Photos: Ford

It’s Presidents’ Day here in the United States, which means you may have the day off depending on your job. Here’s something else that won’t be showing up to work in America: the all-new Ford Focus ST, which is not destined to come our way on the heels of Ford’s decision to kill its entire small car and sedan lineup.

It’s a shame because the latest version of Ford’s middle-child hot hatchback, the everyday pick between the rowdy but small Fiesta ST and the more expensive and hard-edged Focus RS, now appears to be better than ever, and certainly more powerful.

It’s the faster version of the all-new Ford Focus, a car we found to be quite brilliant when we got a chance to drive it in the UK.

In ST guise, the car gets a 2.3-liter turbo four-cylinder engine—same basic motor as the EcoBoost Mustang and Focus RS, and replacing the old car’s 2.0-liter motor—rated at 276 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That’s a nice bump from the previous Focus ST’s 252 HP and 270 lb-ft, and one that edges it even closer to the RS’ specs.

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It remains front-wheel drive, and can be had with a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic. An estate wagon version is also coming.

I’d say it looks pretty sharp as well. The new Focus is a more handsome and striking car than it’s ever been, and the interior seems to be a nice improvement over the last one’s plastic fantastic cabin. And like the old Focus ST got in non-U.S. markets, this one has a diesel option too, a 2.0-liter turbo oil burner rated at 187 HP and 295 lb-ft.

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Other tech improvements include electronic Continuously Controlled Damping and an electronic limited-slip differential, an anti-lag system for the turbo, rev matching, dedicated Sport and Track Modes, adaptive cruise control, a heads-up display and Evasive Steering Assist in case you have en emergency encounter with a stopped car or other stationary object.

It all sounds extremely fun, and I remain quite jealous of our friends outside the U.S. who will get to drive it. I guess we have the Edge ST? Is that a consolation prize? Going with no.

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