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.
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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.
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.
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.