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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The Ford Focus ST-R will make its racing debut at Daytona International Speedway this coming Friday in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge ST class. Although the car resembles the stock Ford Focus, it has been purposefully designed by Ford Racing to be a track ready car.
The Focus ST-R will feature Ford’s 2.0L Ecoboost engine, a full FIA approved roll cage, updated brakes and track-tuned suspension to set it apart from the stock Focus and Focus ST models. The ST-R was developed by a partnership between Ford Racing and Multimatic Motorsports, who have a history together developing the performance line of Mustangs. “Having delivered the successful Mustang FR500C and Boss 302R production-based race cars, we have a well-established process with how to develop such cars with Ford Racing. We employ the same approach for each – we start with the production car and go through each subsystem on the car and change what is needed (and allowed) to provide a competitive race car,” said Larry Holt, the team principal at Multimatic Motorsports.
The Focus ST-R joins quite a few turnkey ready racers from Ford, it stands along side the likes of the Mustang FR500C, Mustang FR500S, Mustang Cobra Jet, Boss 302R and Boss 302S, all of which are available to order for the professional racer and amateur enthusiast alike. The director of Ford racing, Jamie Allison said “People who buy one will get a fully prepared race car that will only need communications equipment and the customer’s decals to go racing. Because of this, we’ve already had significant interest in this vehicle from numerous established race teams.”
Ford is making a push into the racing world with the Fusion running in NASCAR and the RallyCross racing Fiesta, with the Focus ST-R being the newest addition to Ford’s strategy to support motor sports development.
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Don’t live in LA, or you just can’t be bothered to face the crowds and finish off your day with sore feet? Then you’re in luck. AutoGuide has done all the footwork (and the talkie talkie, and the video editing), to bring you the highlights from the 2011 LA Auto Show. From the Subaru BRZ STI Concept, to the 650-hp Shelby GT500 watch our video series to get the rundown on the most exciting vehicles at this year’s show.
Watch all of AutoGuide’s 2011 LA Auto Show videos below:
If you’re a lover of hot-hatches then there’s a lot going on at Ford these days that will interest you. For starters there’s the new Focus ST, a high-performance version of the new compact hatch that’s set to take on cars like the Mazdaspeed3 and Civic Si. It makes 247-hp from a turbocharged direct-injection EcoBoost 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and thanks to a long list of upgrades an an innovative torque distribution system, looks to be plenty fun, and plenty capable.
Sized-down from the Focus ST is a new Fiesta ST, with the same sort of upgrades, but sporting an EcoBoost 1.6-liter engine making 180-hp. It’s technically a concept, but Ford is serious about bringing this car to market – and we can’t wait.
GALLERY: Ford Focus ST
GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST Concept
Watch the video below for a look at both cars from the floor of the LA Auto Show:
Grammar sticklers will be disappointed that the headline is not actually a typo – we were just so captivated by the Ford Focus ST, spotted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in this fetching shade of blue that we felt it would be a dereliction of duty if we didn’t mention it.
Although the Focus ST has been on the show circuit for about a year now, the car is still a bit away from launch. Specs include Ford’s 2.0L Ecoboost motor displacing 247 horsepower and 260 lb-ft, with a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual clutch gearbox, along with ATE brakes and some wild-hued sports seats. A Sony headunit that looked like it was ready for the much-loathed MyFordTouch infotainment system was also spotted.
So far, we’ve only seen the Focus ST in the papaya-like orange, but this blue, reminiscent of the Escort Cosworth and 1st generation Focus RS, has us seriously infatuated. How much longer must we wait?
Gallery: Ford Focus ST
While AutoGuide got its first glimpse of the Ford Focus ST at the 2010 Paris Auto Show last September, this was our first chance to take a good look at the car without security guards and PR staff circling like birds of prey.
We know so far that the Focus ST will have Ford’s 2.0L Ecoboost motor displacing 247 horsepower and 260 lb-ft, with a choice of a 6-speed manual or 6-speed dual clutch gearbox, along with ATE brakes and some very supportive technicolor sports seats. Peeking inside also revealed a Sony headunit that looked like it was ready for the much-loathed MyFordTouch infotainment system.
Check out AutoGuide’s coverage of the 2011 SEMA Show here
Gallery: Ford Focus ST
For the European market, the thought of another high performance Ford Focus has become banal, but North America is eagerly awaiting the launch of the first “Euro” hot hatch variant of the Focus, with the upcoming Ford Focus ST.
The original Focus SVT was based on a European model called the Focus ST170, but the new Focus ST marks the first time that there will be a single unified Focus performance model – with one exception. A Focus ST “wagon” (shown above) will be sold in world markets, but not North America.
With a 2.0L Ecoboost 4-cylinder making 250 PS and 265 lb-ft of torque, the Focus ST relies on an electronic torque-steer management system to put power down through a 6-speed manual gearbox via the front wheels. Big brakes and Recaro seats on offer, as are a specially tuned chassis, 18″ wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 tires with an asymmetric tread pattern. Stay tuned to AutoGuide for live shots of the Ford Focus ST starting on Tuesday, September 13th as coverage of the Frankfurt AutoShow kicks off.
Ford is planning four big reveals for the Frankfurt Auto Show this September and the Blue oval is being expectantly vague on all of them.
First up is “a new design concept”, which is likely to pave the way for an even more provocative design language for the brand. For those living in the here-and-now, there will also be “details of the next Focus performance car”, a slightly ambiguous quote that likely means Ford will finally show off the full-production version of the Focus ST hot hatch, making 247-hp from a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine.
As for the other two products, look for the production version of the Vertrek Concept, whit the new softroader replacing the Escape in North America and the Kuga for Europe, while the final debut could be the new Mondeo or even a Fiesta ST concept!
GALLERY: Ford Vertrek Concept
GALLERY: Ford Focus ST
Perhaps the industry’s worst-kept secret (other than Sergio Marchionne’s grandfatherly enthusiasm for v-neck sweaters) is the Ford Focus ST—the hyped-up, hi-po hot hatch we Americans finally get our hands on since the death of the SVT Focus in 2004.
European RS and American SVT teams are currently putting 60 camouflaged prototypes through their paces, from California to the Nurburgring: rather fitting for the first performance Focus to be sold globally. The prototypes are a combination of new Focus models and last-gen, Europe-only STs, and the team recently wrapped up cold-weather testing in northern Europe.
“For enthusiasts in North America and Asia who have asked why our compact performance models were not available to them, well, the wait is almost over,” said Jost Capito, Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles. “Like the Focus ST and RS models before it, the new Focus ST’s final set-up will be achieved after painstaking tuning on some of the most demanding roads we can find from California to the Nürburgring, and from high-speed German autobahns to classic British B-roads.”
The Focus ST gets a tighter suspension, bigger wheels and tires, and center-mounted dual exhausts over the standard Focus, as well as a 2.0-liter Ecoboosted four that puts out 246 horsepower. No concrete dates have been mentioned for its release.
While many North American enthusiasts lust after European hot hatches, we were privy to one somewhat ignored car in years past. The Ford Focus ST170, better known as the Ford Focus SVT, was sold here earlier in the decade, and it’s back after an prolonged absence.
The previous generation Focus ST, not sold in North America, used a 2.5L 5-cylinder turbo, but the new car downsizes the cylinder count with a 2.0L Ecoboost 4-banger, making 247 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission with a special torque vectoring system helps the front-drive hot hatch behave properly on the road.
Our favorite part? Bucket seats and big brakes courtesy of well known specialist ATE. Not only will this car go, but it will stop and hold you in your seat properly.
Gallery: Ford Focus ST
Ford has just released full details on its new Focus ST hot-hatch ahead of its Paris Auto Show debut tomorrow. And this is no Euro-market only boy racer. Nope, the Focus ST will be available in North America as a 2012 model starting in 2011.
True, it’s no RS model, but thanks a a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-Cylinder EcoBoost engine, it makes 247-hp and 266 ft-lbs of torque and comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission. (Thank you Ford). It also comes with upgraded suspension and brakes, tighter steering and a much needed Torque Vectoring Control system that acts like a limited slip differential to reduce torque steer and achieve maximum traction.
Inside and out there’s plenty to talk about thank to a an aggressive aero kit with large lower air intakes, a massive central intake, race-inspired rear diffuser and 19-inch wheels that all add to the Focus’s already attractive package. And with an already high-grade interior on the new global Focus, the ST model gets Recaro seats up front, plus plenty of detailed stitching on the interior, as well as a unique steering wheel.
AutoGuide will be on hand at the Paris Auto Show tomorrow with more pics from the official reveal.
GALLERY: Ford Focus ST
Official release after the jump:
Ford has just announced it will debut a new high-performance ST version of its new Focus model at the Paris Auto Show, with global sales planned. That’s right; a hot hatch Focus we’ll actually get our hands on.
No, it’s not as extreme as the Focus RS, but with a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder under the hood and a total of 247-hp, the ST is certain to be a hoot to drive. In fact, Ford claims it will offer “driving enthusiasts an intoxicating cocktail of exhilarating performance and handling accompanied by an addictive sound.” That’s quite a statement.
With dramatic styling, big wheels and “Tangerine Scream” paint, the car is technically a concept, although Ford will most certainly bring the car to market mostly unchanged, with sales of the Focus ST set for early 2012.
GALLERY: 2012 Ford Focus ST
Official release after the jump:
Ford will debut a concept version of a high-performance Focus model at the upcoming Paris Auto Show. Calling it an “exciting performance model” it will be a concept and not a production version, but it’s likely to be quite close to reality with Ford already announcing plans to deliver a “global performance model” of the new Focus using EcoBoost technology.
This won’t be an RS model and Ford recently announced the turbocharged 2.5-liter 5-cylinder in the current Focus RS has been discontinued as it no longer meets increasingly strict emissions requirements.
We’re excited by the possibility that this new high-performance Focus (possibly named ST in Europe and SVT in the U.S.) will get a 250-hp version of the EcoBoost 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, however, there’s also a strong possibility that we’ll see a smaller turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder with closer to 180-hp.
Ford will unveil a high-performance ST version of its all-new Focus at the Paris Auto Show this Fall, and we’re almost certain to see it hit our shores. Ford product boss Derrick Kuzak already commented that a high-performance version of the 2011 Focus would be “exciting to drive and to look at” and use EcoBoost technology. It’s not yet clear if Ford is planning to use it’s EcoBoost 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, which currently makes around 200-hp in the S-Max, or if Ford will continue its engine down-sizing by using a new 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder with closer to 180-hp. The car is expected to have a 0-60 time of roughly 6 seconds.
When Kuzak unveiled the Focus at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, he confirmed that a high-performance EcoBoost model would be sold globally.
Along with the new ST model, Ford is expected to unveil full production models of the Focus sedan and wagon.