The next performance-oriented Ford Focus ST could derive its thrust from some version of Ford’s venerable 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, de-tuned to produce about 250 horsepower instead of the 350 it spits out in the Ford Focus Mk III, Autocar reports. It had been rumored that the new hot hatch would use a high-strung, power-dense version of the Fiesta ST’s 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder pumping out around 275 horsepower, but that plan was reportedly dropped as it would have needed to operate pretty close to its reliable limit.
An output rating of about 250 horsepower would put the new Focus ST at about the same level as the outgoing version, which uses a smaller 2.0-liter EcoBoost, so don’t be surprised if that estimate nudges upward in the coming months.
The forthcoming Ford Focus ST, which will be based on the all-new, fourth-generation Focus unveiled for China and Europe earlier this month, is expected to be unveiled at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show before starting sales in the summer, Autocar reports. Given that the fourth-gen Focus is some 88 kg (194 pounds) lighter than the compact car it replaces, when comparing like models, the Focus ST ought to benefit from a similarly light weight, with stronger acceleration and more lively, agile handling.
As with the previous Focus ST, the new one is expected to ship exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission.
Of course, what we in the United States are most curious about is whether the new hot hatch will make its way across the pond. Just today, Ford revealed that it would pare down its North American car lineup drastically, cutting the Fiesta, Fusion, and Taurus from the market, while the Focus is reduced to a single model: the crossover-inspired Focus Active. The Ford Focus ST, and perhaps the even-sportier Focus RS, could nonetheless make their way here in limited numbers, with production most likely taking place in Germany.