Ford Focus ST, launched at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto ShowEnlarge Photo
That puts it in about the same league as the Volkswagen GTI and Mazdaspeed3, but there’s a ton of extra features that’s unique to the Ford.
Starting with the engine, the 2013 Focus ST is powered by a direct-injected and turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine officially rated at 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque, and matched to a six-speed manual transmission.
However, if an additional surge of acceleration is needed the Focus ST also features an ‘overboost’ function that adds an additional 15 pound-feet of torque momentarily. This is achieved by keeping the accelerator pressed to the floor.
All of the power is sent to the front wheels only, but given Ford piped even more power through the front wheels of the last-gen Focus RS for Europe, we don't doubt the ability to handle it all. Helping owners make the most of the power is a three-mode, driver-adjustable stability control system.
There’s also a sports suspension setup, speed-variable steering rack and Ford’s electric power-assisted steering with enhancements for torque steer compensation. This latter feature essentially detects any torque steer and creates an opposing force to reduce the annoying tugs of the steering wheel that too much power and slippery conditions can generate.
Inside, there is available full-leather, six-way power Recaro seats, unique interior treatment and even a sound-generator to pipe enhanced engine sounds through to the cabin. Other available features include 18-inch alloy wheels, xenon headlights, MyFord Touch connectivity and a premium Sony sound system with 10 speakers.
If all of this sounds enticing to you, Ford has set up a dedicated section on its main website allowing you to build your ideal version of the car and place an order today. And if you’re quick, Ford is also offering a GoPro HD Hero2 Motorsports Edition camera pack for the first 1,000 pre-sale orders placed between now and August 20.