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New Ford Focus ST Was Specifically Developed To Destroy The Competition

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It goes without saying the automakers carefully target their competition when creating new models and updating existing ones. But many factors, particularly financial constraints, often prevent them from creating something that annihilates the competition in every respect of that word. So we weren’t surprised to hear Ford Performance Europe boss Stefan Meunzinger reveal that the new Ford Focus ST was benchmarked against its direct rivals in the hot hatch space. But we were surprised to hear him say that Ford went the extra mile to make it a superior product.

Meunzinger said that Ford benchmarked several other hot hatches during the Focus ST development process, including the Honda Civic Type R, Hyundai i30 N, and the segment current best-seller, the Volkswagen Golf GTI. And he’s confident that the new Focus ST is better than all of them.

“We obviously had a Golf GTI, but character-wise, it’s quite different,” he said. “Yes, we looked at the Golf GTI, but certainly that’s not what we targeted. We wanted a much sharper, crisper vehicle than a Golf GTI, which I think we delivered.”

Bold words, indeed. But Meunzinger didn’t stop there, and even took a jab at competitors who employ faux electronic differentials in their cars that only use the brakes to improve traction.

“Some competitors are using the term e-diff, but they are just doing it by torque vectoring via brake usage and that’s a very different approach,” he said. “The Focus ST’s LSD is the most advanced slip control you can do on a front-drive car, the most expensive and most advanced. It is a mechanical device that is electronically controlled. It has a clutch inside and it can be locked anywhere between zero and 100 percent.”

The new Ford Focus ST is certainly more powerful than the GTI, producing 206 kW of power (276 horsepower) and 420 Nm of torque (310 pound-feet) compared to the VW’s 180 kW (241 horsepower) and 370 Nm (273 pound-feet) output. The Focus ST is also available with a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed automatic, while the GTI only comes with an auto. And to top it off, the Focus ST is cheaper by roughly $2,000 USD (converted from British Pounds).

So while Ford obviously benchmarked the competition when developing the new Focus ST, it didn’t just want to produce a status quo product. Instead, it built something capable of beating its rivals in every single way. Hopefully, the lack of an all-wheel-drive option and its status as potentially being the last of its kind won’t hurt the commercial performance of the Focus ST in the real world, because it’s one gem of a vehicle.

We’ll have more on the new Focus ST as soon as it’s available, so so be sure to subscribe to Ford Authority for more Focus ST newsFord Focus news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

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Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Mark L Bedel

    Sounds exciting! I wish they’d import it here! I’d be inline to purchase one once my 2016 ST is ready for trade. Oh well, I guess my replacement as it currently stands is an Ecosport, at least according to my local FORD Dealer…

    Reply
    1. Pjamies

      Well that’s a lunch bag let down!!

      Reply
  2. Ford Owner

    The Focus should return as a hybrid, with the same specifications being prepared for the Mustang hybrid. The twin electric motors up front will get the maximum torque that no gasoline engine can give. Even better, make this a EV Focus so it can match the Macu-E.

    Reply
    1. Mark L Bedel

      I’m cool with either option…hopefully this happens…

      Reply
  3. Greg

    Bring it to the States! My 2014 ST has 110,000 miles. Am being forced to buy a Non Ford product!!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. Tab

    The competition is still beating Ford on one important level… Every car that that they are targeting to beat is still “targeting” American customers!

    Unacceptable that I HAVE to buy a GTI or a Si… looks like Hitler and the Axis actually won after all.

    Reply
    1. Mark L Bedel

      Tab, at least purchase the GTI…can’t get past the styling on the Civic…not sure what mushrooms they were on when they penned that one?

      Reply
      1. Tab

        I am down on the GTI because they are removing the manual transmission…

        I am with you however about Hondas… I swore I would never buy one back in the days when my neon ACR used to kill the coffee cans when I was in high school.

        However with no more Fiesta ST, and no option for the Focus ST (…and no Mazdaspeed 3 as a suitable alternative), and no stick for the GTI TCR – I am down to the ugly Veloster or the Si.

        Face it – car companies just do not care about the drivers anymore.

        Reply
        1. Mark L Bedel

          Tab, I have to agree with you unfortunately. I had a Speed 3 and currently have a Focus ST among other fun cars, and it certainly seems that our choices are gradually being eroded over time.

          Reply
  5. G

    Unless it is coming here to the States, I don’t want to hear about it.
    Nothing Ford is doing makes any sense. I don’t want a crossover or an SUV. I want a fast car that isn’t a ton of money and I can put kids and stuff in. The Escape is a piece of garbage. The e-stang and Bronco are going to mark out of this world, just like the RS and sales will suffer.

    Reply
  6. michael allen

    Cant see it being better than the new megane tho and it wont be able to hold a candle to the trophy-r thats for sure because nothing else has so far

    Reply

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