2019 Ford Focus ST revealed: price, specs and release date
Ford's most powerful Focus ST yet produces more than 270bhp and is gunning for the Hyundai i30N and Volkswagen Golf GTI...
On sale Summer Price from £28,000 (est)
Its power output places it between the 286bhp Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR and 271bhp Hyundai i30N Performance. However, unlike those models it benefits from an anti-lag system, which keeps the throttle open slightly when you comes off the accelerator pedal so that the turbo can respond more quickly when you put your your foot down again.
In addition, the new ST is the first front-wheel-drive Ford to get an electronic differential to enhance traction out of corners, and there are switchable driving modes designed to suit wet, normal and sporty conditions.
Exact acceleration figures are still to be confirmed, but Ford says the petrol ST will crack 0-62mph in less than six seconds, beating the i30's 6.4sec time, while probably falling just short of the Golf's 5.6sec.
A more frugal 187bhp 2.0-litre diesel variant will also be offered, although Ford hasn't announced figures for this yet, and it misses out on the electronic differential.
Interior changes have been kept to a minimum, with only a thicker sports steering wheel, figure-hugging Recaro seats, aluminium pedals and some subtle ST badges dotted around to remind you that you’re driving a fast Ford.
However, on the outside the new Focus ST benefits from unique alloy wheels, a revised front grille and bumper, twin-exhaust pipes and a larger boot spoiler.
As with the previous generation Focus ST, you can have the new car in either five-door hatchback form or as a very practical estate.
An optional Performance Pack adds clever rev-matching technology on cars equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox (an auto 'box is also available) to smooth the transition between gears, plus a Track driving mode. Hot hatch anoraks will be able to identify these variants by their red brake callipers.
Prices are expected to start at around £28,000, making the standard Ford Focus ST more expensive than the i30N, but significantly cheaper than the Golf GTI TCR.
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Cars the new Ford Focus ST has to beat
The new Focus ST is entering a crowded hot hatch market, so which models set the standard? Here we count down our current top 10 – and reveal the models that are best avoided.
The potent Volkswagen Golf GTI features further up this list, but for a more hardcore experience it's worth considering the Golf R. It's even more potent than the GTI, with increased performance and four-wheel drive. In fact, it's tremendous fun to drive. It has 296bhp and a 0-62mph time of just 5.3sec. It's also reasonably practical to use every day, and its interior is top-notch.
Read our full Volkswagen Golf R review
9. Audi S3
Like the regular A3 family hatchback, the S3 is a premium car that oozes quality inside and out. There's a 306bhp petrol engine under the bonnet that makes it one of the quickest cars in this class. The S3 is not the most exciting hot hatch to drive, though, and its price can quickly rise if you start adding options, but it has one of the classiest interiors around.
Read our full Audi S3 review
8. Audi RS3
Audi has been locked in a power battle with Mercedes-AMG in recent years, but this revised RS3, which borrows the 394bhp five-cylinder engine from the TT RS sports car, puts the hot hatch firmly in the top spot for outright acceleration. You’ll need a well-padded wallet to buy and own an RS3, though.
Read our full Audi RS3 review
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