Here are the results of our Ford Focus ST Test Drive for our new video series, ExhaustNote. This week at Tom’s Ford marks the debut of this automotive music video series. ExhaustNote features Ford’s most exciting new cars in our new innovative video format. Instead of making a video about car specs and reading off a script, we give you what you want. Pavement, speed, and music. To kick off our series we test drove the Ford Focus ST, the long-awaited hot hatch.
In 2004 we were left with a gap in hearts when the SVT Focus departed from the Ford line up. Now Ford has brought back the hot hatch version of their small car, the Focus ST. With the hot hatch return, the Focus ST not only competes with other sport-compact performance vehicles, it contends to be the best one. Available only in five-door hatchback form with six-speed manual transmission, the Focus ST features a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine producing 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. 270 lb-ft peak torque is achieved in overboost mode, adding an extra 15 lb-ft of torque for up to 15 seconds when the stylish racing pedal is hammered down to the floor.
The Torque Vectoring Control found in the base-model of the Ford Focus has been tuned and transferred over to the ST as well. In the base-model system, brake torque is applied to the inner wheel when traveling through a corner, reducing understeer and allowing for more traction, very similar to a traditional limited-slip differential. The Focus ST’s enhanced system applies steering pressure more aggressively and also adds cornering control, which applies torque to create a yaw effect based on the car’s understeer. This eliminates the torque steer produced by the power and front wheel drive of this car.
Another feature the Focus ST packs is Ford’s Sport Steering system. This uses a variable-ratio steering rack intended specifically to increase agility and control. The springs and dampers are specially tuned, and the rear suspension is revised with a unique mount for the anti-roll bar, lowering the chassis by 10mm for an aggressive stance and lower center of gravity. Even with its powerful thrust and nimble handling the Focus ST boast a respectable 23 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
Not only does the Focus ST look the part of a sporty hot hatch with a functional roof spoiler keeping the car planted to the ground at high speeds, it sounds the part too. Ford is the latest automaker to take to the trend of electronically manipulating and augmenting the aural aspect of some models. The Focus ST is equipped with a sound symposer that pumps engine throttle through to the cabin of the vehicle. At lower throttle driving the symposer keeps the mechanical noises to a minimum, but under full-throttle the engine noise is amplified to the driver and passengers.
Starting at $24,495, the Focus ST comes standard with Ford SYNC, 18-inch alloy wheels, intelligent access with push to start, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and fog lamps. On top of the standard features there are two packages, ST2 and ST3 that are available for the ST. The ST2 package adds premium Sony audio system, HD radio, Recaro partial-leather seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control. The ST3 package includes everything for the ST2 package along with a navigation system, HID headlights, ambient lighting, heated mirrors, and Recaro full-leather heated seats.
Enjoy ExhaustNote Ep. 1 featuring the 2013 Ford Focus ST. Credit goes to Lawrence Ho for filming and editing the video.