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Thursday - 3 December 2020

The new Ford Focus ST has landed in NZ

And here’s EVERYTHING you need to know.

Ford Focus ST NZ

The new-generation Ford Focus ST, developed under the leadership of Ford Performance, brings New Zealanders the most advanced, capable Focus ST to date with more power and technology.

Based on the new-generation Focus’ C2 platform, the Focus ST is now offered with an automatic transmission for the first time. In addition to expanded Selectable Drive Modes, there’s new technology including Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), an electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD), and 2.3L turbocharged engine.

Ford Focus ST NZ

“The new seven-speed auto with paddleshift opens the doors for so many new customers,” said Simon Rutherford, Managing Director, Ford New Zealand. “Combined with the Fiesta ST for 2020, the Focus ST completes a full suite of Ford Performance hot hatches available in New Zealand. The Focus ST builds on the innovation and tech leadership of the new-generation Focus, which was named NZ AutoCar’s Car of the Year and AA & Driven’s Overall Car of the Year for 2019. It delivers a highly capable, exhilarating yet very liveable performance hatch.”

The New Focus ST takes the advanced C2 platform of the new Focus, NZ AutoCar’s Car of the Year and AA and Driven’s Overall Car of the Year 2019, as a foundation to offer greater cabin space, cargo capacity as well as dynamic capability based upon a platform that delivers a 20 per cent increase in torsional rigidity over the outgoing model.

“Intelligent technologies like eLSD and CCD make our new-generation Focus ST the most ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ yet, able to switch from refined tourer to focussed performance car at the push of a button,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe. “We’ve incorporated learnings from programs including our Ford GT supercar and the acclaimed Focus RS to develop a mid-size performance car with a degree of flexibility that’s unique in its segment.”

Ford Focus ST NZ

Focus ST: Looks that skill
The Focus ST’s features both inside and out are designed to showcase its performance intent from any angle, building on the new-generation Focus’ core elements to deliver a Ford Performance optimised package.

Immediately apparent, an aggressive stance is achieved with 19-inch machined alloy wheels, fitted with 235/35 Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tyres, as standard, with suspension that lowers ride height by 10mm over the standard Focus model. The Focus ST’s larger front and rear brake components are clearly visible, standing out with red brake calipers that clamp larger 330mm front and 302mm rear ventilated discs. A new electronic brake booster improves brake pedal feel, while braking performance was verified using the same demanding test procedures as the Ford GT supercar, and saw almost four-times the fade resistance performance of the previous generation Focus ST in testing.

Ford Focus ST NZ

The Focus ST also boasts a honeycomb front grille, with LED adaptive headlight and taillights featuring LED Daytime Running Lights and for a signature look, with unique front and rear bumpers incorporating LED fog lamps and sculpted side-skirts producing a muscular look. An integrated spoiler caps off the major exterior changes on the ST’s hatch. Details include dual chrome exhaust tips, rear privacy glass as well as heated power-folding exterior mirrors with puddle lamps.

Ford Focus ST NZ

There’s also unique ST badging in the front grille and rear hatch, exterior colour options chosen to emphasise the Focus ST’s dynamic styling including exclusive Ford Performance Blue and Orange Fury, alongside Frozen White, Magnetic (grey), Race Red, and Agate Black.

The attention to detail continues inside the Focus ST. The heated Recaro sports seats are trimmed in leather and suede, with larger bolsters for improved lateral support during cornering, and feature ST logos, with lumbar support on the driver’s seat. Interior space is improved for the new-generation Focus ST, thanks to a 53mm increase in wheelbase, with greater occupant space in both front and second rows for greater comfort and convenience.

Ford Performance instrumentation is standard, while the automatic takes advantage of the new-generation e-shifter, which liberates space while enabling a cleaner console look. An electronic park brake also enhances space and interior sophistication for either transmission choice, while a flat-bottom heated ST steering wheel, wrapped in perforated leather, houses audio and SYNC 3 controls while delivering a premium feel and engagement for the driver.

Ford Focus ST NZ

Focus ST: Connectivity, technology and safety
SYNC 32 as standard is another feature that brings livability and technology to the Focus ST. This includes a high-definition 8.0-inch touchscreen display, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone capability3. Functions, including Siri, can be accessed via the steering-wheel mounted voice activation controls, with capabilities including voice-activated text messaging.

The Focus ST also features wireless smartphone charging as standard, with technology including keyless entry and push-button engine start, ambient LED lighting and dual-zone climate control.

A five-star ANCAP rating was awarded to the new-generation Focus line-up in 2019, with the standardisation of the Driver Assist Technology (DAT)4 praised by ANCAP CEO James Goodwin. The Focus ST includes a full suite of safety and DAT as standard, including:

  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with Cyclist and Pedestrian Detection4
  • Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Lane Keep Assist
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) w/ Stop & Go
  • Hill Launch Assist
  • 180-degree full-colour, high-definition rear-view camera
  • Dynamic Stability Control
  • Driver, Driver’s side, Passenger Side and full curtain airbags
  • Auto high-beam headlights
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
Ford Focus ST NZ

Focus ST: Focus RS-developed powertrain
The new all-aluminium 2.3-litre, turbocharged powertrain is the most potent ever offered in a Focus ST. Using advanced turbocharging technology to deliver 206kW5of power at 5,500 rpm – an increase of 22kW over the previous Focus ST – and a significant jump in torque, from 360Nm previously to 420Nm, it is also the most free-revving Focus ST engine yet.

Engine response is enhanced using a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger, which scavenges exhaust gas energy more effectively using separated channels to minimise interference between gas pulses. An electronically actuated waste-gate allows closer control of boost pressures for optimised engine performance. In addition, a unique exhaust system that reduces back pressure, bespoke air intake system and optimised intercooler further improve breathing.

Ford Focus ST NZ

Innovative anti-lag technology developed for the Ford GT supercar and F-150 Raptor pick-up is introduced to the Focus ST, for immediate power delivery in Sport and Track Drive Modes. Anti‑lag keeps the throttle open when the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal, alleviating the reversal of air flow from the turbocharger to maintain compressor wheel speed and enabling boost pressure to build faster on demand.

The new seven-speed paddleshift automatic will complement the rewarding, engaging and sporty 2.3-litre engine’s driving experience. Adaptive Shift Scheduling assesses individual driving styles to optimise gearshift timings, and is enhanced to offer more flexibility and the ability to differentiate between road and track use. Drivers can also select gears manually using steering wheel-mounted paddle-shifters.

Selectable Drive Modes: Focus ST’s smart chassis
Building on accomplished Ford Focus’ driving dynamics, the new-generation Focus ST was developed to blend B-road fun-to-drive, legitimate track-day performance, and everyday usability.

“Our target was to deliver an new-generation Focus ST that is as effortless to drive day-to-day as the rest of the Focus line-up,” Roeks said. “The model’s comprehensive range of technologies means customers gain exhilarating ST performance without sacrifice.”

This flexibility and capability is accessed via Selectable Drive Modes that optimise the Focus ST’s capabilities for road (or track) conditions ahead.

Ford Focus ST NZ

Slippery, Normal, Sport and Track Drive Modes adjust the eLSD, CCD, EPAS, throttle mapping, automatic transmission shift scheduling, electronic stability control (ESC), electronic sound enhancement (ESE) and climate settings to suit the driving scenario. A dedicated “Sport” button on the flat-bottomed steering wheel gives direct access to Sport mode, and an additional “Mode” button allows drivers to quickly scroll through the Drive Mode options.

“Selecting Track mode instantly introduces higher steering efforts for more feedback; tunes the throttle to be more aggressive; instructs the eLSD to deliver maximum traction; and gives drivers more leeway within the ESC system,” Roeks said. “Drivers can have full confidence in the Focus ST’s ability to deliver on the track.”

The Focus ST’s chassis brings a unique fully-independent rear suspension configuration that helps optimise the vehicle’s responses to driver inputs without sacrificing comfort. The agile and energetic character of the standard Focus is retained using the original spring specifications, with damping stiffness increased up to 20 per cent at the front and 13 per cent at the rear, and ride height reduced by 10mm, to improve road-holding and response in performance driving scenarios.

Ford Focus ST NZ

The chassis upgrades also include Ford’s sophisticated Continuously Controlled Damper (CCD) technology for the first time on a Focus in New Zealand. The system monitors suspension, body, steering and braking inputs every 2 milliseconds to adjust damping responses for outstanding ride quality and driving dynamics.

Also improving capability is the eLSD. The Borg Warner-developed technology is faster to deploy and offers greater precision than a traditional mechanical LSD. The system can pre-emptively adjust torque distribution using inputs from powertrain and vehicle dynamics sensors, rather than responding to wheelspin as it occurs, and can apply differential locking gradually for fine-tuning performance.

The all-new Focus ST also takes Ford’s fastest-steering-response crown from the acclaimed Fiesta ST. The electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) system is 15 per cent faster than the standard Focus, requiring just two turns lock-to-lock.

Ford Focus ST NZ

Class-leading connected feel is supported by unique steering knuckle geometry, with a rod attachment point 9mm further forward and 6.5mm higher than the standard Focus for sharper responses. New Steering Torque Disturbance Reduction software for EPAS also helps reduce torque steer, making it even easier to deploy with precision the Focus ST’s power and torque.

Recommended Retail Price1 for 2020MY Ford Focus ST:

ST five-door hatch, 2.3L turbo, 7-speed Automatic  $59,490

Dave McLeodhttps://www.tarmaclife.co.nz
New Zealand motoring editor/journalist and published author. Besotted with cars and the experiences they give. I'm a family guy with a bark that's bigger than my bite and prefer football over rugby any day of any week.

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