has come to an end. Now it is zipped through the menus on a large Ford Sync 2 touch screen. This is thoughtful and practical, although the voice control is not quite as simple as it wants to tell us the advertising. The climate control takes over a clearly designed design field in the center console. The rest is just as tidy and clear.

Much more important: sitting position and lateral support are excellent. Although the side panels and, above all, the seat beads of the assembled Recaro pliers are in close contact with hoodie size XXL and above. So a little press fit but you want to afford already in the sports model. Sport and torment are always a little bit together. Since compensated for the steering wheel. Is good in the hand, fits in with his options and could still be a little smaller. Only 1 to 2 centimeters. But these are little things.

Beautiful instruments, preferably analog, are part of a sports car like the emotional engine noise. The ST has three additional instruments in the cockpit. You might find that old-fashioned - I like the show. Boost pressure, oil temperature and oil pressure can be read off from small scales with red pointers.

Ford Focus ST 14 driving report first exit

Now also nailed the ST

For the first time there is a Ford Focus ST with a diesel engine. 184 HP doesn't exactly freeze us in awe, but together with the fat 400 Nm torque is definitely enough for a brisk chase over the asphalt. Regardless of whether the heart behind the black honeycomb grille is nailing or turning up to 6.500 revolutions with a snort - the sporty passion is stamped into the sheet metal in both variants. But you can't tell from the outside which fuel pump the Focus ST has to drive to. Diesel and gasoline engines have become identical twins. In the dynamic rating from zero to 100 km / h, the 250 hp petrol engine still gives the diesel ST 40 seconds, despite 1.6 Nm less torque. Here are 6.5 seconds for the petrol ST against 8.1 seconds for the diesel ST. And also in the top speed rating, the ST with the gasoline engine clearly ironed out the diesel engine. There are 248 km / h against 217 km / h. The first ST diesel can only pour a proper pour when it reaches the petrol pump. The petrol engine is specified in the NEDC standard third with 6.8 liters per 100 kilometers - the diesel with 4.2. But no fear. These consumption values ​​are only pro forma.

Take a little dance with the ST towards the summit of the Sandstone Mountains Montserrat surrender, he must be sure of friendship with his gas station attendant.

Ford Focus ST 01 driving report first exit

Who forgot the mechanical differential?

Ford has the ESP set in three stages, since it is supposed to be sporty here. First stage: On. The spoiler is always on board. Second stage: sport. The leash of the electronic watchdog becomes longer, the traction control is off and only if there is any indication of a spinning does the ESP take over control of the braking and control system to rescue the driver. Third level: Off. This is the variant for fully comprehensive customers and full throttle patients. And for me.

The torque vectoring system is always on. The driver can feel torque vectoring in jagged curves by the slight plucking of the wheels. With selective braking intervention, the system helps when turning, eliminates annoying understeer and gives the Focus ST a sporty curve drive. So far, so fun. Until the moment when the 360 ​​Nm of the petrol ST willingly appear to work and massively attack the front axle. Even the optional 235 / 35-19 wheels, soled with high-grip Michelin sports socks, have no arguments. The steering is lurching, the suspension is trampling helplessly over the asphalt. Without ESP regulation, without traction control, the motorized zeal burns down the traction of the Focus ST willlessly. Despite eTVC (enhanced torque vectoring), the ST willlessly file the tread blocks on the asphalt. What in normal Focus with 1.5 EcoBoost Turbo and 185 HP great fun made becomes a balancing act in the ST at full power. A clean line was hard to hit. A mechanical traction lock is missing here. In the ESP standard mode with traction control, the electronics cut the excessive force in favor of traction and the line fits. But it doesn't feel really balanced.

The upcoming Focus RS will probably do without mechanical locks, but Ford packs an all-wheel drive under the sheet. In the Focus ST, the mechanical lock should be as quick as possible - at least  as an extra - to be offered.

Ford Focus ST - Yes, it's fun, but ...

If the dad and the offspring take a quick lap to see grandma, the missing ban will not be noticed. However, if you take the slogan “FORD Performance” seriously and not the Focus ST in the diesel versionthere will be enough other customers here) orders, who will also want to indulge in a fast lap in the Eifel and on a closed route. And that's where you will want the lock. No, you will need one to show the other “Hot Hatches” the advantages of the ST.

Ford Focus ST 41 driving report first exit


The sports comrade made in Saarlouis has a good entertainment system, a willing engine, a very well-tuned chassis and steadfast brakes - only the traction could be more convincing. Nevertheless: The new Focus ST will be a top seller especially as a diesel and as a tournament. Despite or even because of the virtual sound. And the five-door model in particular will be loved by people who never wanted to buy a model boy from Wolfsburg.


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Ford Focus ST 5-door gasoline engine

For sale: rinse
Base Price: 28.850 €
Engine performance: 1.999 ccm³
Drive and transmission: 6-speed manual transmission
Acceleration: 6.5 seconds from 0-100 km / h
Fuel consumption: 6.8 liters per 100 km
maximum speed: 248 km/h
Length, width, height, wheelbase 4.362, 1.823, 1.471, 2.648 mm
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What would the blogger order ??

Probably the diesel. The new ST is more of an endurance athlete than a short-distance sprinter. Both the diesel engine and the hatchback fit particularly well. The “Hot Hatch” lacks the last level of sportiness. Probably that's what Ford wants for him Focus RS cancel. Too bad, at least one option on a diff lock (mechanical) should be offered to the customer ex factory.

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Is the ST a success?

Since the launch of the sporting offshoot in 2002, Ford has sold more than 140.000 units of the ST in 40 countries. In Germany alone 14.300 copies found a customer, 4.600 of which already comes from the current generation of models.

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  1. Mirror Online Car
  2. motor-talk


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All photos: Bjoern Habegger

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